Friends share memories of parole officer killed in motorcycle crash

Posted at 9:53 PM, Sep 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-18 23:53:13-04

RIVERTON, Utah -- The tragic accident has many in shock over a life taken too soon; FOX13 News is learning more about Marvell Smith: parole officer, devoted father, and award-winning photographer.

Smith was killed after the motorcycle he was driving collided with a truck early Wednesday morning.

Smith worked in corrections for more than 16 years and most recently served as a Drug Offender Reform Act Agent. On the Utah Department of Corrections’ Facebook page, a post reads, “He touched many lives – both the staff with whom he served and the offenders whose lives he helped change.”

Friend and co-worker Brock Findlay said: “It didn’t matter how you knew him. If you knew him, you loved him as a person. He was just a great guy that, you know, slow to judge quick to love.”

Although he was an excellent officer, we’re told his true passion was his photography. Smith was named 2012’s Salt Lake County Photographer of the Year.

His photography website is a look into what made him tick, and he wrote, “I have been known to end up on the dance floor at the end of a wedding night” and “I still watch cartoons. In fact, a lot of my inspiration comes from them.”

Some of  his favorites also highlighted on his website include the smell of rain, the Miami Dolphins, and laughing until his face hurts.

Lindsy Halladay said, “He was always just a jokester, loved to debate people, liked to get a rise, always took the opposite side of someone and was very intelligent, so he could do that very well.”

Friends said Smith’s greatest pride and joy were his two sons. The realization that Smith is gone is still sinking in and difficult to believe, friends said.

“Just devastated, saddened for the loss not only of a good officer but of a good friend,” Halladay said. “He can’t be replaced.”

FOX13 spoke briefly with Smith’s girlfriend Wednesday. She said most of Smith’s family is flying in from out of state. No word yet on any formal memorial or vigils.