Ree Drummond Mourning the Death of Her Brother, Michael: ‘My First Friend and Buddy’
The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond is mourning the death of her older brother, Michael Smith. A pillar of his community in Bartlesville, Okla., Smith died over the weekend, according to a social media update from Drummond and Smith's sister, Betsy.
"He was one of a kind, and he will be missed by so many people who loved him," Betsy writes on Instagram. "I'm very thankful for his life, the connections he made and his caring, fun and independent spirit. Love you forever, Mikey."
On Wednesday (Nov. 3), Drummond shared the news with her fans via Facebook, with a remembrance of her brother.
"It isn't possible to sum up the life of someone as perfectly wonderful as my brother Michael, so right now I won't try," she says, paired with a series of images of the two of them as young children who were close in age.
"He was seventeen months older than me, my first friend and buddy, and I'm so grateful for over 50 years of photos and memories. Please pray for my parents, whose devotion to Mike was boundless, and who will feel this loss most acutely," Drummond continues.
"Michael Smith, you were everything."
Oklahoma-based news outlet KTUL reports that Smith — locally known as Mikey — was a fixture of the community who loved to attend basketball, football and baseball games, and even sometimes rode on the bus with the team to away games. He had special needs and worked in his dad's office, and he loved to be social and meet new friends.
"He soon was meeting people all over town," says Dan Dalton, who works for an ambulance service and met Mikey — who loved to visit the ambulance and fire stations — as a teenager. "While he was somewhat challenged, he memorized his friend[s] phone numbers and would call them almost daily."
Michael Smith also appeared in a Season 7 episode of Drummond's cooking show. During the episode, Mike helped his sister feed cattle and make Mexican hot chocolate. The episode also featured Eggbert's Sunrisers and Orange Mini Muffins, two of Mike's favorite breakfast items.