Talia Joy Smith: 1990-2010

Talia Joy Smith_0001Talia Joy Smith,  age 20, of  La Otto, Indiana, passed away Wednesday August 18, 2010 as the result of a car-bicycle accident on Old S.R. 3 North of C.R. 400 S.

Talia was born April 30, 1990 in Fort Wayne to Brad and Mary (Speakman) Smith. Talia graduated from East Noble High School in 2008, an Honor Graduate (top 10 in her class). She desired to pursue vocal performance and acting professionally, aiming toward Broadway. She was attending New York University, (currently a Junior, earning a 3.87 GPA) on academic scholarship to pursue her dream by majoring in Music Theater and Vocal Performance at the Steinhardt School of Culture and Education. She had just signed on to a new job as the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Musical Theater Program Director at NYU. Talia enjoyed singing, reading, dancing, shopping, being with her friends, and spending time with family. She attended church at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. She was a record breaking swimmer, beginning at age 6 with YMCA through freshman year in high school. Multiple show choir competitions, grand champion soloist; highlighted by wins at De Kalb, Belmont, Marion and Carroll. Talia was an Honor Thespian, landing many significant roles in EN productions. In June 2010 she performed professionally for the first time in concert at NYU for the 25th celebration of the faculty resource network.

She is survived by her parents, Mary and Brad Smith of La Otto, grandmother Darlene Smith of Churubusco,  aunt & uncle Nila and Ken Harman of Indianapolis, cousins Jacob and Jonathan, aunt & uncle Cynthia & Marty Boros of Houston, Tx. cousins Michael (Courtney), Melissa (Andy), & Catherine. Grandparents Greta & Bill Speakman of Garrett, aunt & uncle Bill & Dinah Speakman of Kendallville, cousins James (Emiy), April & Misty, aunt & uncle Deborah (Speakman) & Rob Aikins of Garrett, cousins Clifford (Grim), Cari (Grim), Dekota, aunt & uncle Kathy and Gary Carr of Kendallville; cousins Christina and Casandra, uncle Dan Speakman of Churubusco, cousins Amy (Bottoma), Amber (Bottoma), Daniel, Lisa-Jo; and a Special young man in her life, Christopher McMahon and his parents Patricia Repola and Jim McMahon. She was preceded in death by her Paternal grandfather Max Smith and Maternal aunt Barbara Speakman.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday August 24, 2010 in the First Christian Church located at 110 W. Waits Road in Kendallville, In. with Pastor Larry Smith and Dr. Thomas R. Clothier officiating. The family will receive friends on Monday from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. in the Sheets and Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco. There will also be one hour of calling in the church prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Eel River Cemetery South of Churubusco

For those who wish, memorials may be directed to the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, First Christian Church, or to the family to set up a future scholarship find. (Please make payable to the parents).

the family would like to give special thank you’s to EN performing arts groups lead by Chris Mettert and Craig Munk for their inspiration and leadership.


You are invited to leave a condolence for the family, and may do so by clicking on “Condolence” below.

46 Responses to “Talia Joy Smith: 1990-2010”

  1. Mark and Kathy Wehrle Says:

    Your family is in our thoughts. We will all forever miss Talia Joy.

  2. Vickie Irwin Says:

    Though you may not remember me, as a parent, as an EN teacher, and as a past president of EN Show Choir, I extend to you my love and heartfelt prayers at this time of earthly loss. My heart breaks for you, and I cry real tears. I also can truly hear Talia’s voice singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the many other memorable songs she shared with us. The God that I know who loves us so will hold you through this. Love and Prayers. Vickie Irwin

  3. Carrie Raver Says:

    I do not know you but I just read about your daughter’s passing. My family and I are so sorry. I cannot imagine how you must feel. I wanted to tell you that you must be wonderful parents as Talia had an extraordinary life. It was wonderful to read about her strong academic performance and interests. How great that Talia experienced NYU and NYC–such an excellent school and wonderful city. Not too many young people are as accomplished as Talia. God bless you and your family.

  4. The Davis Family Says:

    We are new acquaintances of Greg Smith and his wife Kathy. We heard about the accident through a mutual acquaintance in the local bicycle club in Lafayette, In. Greg then shared the link to this obituary.

