Timothy James “TJ” Smith
August 27, 1993 - May 14, 2022
Timothy James Smith, known as “TJ” by his family and friends, age 28, of Temecula, CA, passed away suddenly in a tragic motorcycle accident in Malibu, California on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Born in Newark, DE, on August 27, 1993, he was a son of the late Hugh Timothy Smith and the late Kimberly Anne Hoyle. TJ grew up in northern Wilmington. During his kindergarten year, he lived with Timothy and Jeanne Hoyle in Middletown. During his adolescence, TJ resided in Queens, New York. After his mother passed away in 2010, TJ, 15 years old at the time, moved to Kennett Square, PA where his aunt, Lisa Hoyle Zimmerman, assumed the role of legal guardian and loving mentor. He attended Kennett High School and discovered a passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Jiu Jitsu came naturally to TJ, as he quickly mastered it and earned his black belt before the end of his senior year. TJ also joined Kennett’s wrestling team, using his BJJ skillset to conquer another new sport before he graduated in 2012. Soon after, he joined the US Navy.
TJ was distinguished by his incredible strength and mental agility, possessing an amazing ability to overcome the impossible. He showed no fear in the face of adversity; never giving in, constantly driving forward. This made him an invaluable asset to the military. TJ served as a Corpsman for the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, the Naval Center’s Intensive Care Unit, and most recently the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, better known as the 3/5 Infantry Battalion at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, California. This is where TJ grew to love travel and serving others. TJ, or “Doc” to his platoon of marines, was a devoted Corpsman. He was recognized, by Marine officers and enlisted alike, for providing extraordinary care and maintaining the health, wellbeing, and morale of the marines of the unit. TJ was distinguished within his unit by his medical knowledge and compassion for his fellow sailors and marines, earning his nickname “Doc” and extending his influence beyond his chain of command.
TJ was notable for making every person he met family. He adored his German shepherd, Sasha. TJ was cherished amongst his friends and family for his fun-loving free spirit. He sought all of the pleasures that life had to offer, often times bringing his friends, and Sasha, along for the ride. TJ enjoyed live music, especially EDM concerts; traveling; hiking; swimming; riding; off-roading in his Jeep; and all the adventures he had in California. He could be found most days in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym passing on his knowledge and love of the sport.
In addition to his parents, TJ is preceded in death by his grandparents, Thomas and Audrey Hoyle. He is survived by his wife ThayNara Smith, his many aunts, uncles, and cousins, whom he considered his sisters and brothers.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 9 am until 11 am on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 275 East Main Street, Middletown, DE. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 am at St. Joseph Parish, 319 East Main Street, Middletown, DE. Interment will follow in Delaware Veterans Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.