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1996 Petty Officer Joshua Phillip Gawexskey Smith 2024

Joshua Phillip Gawexskey Smith

October 1, 1996 — March 20, 2024

US Navy, 27

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On March 20, 2024, Petty Officer Joshua Phillip Gawexskey Smith of the US Navy, 27, passed suddenly on Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton CT.

He was born on October 1, 1996, at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC.

Joshua spent most of his time playing computer games with friends, binge-watching TV series like The Boys and Supernatural, and spending time with loved ones. He was kind and soft-spoken, quietly caring for all those around him. Which served him well having to grow up with three older sisters. If you were lucky enough to befriend or be family to him, you were blessed with a quiet love and willing helper to the end. He had a quick wit and a penchant for sarcasm that came with it (though he didn’t have much of a choice with the family he was born into).  He loved chicken alfredo with penne pasta, almost always ordering it at restaurants if it was on the menu. He was known to scarf down some Hot Pockets, Pizza Rolls, taquitos, and Totino’s frozen pizzas as well. His favorite color was brown from a young age “because brown is the color of chocolate and chocolate is delicious.” He was a thinker and technologist. He was precocious. He was brilliant. A favorite quote of his from his father is, “There’s a word for that, dad,” followed by the word that was on the tip of dad’s tongue.

He attended preschool in North Carolina and at the age of five, moved to Oklahoma with his family when his father retired from the Marines. He attended Bixby Public Schools from Kindergarten through his graduation in 2015. After high school, he briefly attended Tulsa Community College, earning his place on the Dean’s Honor Roll before deciding to pursue other things.

In early 2023, he walked into the living room and said, “Hey, Dad, I want to join the Navy.” He started bootcamp on February 24, 2023, graduating with his Division earning all five competition flags, and achieving Battle “E” status. He earned the title of Petty Officer and was just beginning his C School training on his way to becoming a Submarine Information Systems Technician when he passed. He was due to graduate and report to his assigned submarine, the USS Montana SSN 794, in the Summer of 2024.

He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Dolly Wantella (Miller) Smith and Gawexskey Jimmie Smith, maternal grandfather Franklin Steven Chalmers, and cousin Kiah Fayeecha Smith. He is survived by his father, Jimmy Boyd Smith, mother, Sophie Elizabeth (Chalmers) Smith, sisters, Sarah Sophie Elizabeth (Smith) Fishback, Torrence Ashley Chalmers (Smith) Freeman, and Samantha Leigh Tyler (Smith) Skinner, maternal grandmother, Sophie Anne (Upshaw) Chalmers, brothers-in-law, Wayne Fishback, Ryan Freeman, and Cody Skinner, nieces, Sofia Fishback, Riley Freeman, Olivia Freeman, and Matilda Fishback, one nephew, Conrad Fishback, and his beloved dog Gordon, as well as tons of family and friends who love him and will miss him greatly.

Please use this space as a place to share memories and photos of Josh as we all grieve his loss together. Rest in Peace, Josh. We miss you to the moon and back. Fair Winds & Following Seas!

Graveside Services will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at  Redbird Smith Cemetery in Vian, Oklahoma under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Service, Inc.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Josh’s honor to the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society.
https://www.nmcrs.org/get-involved/donate
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joshua Phillip Gawexskey Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Redbird Smith Cemetery

East 996 Road, Vian, OK 74962

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