Nathan Douglas Smith


“Nay-Nay”a beautiful soul, loved by so many, you will be missed.  Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club and the surfing community will keep your family;
Melody, Doug, Makala and Malia in our embrace and surround them with love. Rest in Peace sweet boy.


Nathan, he was my sun that rose in the morning. He would wake me up everyday, with either his iPad videos, music or just him going “Mia want to go surf, Mia want to go the beach, Mia want to go skate, Mia want to cuddle”. It was the best part of my weekend, school days I would be the one to wake him up at 7 exactly so he could shower and leave by 7:30, he would get up, or lay there for another 5 minutes, but after his shower he would always come into my room and be like “what are you wearing today” I’d be like, I don’t know! He would come back “here wear this, you will look so rad” so of course I would wear the shirt, dress or outfit he picked out, “but oh yah, do you have that thrasher jacket? I want to wear it “of course I would let him wear it, it was his favorite jacket. I love you nathan, I miss you more and more everyday ❤️
-Malia Mae

The Smith family joined the Oceanside Club in 2004 and have been like family to me ever since.  Our kids grew up together at surf contests, cookouts, parties, OLSC meetings and camping trips.  When Nathan came along in 2007 he was embraced by a huge club and we all helped raise him within our surfing family.  My favorite memories of Nathan are from the surf contests, especially Malibu—he was a gregarious little fellow who wanted to be where the action was!  At Malibu a lot of the action was in the parking lot, so as soon as Nathan learned how to walk he sprinted to the parking lot every chance he got.  Melody, Doug, Makala, Malia and lots of OLSC members chased him down and put him back in the sand pile under the tent.  As Nathan grew up he became this happy, polite, sweet boy—he always came running up to me with a big hug and a smile to say “Hello Gretchen”.  I am gonna miss that smile and those hugs.  Nathan you will be forever in my heart, and a loved and cherished part of the OLSC.
– Gretchen Harris

Just always loved seeing him out at the beach with friends and family having such a good time, smiling, and laughing. Gonna miss that smiling and laughing face.
– Artie Castro

Like my wife, I have many memories of Nathan and I am struck by the fact that I can’t recall a memory that wasn’t extremely positive. He loved life, his only crime, just wanting to have fun. He was the cool looking little long haired toddler, the kid who was first in line to help me at contest raffles and handing out trophy’s. I remember him at our Church contest cookouts playing with our other families young ones and enjoying the food and the fire blazing in the fire pit. He loved checking out our RV, but unfortunately for me, and Nathan, my beloved dogs dislike kids and Nathan was no exception. One time, even though he was met at the screen with Tessa’s terrifying attack stance and both Lilly and Tessa barking, he calmly asked if I could put them in the back so he could come in. I told him that was impossible, and he suggested that if I held them it would be OK. I told him sorry, no that won’t work and told him that they are really sweet dogs but only to their family and I didn’t want them to hurt him. He advised that he didn’t want to be hurt and I agreed. We always had goodies of some sort in the RV so I told him to wait, got some type of goodie and he and I ate whatever it was out on the RV step while my girls (pups) whined. He enjoyed that. I regret not being more involved in the club these past few years as I truly missed time with this special young man. What a sweet boy. He will be dearly missed.
-Bill Harris

I’ve been part of the Smith family since Makala was born. 2010 I moved away. When I would come to Dana Point to visit I stayed with the Smith’s. Nay-nay never knew when I would be coming so I would arrive late after bed. He always would run into Malia’s room early in the morning to wake her up but I would be sleeping in her bed so I would pop out yell surprise and Nay-nay would yell through the house GRAMA DUCKY is here wake up we’re having pancakes! He loved pancakes. Whenever they would come to Santa Cruz Nay-nay would want pancakes with the special pancake fork. Our family’s have a lot of history . Nathan’s smile could light a room and melt the heart of a grandmother. He will be missed. Loving memories from.
– Grama Ducky

Nathan’s soul, so bright and amazing, talent ran deep and he had the true “soul” vibe! I watched Nathan from a young grom grow up in the water and love every bit of life and that is truly inspiring. Hunter will never forget the hours spent chilling around the contests hanging with his older buddy Nathan, Hunter loved looking up to Nathan. Every time we were headed to a contest Hunter would be like, “Dad did you bring my scooter and skate, cause Nathan and Cannon will be there, so I gotta have them”.


