Photo of Shem Warriner McClure Smith
LOGAN — Family members and the community of Thomas Edison Charter School are mourning the sudden death of Principal Shem Smith. The 44-year-old Wellsville man passed away Sunday, two days after he attempted to take his life.
An obituary for Smith said the principal “made the decision to end his life,” early on the morning of June 17. His family had kept him on life support to preserve his organs, which were successfully used to save countless lives before he passed away June 19.
A statement from the school said, “While we may never know why Mr. Smith ended his life, we do know that suicide has many causes. In many cases, a mental health condition is part of it, but these conditions are treatable. It’s really important if you’re upset or struggling to reach out for help.”
Smith loved playing basketball, listening to 80’s music, going camping, and spending time with family, the obituary described. He was a hard worker and did everything he could to provide for his wife and five children.
Smith had been with Thomas Edison since 2010. He was a graduate of Utah State University, majoring in history and later receiving master’s degrees in education and psychology.
Smith had been the principal of the north campus. He was known for the love he had for his students and reportedly knew each one by name.
Smith wrote about his love for Thomas Edison on the school’s website. It read in part, “I am very happy to work in an environment where all of the faculty and administration are on the same page. Everyone works together to promote healthy academic habits, high individual self-esteem, and responsible social behavior in every student. It is hard to have a bad day in an environment where everyone is cheerful, helpful, and concerned.”
Family members said Smith will be sorely missed by all those who were lucky enough to know him. He was always quick with a smile and witty comment, striving to help others whenever he could.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
A viewing for Smith will be held at Nelson Funeral Home, 162 E 400 N, Logan, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday June 23. Another viewing will be held Friday June 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Wellsville Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 30 South Center Street, Wellsville. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m.
If you or someone you know feels hopeless or in crisis, resources are available.
The Family Place: 435-752-8880
National Suicide Prevention 24-hour lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Utah students can talk or text with a counselor through the SafeUT app.