    Please let us offer our condolences on the loss of Talia. While we can offer no words here that can replace the joy that was Talia (the obituary above describes a wonderful person with so much potential, which Talia was obviously working hard to realize), we hope you find comfort and happiness from the memories of the time you were able to share with her. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Lisa Kemerly Says:

    Oh dear Talia I am so sorry and wished I could have done more…you have brought so much love and happiness to so many people during your short time here on earth…I remember meeting your parents for the first time at Lamaze while they were anticipating your birth. You filled their lives with so much love then later me getting the thrill out of hearing your squeals of excitement as you rummaged through the pb gift sack to pick out your “favorite” item…I make you this promise to always be there for your parents as they journey throught this life with only your memories as I am certain you filled them with soooo many…….please rest in peace baby girl and know you will be forever be in my thoughts and prayers…I love you and your Mom and Dad..Goodbye my sweet Talia

  6. Monica Grobis Says:

    i am so sorry for your loss. Talia was an ispiration to many

  7. Gary & Kathy Sturm Says:

    We send our deepest sympathies to Brad and Mary Smith, the parents of Talia. We will miss Talia.

  8. Joanie Hardy Says:

    Hi Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I hadn’t been in touch with Talia in a few years since I graduated before her but when I was in high school and show choir with her she always seemed so happy and full of life. I am so sorry that her life was cut so short. She was an amazing person and I know she will be looking down from heaven upon all of us.

  9. Dan and Jean Replogle Says:

    We are deeply sorry for your loss of Talia, your precious daughter. She had so much talent, so much love, and she lived life to the fullest. We enjoyed her in EN plays. She was a good friend to our friend, Katie Gordon. Katie attends our church.

    Our brother, Chuck Replogle and his wife, Vicki, lost their youngest son this past April. He was Brandon Replogle. He was on his way to school and was killed on the Kimmell bridge.

    When I heard of your loss, I relived the moments I walked up that bridge to comfort, in some small way, my brothers and sisters. I will always miss him. I am sure you will always miss Talia.

    With time, the pain becomes more managable. You are in our prayers. We know some of your pain.

    Dan and Jean Replogle

  10. Laura Bruce Spadoni Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    Jeana and I are deeply saddened to hear of Talia’s
    death. We were honored to give her Patrick’s scholarship as we new she was something special. Please know that special thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time, may you find peace and comfort from all who loved her.
    Hugs to you both from Texas,
    Laura Spadoni

  11. Stan and Delia Searles Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    We are sorry to hear of your loss. Talia was such a talented and energetic girl. Noelle always had wonderful stories of their rides home from play practice and the shows. Talia’s growl when she was frustrated or mad always cracked Noelle up. We will miss her and the talent she shared with the community.Our prayers are with you at this tragic time. Stan and Delia Searles

  12. William & Julie Yates and Haley Campos Says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We saw Talia in several of the East Noble plays and we enjoyed her acting and her beautiful voice very much. Talia was a very talented young woman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you while you go through this hard time. You have our deepest sympathy.

  13. Carla, John, Nathan & Caity Mueller Says:

    Mary and Brad:
    We were shocked and saddened to hear of Talia’s death. Nathan is just numb, he syas he can’t believe that the best dance partner he ever had in show choir is gone. She was perfect for initiating him to show choir with her talent, spunk and smile. Since we won’t be able to see Talia on Broadway, we’ll have to look forward to hearing her in the heavenly choir someday. Our hearts, hugs and prayers go out to you.

  14. Paulette Nellems Says:

    To the parents, family and extended family of Talia Smith. Although I did not know Talia personally,her life story caused me to pause and think about my own life. I was quickly drawn to the poem “The Dash” Talia was a wonderful daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin,friend, student, performer, singer and above all a Believer. Talia fulfilled her “Dash” and from all that I have read she was surrounded by wonderful parents and family that supported her “Dreams.” I pray that God will comfort your hearts.
    Paulette Nellems

  15. Stan Follis Says:

    Talia was a cousin I never met, it sounds like you lived life to the fullest. My condolences to your parents Brad and Mary and the rest of your family. Our cousin Pastor Larry Smith did a fine job officiating our cousin Paul Zeigler’s funeral recently and I’m sure will do equally well remembering you!

  16. Mike & Kerrie McNall Says:

    Our deepest sympathies on the loss of your daughter, Talia. Our thoughts & prayers are with you & the family at this difficult time.

  17. R. Mengel Says:

    You don’t know me, I am Barb Speakmans cousin. I offer to you my heartfelt sympathy. Please know that someone will be praying for your family. I am so very sorry.

  18. David and Julie Hambrock Says:

    We are so sorry for your Loss ,Talia had a wonderful voice ,you are in our Prayers.I heard Talia sing many times .now Talia is singing for the lord.

  19. Linda Mills Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    It has been many years since I had that bright eyed girl in my fourth grade class at LaOtto, but I still have lots of wonderful memories. It was a joy to see how much she packed into living her talented life. I know that our God was waiting to welcome her with loving arms. I will be praying for you and hoping that eventually God’s peace will warm you.
    Linda Mills

  20. Shelby Carmichael Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    I was a student with Tali and she was a wonderful person inside and out. May she continue to shine in heaven and may thoughts and prayers go out to you in this hard time.
    Stay strong!