Nathan will be missed but never forgotten and in our hearts forever. Every time I paddle out I will remember you little buddy and I will make sure that Hunter and I always keep your memory and love for life with us! See you down the road Nathan and thanks for all you taught us while we were blessed to hang with you!
-Brandyn and Hunter Garske

Nathan was all our family. We miss when we would play hide n seek at the camp grounds, at sano, and other things. Everyday we wish you were still here with us.
-Bingo Cosby III

My sweet Lil Man always embracing me with the biggest hug evah! And his smile, so infectious. Warmed my heart…


I loved Nate’s adventurous spirit. When it’s low tide at Malibu, it’s a great way to explore sea life. And so we did. Nate was captivated by the big sea slugs and kept trying to get me to touch it. No way! Although, he and I did bother the sea anemones and kept touching them just to watch them open and close. On to the next activity, skipping rocks. Well, we both managed to only skip it twice. We stopped skipping rocks not because of our lack of skills but for Aunty hitting someone with a rock. I almost blamed it on Lil Man but didn’t want Karma to get me.


Good Nite Inn, our Malibu getaway home. I loved my pool time with Nate. I loved picking him up and seeing how far I could throw him. And Malia Mae and Nate fighting over who got to shower first. Music to our ears, right Melody and Doug? And I will miss my bed buddy. He didn’t take the whole bed and didn’t snore. Great qualities Lil Man…


I will forever cherish our road trip to Rincon. Nate was co-pilot, which meant he had full reign over the music. He was a total rockstar and definitely had the look. We sang on the way there and back. Great memories!!!


Because of you Lil Man, life is fuller, brighter, and love is ONE LOVE…
I miss you but I know your everywhere…
-Aunty D

I was fortunate enough to get to know the Smiths through our daughters, theirs Makala and ours, Olivia. Our families shared a love for surfing and the beach and so that brought us together in school surf contests and then OLSC. Of course if you know one Smith you’re gonna know them all and …ergo Nay-Nay. He was a little guy back then but even then he certainly charged it, life that is!!! Because he couldn’t pronounce our daughter’s name, Olivia, he lovingly named her “Yah-Yah” and then I became “Yah-Yah Mommy,” a name I will cherish for all of my time.


Over time I was given the privilege of being able to babysit Nay Nay when Mel had to work and it was always something I looked forward to. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to spend some time with the one and only Nathan. It was a win win because I got my lil’ kid fix and Mel went to work. The time spent with Nay Nay was a gift indeed and we always managed to have fun. I loved taking him to the beach where we would play and goof around. I remember videoing him jumping in the sand and he would want to get the jump just right so I’d have to do it over and over. I remember getting him an ice cream one time and I think that more of it was all over him rather than his mouth. We went to the movies once to see Disney’s Car movie as he was obsessed with them. We couldn’t figure out why it was so blurry, but we had forgot the 3D glasses and being that we were the only ones in the theatre it took us awhile to figure it out. Most times our get togethers ended in us going to Target or Walmart because I had to “get something” but really it was an excuse for me to turn the cart into the toy isle and let him pick out a little something. Of course it was usually a matchbox style car… a VW van or what not. He was always so appreciative and never expected it. Nathan loved our dogs and every time he got here he would make a run for the kitchen to move the chair over to the counter where he would promptly get up to navigate the container and grab two dog biscuits to give them a treat. He also made riding in the car a pleasure because he loved to sing and sing he did!!! He knew the words to almost every song and would belt it out.


Nay-Nay was a joy of a boy, a spark, a sweet soul indeed, he had style, spunk and good character which was instilled to him by his parents, family and the friends he kept. He was filled with a spirit that shined beyond his smile; his irresistible zest for life, his loving, caring, and authentic self, was beyond his years. My hope is to be able to remember him for all that he was and did in his 9.11 years of life and keep his spirit alive in myself by trying to remember to live through the eyes of this amazing soul. As I mentioned in the beginning of this note that even as a young boy he charged life and he go a lot done in his time here and so I will remember to try and do the same. Its what living is all about after all isn’t it!


Nay Nay… the waves and skateboard trails are calling you…. I know you are charging it!!!!
Love you to heaven and back and to infinity and beyond.

Love, Yah Yah mommy xoxoxoxo

Julie Merlino


P.S. Smith family… you are wonderfully admired for raising a truly special human. As you continue on this journey of life know that you are loved as deeply as love can go by so many!!!

