Ted R. Smith, of Eagle River, died March 4, 2013 in a small airplane crash in Rainy Pass. He was 59. Mr. Smith was born April 19, 1953 in Providence, R.I., the oldest son of Ted and Ann Smith. He received his B.S. in criminal justice from Northeastern University. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S Army, serving as an infantryman and then as an Army aviator from 1975 to 1982. He joined the Anchorage Police Department in 1982 and served for 29 years as sergeant, rangemaster/armorer, academy instructor and S.W.A.T. trainer. After retirement from APD, he worked part time for the Palmer Police Department and flew helicopters for Group 3 Aviation until the time of his death. “Ted simply loved life,” wrote his family. “He loved anything you could fly, drive or shoot. And anything he loved, he became certified to teach or fix — pilot, flight instructor, scuba diver, gunsmith, mechanic, emergency medical instructor, biker, and firearms instructor. If there was a gadget, he had to have it — particularly if it related to safety. He taught locally and nationally, donating much of his time to passing on his knowledge to others, particularly mentoring youth. He was a longtime member of Joy Lutheran Church. “Ted loved life, but the love of his life was his wife, Barb. Soul mates at first sight and married 37 years, she was his anchor and his center. He cherished the children of this union, Amy and David, and was their fierce protector and advocate. “He was a great storyteller, a generous giver, a faithful friend, a dedicated son, husband, father and brother. His life is so difficult to sum up yet his brother Stephen may have come the closest: ‘He’s the best man I ever knew.’” He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law Stephen and Cathy; nieces Melissa Lampert (Derek), Rebekah Smith and Cecelia Woodsmith; and nephew, Cameron Woods. He also leaves behind long and deep friendships in the community and in so many of the organizations where he belonged. A memorial service was held Saturday, March 9 at Central Lutheran Church in Anchorage with Pastors Martin Eldred and Susan Halvor and Chaplain Brad Brisson officiating. Interment will be at Ft. Richardson National Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Dare to Care at www.nochildgoeshungry.org or P.O. Box 671643, Chugiak, AK 99567.