RANDOLPH, N.Y. - Aaron James Smith, 41, of Highland Drive, Warren, Pa., after a courageous battle with cancer, passed away peacefully Friday morning (Nov. 18, 2016) at the home of his parents James and Marilyn Smith in Bradford, Pa.
He was born June 6, 1975 in Olean, the son of James Laverne and Marilyn Ruth Waite Smith of West Corydon Street, Bradford.
Aaron was a 1993 graduate of Bradford Area High School and received his bachelor's degree in music education from Slippery Rock University and went on to attend graduate school at Youngstown State University in Ohio.
Due to his illness, Aaron was currently on leave from the Warren County School District as a music teacher, having taught at Warren High, Beatty Elementary, and WAEC. He had also served as band director at Sheffield High School. He enjoyed time with his students and fellow teachers, and loved to see the little ones pick up and play an instrument for the first time. He was a drummer (or as he would say, a "percussionist) by art form and enjoyed his time in marching band at all levels and performing "gigs" locally.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania Teachers Association, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the Bradford Chess Club, and former webmaster for a MORTAL KOMBAT website.
In addition to his passion for music and gaming, Aaron loved hiking in the Allegheny National Forest, viewing and photographing elk in Benezette, Pa., taking nature and wildlife photography, and traveling.
He is survived by his parents and caregivers throughout his illness; Jim and Marilyn Smith of Bradford, Pa.; paternal grandmother, Janice E. Shields of the Bradford Manor (formerly of Randolph); paternal grandfather, Ernest E. Smith in Oregon; uncle, Philip "Bart" Shields of Logan, Ohio; and two brother-like cousins, Trevor J. Barton of Salamanca and Zachary J. Shields of Jamestown.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Shanna Ruth Smith in 1978; maternal grandparents, Erland L. and Ruth A. Atkins Waite; an aunt, Marcia L. Smith; and stepgrandfather, Stanley E. Shields.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Grace Episcopal Church in Randolph, where family and friends will be received one hour prior, 10 a.m. The Rev. Thomas Broad, rector of Grace Episcopal Church will officiate. Inurnment will follow in the Randolph Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to the Van Rensselaer & Son Funeral Home, 14 Church Street, Randolph.
To send an e-condolence log onto: www.vanrensselaerandsonfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be sent in lieu of flowers to;
(www.lls.org/lymphoma); Keystone Elk Country Alliance (www.experienceelkcountry.com); or to your local school's band or music program.
Van Rensselaer & Son Funeral Home
14 Church St
Randolph, NY 14772
Published in The Bradford Era from Nov. 21 to Nov. 29, 2016