  21. George and Julie Cadarette Says:

    We are so sorry for your loss, that words are hard to find. The heavens I guess had wanted her, maybe to teach the angels above, on how great she sang. I didn’t have a chance to hear her, but I hear from other people that she sounded great. Now she’s up there with her Grandpa Max and her Aunt and Uncle, Now she can sing to them.And she will be well taken care of, She’s got people now up there taking care of her. And she will be there waiting for you when it’s your time. Then you will all be together again.

  22. Sue and Chick Harker Says:

    Darlene, Brad, and family, We are not a fan of this kind of condolence message but I do not have a current address for any of you and also know that we will not make it to the funeral home or service. Like so many others, we were shocked to read about Talia’s tragic death. We are so sorry for your lose and you certainly have our greatest sympathy. Our fervent prayer for all of you is one of peace, acceptance and healing. It will take time but Jesus walks with you each step of each day and his powers will heal. God bless each of you. Sue and Chick

  23. Debra Grobaski Says:

    I am deeply saddened for you and your family. Although I never met Talia, she sounds like an amazing young lady with so much talent. Brad, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. My deepest sympathy, Debra Grobaski

  24. Daryl & Mary Mitchell Says:

    Our hearts were deeply saddened when hearing of Talias passing. Being your neighbor we always knew when Talia was home because our horse (Max) would stay in the back paddock closest to you. We had seen Talia waving at him when we had to go get him at feed time. Our horse definately had a fondness for her. Sorry for your loss and you have our deepest sympathy.

  25. Kendal Rupert Says:

    Brad and Mary,
    I was so sorry to hear about your loss when my mom called me. I can not even start to imagine what the two of you are experiencing. It is a sad loss for everyone when someone is lost at such a young age. She will be missed by many. My mom and I are keeping you in our thoughts.

  26. Debbie Matson Says:

    Take confort in knowing that now you have a very special Guardian Angel to watch over you.

  27. Kurt & Catherine Gorrell Says:

    Our deepest sympathies to you and your family with the loss of your daughter, Talia. Our prayers are with you & your family.

  28. Steve & Jeannine Bricker Says:

    Brad, Mary, Darlene, and family
    Words cannot express the deep sympathy we feel for you. Our hearts are deeply saddened that you must endure this kind of pain and loss.
    Have faith that the wound will heal and allow your wonderful memories of Talia to be the bandage. The world lost a special talent, but heaven gained a special angel. Praise be to Jesus that we have the hope and promise to see her again one day. Our prayers, thoughts and love surround you today and in the days ahead.

  29. Lisa Hardiek Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    We have not met, but I am your neighbor in the yellow house across from the big red barn. Your daughter, Talia Joy, sounds like a wonderful and amazingly talented young lady. Although I didn’t know your family, I can see that she was an inspiration to so many because she used her God-given talents to the fullest, but mostly because she seems to have blessed and been a joy to so many people. My heart is broken for you for your loss. May the God of hope sustain you during this time. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Lisa Hardiek & Family

  30. Lyndsi Fischer Says:

    Brad and Mary,
    You both are in my prayes, I am so sorry to hear about Talia’s passing. You both were such great parents that were very involved in Talia’s life. I feel honored to have swam with her in swiming and seeing her perform at East Noble. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayes.

  31. Rhonda Dixon Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    We do not know each other…but my daughter Megh is also a student in the Steinhardt program at NYU, and knew Talia. We were all very saddened on the news of this terrible tragedy. As a mother, I could only cry for you. I do pray that your faith and the memories of your beautiful daughter will bring you peace and comfort, now and always.

  32. Terry & Marcia Says:

    Dear Brad & Mary Hellen,

    We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and attention for Talia at the funeral home this afternoon. It is rare that one so young can come to mean so much to so many. We consider ourselves lucky to have known her, been related to her, and seen her in action as a superb singer and actress.
    Our love and appreciation goes out to you for having shared her with the world. We lift you up for God’s merciful compassion and love to rain down on you and give you peace.

    With heartfelt sympathy,
    Terry & Marcia

  33. Carol Ernsberger Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    My daughter Elizabeth was in show choir with Talia. Talia was just a couple of years behind her. I remember what a wonderful talent and lovely girl she was and what caring and involved parents you were. My heart is breaking for you and I give you my deepest sympathy and most heartfelt prayers.

  34. Greg and Kathy Smith Says:

    Dear Brad and Mary,
    Words can not begin to express how shocked and saddened we were to hear about Talia’s biking accident. We are so sorry that her zest for life was cut short. As time heals broken hearts, we pray that the joy Talia shared with others will be remembered in memories of her endearing smile, endless energy, and amazing talents.

