Geoffrey Hager Smith, 64, of Saranac Lake, was received into the arms of Jesus on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, with his family by his side.
Geoff's strong faith sustained him from the time of his childhood illness to the end of his life. Geoff's lifelong faith was forged at the age of 10, when he cried out to the Lord for health. He spent the rest of his life as an athlete - climbing, skiing, and blazing trails through the wilderness.
He was born to the late William and Joanna Smith on March 26, 1949 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As the son of a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Geoff and his three brothers and sister lived all over the world, including Switzerland, Spain, Tucson, Ariz., Spokane, Wash. and Plattsburgh.
Geoff graduated from Peru High School in 1967 and received a B.A. in anthropology from U.C. Boulder in 1974. On an archeological dig in Saratoga, Geoff met the love of his life, Teresa J. Smith of Scotia. The two married on April 21, 1982.
The newlyweds traveled to Israel, where Geoff pursued a master's degree in Middle Eastern politics at Jerusalem University College. He studied Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Geoff and Teresa had three children - Timothy, Silas, and Joanna - who were his treasures.
Learning was Geoff's passion and teaching was his gift. Geoff worked as a teacher most his life, at Northwood School, NCCC and, most recently, leading troubled youth in the wilderness for the State of New York.
Geoff, known affectionately as "The Legend," was a pioneer in Adirondack rock climbing and skiing. His creative approach to outdoor sports inspired many in the local climbing and back-country skiing communities. Geoff was one of the founding members of the "Ski-to-Die Club," and a premier developer of his favorite local cliff, Poke-O-Moonshine.
Geoff was a leader, a father-figure, and a cherished and beloved friend to many. He was an iconoclast who will be remembered for his laugh, quick wit, zeal for God, and passion for life.
He is survived by his wife, Teresa; sons: Timothy and Silas; daughter Joanna; sister Susan; and brothers: Roderick, Gregory and Anthony Smith.
His memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Lake Placid Baptist Church in Lake Placid. Yellow was Geoff's favorite color. Please feel free to wear yellow in his honor.