June 3, 2007 - Posted at 10:09 p.m. CDT
TRUMANN-For three hours Sunday afternoon, hundreds poured into the Trumann High School Auditorium to remember a life lost, but not to forget a life lived.
A sole picture atop a flag covered casket, tells the story of a life ended all to abruptly.
"He was always laid back and had a good time. He was just real fun to be around," said Kyle Barker.
"He's probably the funniest guy I've ever met. He's a dynamic human being. Every time he walked into a room he had that command presence that everybody would turn their attention towards him. Anytime you would have a day that you were down and out he would always bring a smile to your face," said brother-in-law Jon Redmond.
Sgt. Erich Smallwood would carry that smile all the way to Iraq, where he continued to bring joy to so many.
"Everybody loved Sgt. Erich Smallwood. He had a charming personality, a great sense of humor. He was always able to make his fellow soldiers laugh and enjoy themselves when they were off-duty. And when he was on-duty, there was nobody any better than him," said Maj. Gen. Bill Wofford of the Arkansas National Guard.
Sgt. Smallwood is remembered as an exemplary officer.
"He took his job seriously. Even though he may have not taken life in general serious, he took his job serious," said Wofford.
For family members, the constant stories of friends are helping to slowly ease the pain.
"His friends are coming by. Friends we haven't seen and he hadn't seen in years. They've all got stories about Erich. They are saying some amazing things about him that we already knew how much of an amazing person he was, but hearing them helps us out also," said Redmond.
And as Sunday's memorial came to a close, it's the memories of Erich Smallwood that will carry on into the future.
"He cared more for other people than he did himself. He was the most unselfish person that you'd ever meet," said Redmond.
Funeral services for Sgt. Smallwood will be held Monday morning at 10 a.m. in the Trumann High Auditorium. His burial will follow at Jonesboro Memorial Gardens.
*If you would like to make a memorial in memory of Erich Smallwood, you can do so at the Bank of Trumann, via P.O. Box 48, Truman, AR 72472.
*Also if you would like to sign the online register book and leave condolences you can do so at Thompson Funeral Home by clicking the previous link.