Hugh Nicholas Smith
November 20, 1956 - September 20, 2021
Hugh Nicholas Smith was born in Denver, Co. to Edgar and Peggy Smith. He was raised in Laramie, Wyoming, and graduated from The University of Wyoming. He worked various jobs from fire-fighter to sporting goods manager in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Montana. His first son, Nicholas, was born in Montana in 1983 while Hugh was married to first wife Cheryl. Hugh loved Nicholas deeply, and they maintained a loving relationship through the years.
Hugh began to sink deep roots in Bakersfield when he arrived in 1985. He was heavily involved in the Greek Orthodox church, where he met and married Gigi Fotis in 1989. In 1991, Hugh earned an additional B.A degree and teaching credential, and taught English at Curran Middle School for 12 years. He developed lasting friendships from Curran, maintaining them until the end of his life. In 2002, Hugh began his career in the Kern High School District, serving as both teacher and Dean of students. His love of his students precipitated him to go back to full time teaching, and he ended his 30-year career at Vista West High School, where he was absolutely beloved by his students and staff.
Gigi was the love of his life. He and she both believed that God made them specifically for each other, and they shared 33 years of a near-perfect marriage. They were blessed with son Gregory in 1999, of whom Hugh was intensely proud.
Hugh was the most generous-hearted, forgiving, and kind-hearted man, with an incredible sense of humor. He truly lived to make people feel better, and this was felt by his colleagues, students, friends, neighbors, even perfect strangers whom he encountered. People were always happy to see Hugh come into the room. He was humble, always putting himself last in order that someone else might benefit. He took his responsibilities as husband, father, provider, and protector very seriously, and was constantly trying to find ways to make his family feel loved and cared-for. He understood the value of small gestures of affection: bringing home a funny t-shirt for Nick or Greg, making Gigi a welcome cup of afternoon coffee, surprise tickets to a Dodgers game, sharing pieces of literature or prayers he found inspiring, all the little bits and pieces of family life that are the glue of a beautiful togetherness. Many people don’t know, but Hugh wrote achingly beautiful poetry.
Most importantly, Hugh put God first in his life. He knew the solid rock of life is with the Lord, turning to him constantly in times of thanks or trial. His most fervent prayer was that his boys both grow into strong, godly men who would in their turn go on to inspire others. He, Gigi, and Greg were active members of Trinity Anglican Church, where he again made meaningful friendships.
Hugh Smith was simply an excellent man, and he is sorely and enormously missed by his wife Gigi, sons Nick and Greg, Aunt Sophie, father-in-law Gregory, brother Mark (Laurie, Connor), sisters Laura and Diane, nephew Shane, cousins, extended family, neighbors, colleagues, students, and friends. He leaves a gaping hole in all their lives that will never be filled. Words cannot express our crushed hearts at this time. But we know he is right this moment beholding the face of his Lord, who will wipe away every tear, and is enjoying the company of loved ones who predeceased him, among whom are his parents, sister Emily, and mother-in-law Mary.
Hugh’s service is scheduled for Saturday, October 2, at 11:00 AM at Trinity Anglican Church. We kindly ask that you wear a mask to the service. Live-streamed:TrinityBakersfield.com/Trinity-Livestream. In lieu of flowers or plants, please donate to the Trinity Ages to Ages Capital Fund.