Riding for Chief

Many of you following the blog of Chris and my bike trip across America have either met or knew of my Father-in-law, Warren Smith.  Also know affectionately by his family and close friends as Chief.  On Saturday, July 7th, Chief passed away peacefully after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease and most recently from complications arising from a broken hip.  My wife, Cindy, her sister Stephanie, my Mother-in law, Sue Lynn and all of his other family and friends will miss Chief’s quick wit, dry sense of humor and his love of sports and the outdoors.  As I was riding my bike today, I thought of Chief a lot and knew it was the kind of day he would have loved.  Beautiful mountains, heart pumping exercise and actually seeing a pair of Buffalo walking down the middle of the highway would have been right up his alley.  I know the progression of his illness was very frustrating for him because it limited his ability to participate in and enjoy the things he loved most in life.  When I took this picture this morning, It made me think that the heavens were opening up to welcome Chief home.  While it’s a sad time for our family and we are grieving his loss, we also know that his body was simply no longer able to go on and his spirit is in a better place.  He leaves a great legacy of family and friends and he will be missed.  Chief, this ride is for you!!

Chief, this ride is for you!!

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Categories: Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Riding for Chief

  1. Kim Peterson

    Matt – We are so sorry to hear about your father-in-law and your wife’s family loss. I am sure very sentimental day for you and a very nice tribute that you paid him. Let us know if we can do anything. Be safe and let us know how we can help. Kim

  2. Sherry Langley

    What a beautiful picture that you took to honor your father in law..I had an Uncle just pass away a year ago from the same thing. So I know exactly what you have all gone through. I wish to send prayers to you all.. I hope that the journey that you are on brings you safety and much joy.. I also see that you will be going though here in Hot Springs, South Dakota next week.. I will be on the look out for you both.. Sherry..

  3. Melissa

    Matt, so sorry to hear about your father in law. The picture you dedicated to him is beautiful and looks like it would have totally reflected his life here on Earth. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. xxoo Melissa, Kim and Zach

  4. Lisa Blackwell

    Matt, Our thoughts are with you and Cindy. The picture you took was magnificent and a lovely tribute to him. Ride safe! See you in Indiana.

  5. Marilyn

    You brought a tear to my eye this morning Matt. What a wonderful tribute to Chief and a magnificent photo. Marilyn

  6. Gary Nemetz

    Matt – Christi and I send our best to you and your family. This trip for you and Chris is turning into far more than just a bike ride across the country. Take care, Gary

  7. Matt- Thinking abut you, Cindy and the rest of the family, Talk about experiencing the “highs” and “lows” that life brings our way. Nice ride for Chief. He just may be along for the ride with you after all.

  8. Jeff and Jo

    Oh Matt, we are so sorry about your father-in-law. Know that we are thinking of you and sending big hugs your way.

  9. Thank you to all of you for your kind thoughts, prayers and wishes. Losing a family member is never easy, no matter what the circumstances, but having the support of such a caring and wonderful group of people makes all the difference. Many Thanks,

    Matt and Family

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