A Texas farewell for 20-year-old Daniel Smith

While the strange circus of events surrounding Anna Nicole Smith and her warring baby daddies, Bahamian citizenship, sudden dubious marriage and blackouts continue, the sudden death of her son Daniel Smith has brought together a group of the young man’s family and friends gathered in his Texas hometown this weekend for a memorial service.

Missing from the Texas service were both Daniel’s body and Anna Nicole Smith, both still in the Bahamas.  Despite the return of Daniel’s remains to his homestate, 50 mourners, including Daniel’s father, Billy Smith, came together Saturday for an hourlong service at the First Baptist Church in the town of Mexia, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

The Tribune-Herald reports that cousins and friends of the 20-year-old “Danny” remembered him as a boy who enjoyed catching frogs and playing with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys and, upon moving with his mother to Los Angeles, a boy who seemed like the perfect son.

“Daniel was sweet, sensitive, respectful,” Jackie Hatten, a woman who claimed to be one of Anna Nicole’s best friends, said of Daniel during the service, according to the Tribune-Herald. “He never cursed, never wanted to drink, never wanted to do drugs. He never even smoked a cigarette.

“He was just a joy kid. It’s amazing, they say the good die young…It’s so sad.”

In keeping with a young Daniel’s tastes, full-size cutouts of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lined the front of the church and a relative opened the service by singing a song she wrote for Daniel upon learning of his death.

The Tribune-Herald reports that great-grandfather Gus Moser delivered his great-grandson’s eulogy, admitting that he never really got the chance to get to know the boy, but nonetheless spoke about salvation and their one day reunion.

Billy Smith did not speak at the service. The Herald-Tribune described him as being surrounded by family and “grief-stricken.”

After the service, he spoke to reporters outside his home, saying he hadn’t seen his son since the boy was two years old and that he learned about Daniel’s death “when my brother read it on the computer.”

“He was a good baby, well-loved,” Billy Smith said, adding that he bore “no hard feelings” against his ex-wife.

E! Online reports “Billy Smith married Anna Nicole in 1985, when he was just 16 and she was 17. Daniel was born a year later, in 1986, and the duo divorced the following year.”

On Sept. 10th, Daniel was found dead in his mother’s hotel room in Nassau.  Dr. Cyril Wecht, a private pathologist hired by Anna Nicole to determine the cause of her son’s death, announced late last month that the boy died of a lethal combination of methadone and the antidepressants Zoloft and Lexapro.

E! reports that Smith initially was to have Daniel’s body sent to California for a funeral, now plans are put on hold and her reps have suggested that the boy may instead be interred in the Bahamas. Anna Nicole is now a resident there.


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