Friends and family say goodbye to Jack Smith - Tucson News Now

Friends and family say goodbye to Jack Smith

PAYSON, AZ (CBS5) -

On Tuesday, loved ones of Jack Smith, who wanted to adopt Baby Gabriel with his wife, said goodbye after he died suddenly last week.

"I couldn't believe it," said musician Tom Wagner. He said he still thinks his friend is going to call him up and talk about their band.

"You get to know someone so well and they're gone well before their time, and you can only take with you the things they taught you," Wagner said.

While Jack Smith leaves behind an impressive legacy as a steel guitarist, many in the Valley recognize him because of the controversy surrounding Baby Gabriel. He and his wife, Tammi Smith, were going to adopt the toddler. Tammi Smith served time for forgery and conspiracy to commit custodial interference because of her involvement.

Then just last week, Jack Smith flipped his SUV on a highway in Payson. He was released from the hospital but died the next morning after a seizure. Because of his age, the fact that he died right before Elizabeth Johnson got out of jail, and statements Tammi Smith made to paramedics, police are now investigating his death as suspicious.

At his funeral Tuesday evening, Jack Smith's brother-in-law spoke to us on Tammi Smith's behalf.

"A lot of things are going through her mind, what am I going to do, what about the girls, a lot of things that's happening here and this is what concerns all of us," Ernest Spears said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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