Eli Smith, 48, of Devils Lake, ND, and tribal member of Spirit Lake Nation entered into rest with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, from Altru Hospital Grand Forks, ND.
Eli Smith, 48, of Devils Lake, ND, and tribal member of Spirit Lake Nation entered into rest with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, from Altru Hospital Grand Forks, ND. Born in March of 1971 to parents Luana (Hernandez) of Northern CA, and late Matthew Smith Sr. of Ft. Totten, ND, was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. During his early years he attended and completed his education in Santa Cruz County (Live Oak Elementary). He briefly attended Catholic school during elementary years as well. He whipped through E. A Hall Middle School and graduated with the Wild Cats of Watsonville High in Watsonville, CA. Through his love and appreciation for Art, he earned a BA and Masters in Design at Boston School of Design in Boston, MA. Throughout his life, Eli demonstrated a strong work ethic, love and respect for family, and placed a high value on all friendships. He never ran out of kindness for people. He was sincere, intuitive, protective, caring and helpful. Eli was always recognized and known for his gifted talents in drawing, fashion/apparel designs, love of literature, books, and music. He read through collections of the Encyclopedia Britannica as a child and young adult. He practiced, studied and learned Latin, French, Italian, German and Dakota. At the age of 18, he began working for FDIC in the San Francisco Bay area. At the age of 21, Eli made his way to New York City where he continued working for FDIC. In addition, the Smithsonian Museum of American Indians welcomed his talents and management skills where Eli felt at home and proud working amongst all tribal nations. NYC also offered him the opportunity to work in the fashion industry. During this phase of time Eli’s fashion team enjoyed working with several clients. Eli offered and accomplished so much. After living in Four Park and Greenwich Village Manhattan, NY, he settled in Revere, Mass., where he bought his home. He designed high end furniture for a living, and built professional awnings. While in MA, Eli traveled the world through business. Eli’s personality, quiet and humble, he shared and encouraged others to get out and experience the world of their choice and not to be afraid. He visited family in the Lake Region and Spirit Lake throughout the years when time allowed. He made trails of friends everywhere he went. Once he decided to slow down and take a break from the city he made his move to Devils Lake to help take care of family in 2016. He recently worked for LRC and loved taking care of his angels as he referred to them (Consumers of LRC). He will never be forgotten not for what he ever did or accomplished but for who he was. He was loving and caring toward everyone. He leaves behind a grieving family that will miss him so very much; his mom and stepdad, Luana and Israel Padilla of Salinas, CA; sister, Tara Fox of Devils Lake; youngest brother, Johnny Smith of Manteca, CA; eight nieces and nephews; 42 first cousins; countless 2nd & 3rd cousins from both sides of his family; five special aunties; seven cherished uncles; one precious grandparent. Eli unites with; dad, Matthew Smith Sr.; paternal grandfathers, Eli Smith, Smiley HolyFront, Chief Edward Ironbear; paternal grandmothers, Mary AlwaysDay and Mabel Ironbear; maternal grandmother, Antonia Patino; maternal aunts, Marina Hernandez and Bertha Smith; paternal uncles, Samuel Smith, Daniel Smith, Moses Smith, James Calvin Smith, David Smith, Isaac Smith; and brothers, Brian Smith and Matthew Smiley Smith Jr. Services for Eli will be held Tuesday Nov. 12, 2019, at the Crowhill Wellness Center, rural Fort Totten beginning at 11 a.m. with Reverend Larry Thiele officiating. Eli will be cremated soon after and a 2nd service will be held for the West Coast family. A later date has been set aside for burial at Crowhill/Presbyterian Cemetery where he will be laid to rest near his dad and brother. Casket Bearers: Todd Yankton, Doug Yankton, Keith Brown and Justin Yankton Honorary Pallbearers: Georgialene Smith, Joanne Smith, Tessie Brown, Tara Yankton, Caroline and King WalkingEagle, TwoHeart sisters Cathy, Patty, Becky and Annie, sisters Phyllis Smith and Shirley Smith, the Tomahawk families, Saul Sherman families, Rocky Littlewind and family, Alfred Longie, Tony and Vina McDonald, Larry and Darla Thiele, Edward Hernandez, Peter Hernandez, JR Hernandez, George “King” Hernandez, Carlos Hernandez, Mike Hernandez, Rueben Hernandez, Henry and Grace Hernandez, Marcella and Richard Peixoto, Trini and Albert Garcia, Katrina Hernandez, Richard Garcia, Michael Garcia, Michelle Lambert, Little Man Hernandez, Marylou Preciado, Marcos Preciado, Lupe Preciado, Lisa Hernandez, Robert Sanchez, Daniel Hernandez and family, Chris Nocera, Sandra Castillo, Eric and Theresa. There are too many more to name that carried close ties to Eli. We apologize if we forgot your name. There are numerous friends in the Boston/Revere /North Boston area (Little Italy’s Nocera Family). A huge Wopida to you all. Our hearts ache for you Eli, we love you so much, yet we know you are in the best place you chose to journey towards. You never forgot prayer, you never left prayer. You always looked to the Lord, you were invited to God’s house. We thank God for the time we had you. “Doksa Ake Tibdo”. We’ll see you again brother!