    The world of biking is filled with numerous rides and events. There is one annual world-wide event on the third Wednesday in May to honor those killed while biking. It is the Ride of Silence. To honor Talia, we will participate annually in this event.

    Our deepest sympathies to you both,
    Greg and Kathy Smith
    Monticello, Indiana

  35. Nancy Taylor Says:


    It has been a long time since I have seen you, but we met many, many years ago at the Y. I can’t imagine what you and your husband must be going through and words just don’t seem to be enough, but I wanted you and Brad to know you are in our prayers. As followers of the EN Theater, we, too, enjoyed the gift she shared with the audience. Please know you are, and will continue to be, in the thoughts and prayers of many. May God provide you with his comfort, peace, and strength. Joe & Nancy Taylor, Kendallville

  36. Kalyn Fischer Says:

    I remember the first time meeting you and talia on the swim team, we spent many of our young years swimming and playing dress up. Im very glad I got to be able to know talia and both brad and mary. I am very sorry about talias passing, and I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

  37. Maria Sbrocchi Says:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
    I know Talia from NYU, Steinhardt. We regularly attended studio class on Friday afternoons. Talia was always prepared to sing, and I was happy to be there when she did. She was such a sweet girl with a sweet smile. During the end of the school year, she knocked the socks off of everyone with her scene from Guys and Dolls. She will forever be my favorite Adelaide!

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    May God give you strength and comfort,


  38. Charles Jones & Judy Gillilan Says:

    Many thoughts and prayers to pull you through this time of extreme grieve. Our hearts ache for you. May your faith comfort you in the days ahead. Cindy and Marty have been kind enough to share their families with us through several events. What a wonderful, strong and large group of people. We know that a strong family is so precious; may you find comfort through them as well. God Bless,
    Charles and Judy

  39. Frank Schiro Says:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,

    I just wanted to leave a brief note to let you know that all of us here in
    New York who knew Talia are grieving for your loss. I am one of her professors at NYU, and Talia was a firecracker to be sure. Dedicated, funny,
    talented, beautiful all in one package is rare. I know that words are small
    comfort for such a tragedy, but please know that her new friends up north
    will not forget her. My deepest sympathy. Frank Schiro

  40. Betty Maey Says:

    I heard about your loss,through my sister Ruth Gibson,i just like to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of your familey,i know that there isn’t any words that i can say to ease your pain only God and time can take care of that for you,my heart hurts for you both

  41. Dianna Heldman Says:

    Dear Mr and Mrs Smith,

    Our program was so much richer for having had Talia among us. She was a rare and beautiful young woman whose memory will serve as an example of excellence in so many ways. We will hold her in our thoughts for a very long time and send you our prayers and thanks for sharing her with us.

    Dianna Heldman
    Associate Director, NYU Program in Vocal Performance

  42. Michael Ricciardone Says:

    Dear Mr and Mrs Smith,

    Please accept my sincere condolences. After having read all of the other entries on this page I find it very difficult to add or say anything original. As a teacher who only recently came to know Talia, I was struck by her talent, her wit and sense of fun and her beauty. We at NYU are richer for having even known her however briefly. I loved doing the concert with her in June. From the moment I saw her work in a class she was very much on my radar. We are so fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with her.
    Although she is no longer with us , she is in the company of more talented spirits.

    Michael Ricciardone
    Associate Coordinator of Vocal Studies

  43. Jeannie Shears Says:

    I am praying for comfort for Talia’s friends and family. She obviously lived life to it’s very fullest and was loved very deeply by many. May you smile every time you think of her and know that one day, you will be in her presence in Heaven above.

  44. Edward and Lise Ramsey Says:

    My wife and I only just heard the of horrific bike and car accident that took Talia’s life from Mary and yourself. Although we have grown distant in life as friends, the loss of Talia seems like mine as well. God will take care of her and has a plan for her. She was very talented and God will use that talent to better the world and the life around Mary’s and yours.

    God bless to each of you. You will be in our prayers for strength to move on in life in the coming weeks and months.

  45. Jennifer Wilson Says:

    hey Smith Family and Talia, i didnt know you guys very well but love you guys to death. Talia you will be remembered, loved and missed always. Keep watching down on all of us and your parents. You have the most wonderful mother i have ever met. i guess thats y u came out the way you did. Well God bless all of you, and also God blessed us all for allowing so many of us to meet you. YOUR A WONDERFUL AND AMAZING PERSON TALIA we love you

  46. chris Says:

    To your family. I just lost my 35 year old daughter from an accident just last week. I know how you feel and I prayer for our good Lord to comfort you. You are not alone. Be courageous and remember, when you are weak he is strong. God bless you.

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