I never knew so much light and love could radiate from one little man. Your Sweetness and your rad style is all your own, no one can replace that. Many will try to emulate your coolness, but non can compare!! I will remember always, going up to Rincon, where you cheered from the shoreline, for Your Papa and Sissy, every wave they caught.. and later that day, sitting in the C st parking lot, where you called your mama repeatedly, eager to convince her, that you guys were bringing home a puppy. When really you just thought it was hilarious, that she thought you were being serious ! Your innocent silliness will always bring a smile to my face. I will miss your hugs, you little legend! I know you’re in heaven watching over the family. Just hope you send the rest of us waves every now and then, so we can share some of your stoke! Xoxo
-Auntie Kasie

What can I say about Nate that we don’t already know. Nate was the life of the party wherever he went. I’ve have had the pleasure of knowing the Smith family for a quite a while. Hell I new Nate before he even popped out. I’ll always remember this one time at one of our many fabulous camp outs at SanO. Doug and I were the last ones up tending to the fire and I look over and who’s still partying with us…None other than lil Nay Nay roasting all the marshmallows…… He says… “hay uncle Joey do you think it’s too late to skate”. I replied “hell no it’s never too late to skate”!!! He looked at me and started cracking up so hard all I could do was crack up with him. Needless to say we did go and skate all around the camp site. Man I’m gonna miss times like this with that lil grommet. Rest easy grommet. Until our next skate. 🤙🏽✌🏽
-Uncle Joey

From a surfers point of view, Nay Nay will truly be missed in the lineup at Doheny. Katie and I enjoyed his big smiling face and infectious laughter. At the beginning of this summer, Nay Nay with a pack of his grom buddies, hit the water at the Hammer. His buddies were stuffing and hopping the crowd in the water. I paddled over to Nay Nay said hi, and asked about his friends antics. With a huge grin he settled down his crew and we all had a great session after that. What a wonderful surf soul. Just shows he had such maturity at a young age. We were so looking forward to sharing waves at Doheny this summer with him. The Boneyard is not the same without that laugh, the joy, and stoke that is Nay Nay. Heaven, you have just received a beautiful grom. God Bless the Smiths and their angel 😇
With love,❤️
– Mark & Katie Calkins

Love you so much, Nathan Smith, and know we’ll see you again 🦋

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

Dang, who knew?
All the planes we flew
Good things we’ve been through
That I’ll be standing right here talking to you
‘Bout another path
I know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn’t last
Had to switch up
Look at things different, see the bigger picture
Those were the days
Hard work forever pays
Now I see you in a better place (see you in a better place)

How can we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gon’ be with me for the last ride

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

(Aah oh, aah oh

First you both go out your way
And the vibe is feeling strong
And what’s small turn to a friendship
A friendship turn to a bond
And that bond will never be broken
The love will never get lost
And when brotherhood come first
Then the line will never be crossed
Established it on our own
When that line had to be drawn
And that line is what we reach
So remember me when I’m gone

How can we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gon’ be with me for the last ride

So let the light guide your way, yeah
Hold every memory as you go
And every road you take, will always lead you home, home

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

Aah oh, aah oh

When I see you again
See you again
When I see you again

Aah oh, aah oh
When I see you again

Written by Andrew Cedar, Justin Scott Franks, Charlie Otto Puth, Cameron Jibril Thomaz • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Last time I saw Nate I took him to school and we talked the whole way… He wanted to play hookie and hang out with me that day… But I told him school was too important.. I wish different now… He told me “thanks for taking me to school Papa I love you”… I hugged him and told him “I love you more than anything 💚 and I will see you soon Nate”


And I will.


I miss you so much Nate my heart aches until that moment comes when we can hug each other again…

I met the Smith family through Oceanside longboard club. Nate was just a toddler back then. Event after event I year after year I became very close with the Smiths. (How could you not? They are REAL people. We started seeing a lot of each other at San Onofre surfing and hanging out.


Well the Smiths always parked at the point area and surfed . Where I preferred surfing a few hundred yards down the beach at Old Mans. I remember one afternoon parking at the point, and having a conversation about how Old Mans is a much better wave then the point. (Still an on going discussion to date) the waves were fun at the point but I kept looking to the left and seeing that Old Mans left calling my name. Well during this conversation little Nate was standing by me, listening to my rant. I saw another set come through, and said I’ll be back in a few I’m going to go where the waves are, and as usual I did. Off to Old mans. I surfed for a few hours, then came in. As I was showering off in the bamboo, I heard a little voice Hey Michael. I turned around and there was Nathan. He said I came to look for you. I think I had some cookies gave him a few, he said bye and off he went back to the point. It seemed like every weekend or when ever I was at Old Mans after that day, Nathan would always make his way down, and find me. He’d say “I knew you were here, just came to say Hi my mom and dad are over there come over later” and off he’d go with a big smile on his face Stoked as usual. I always thought what a Bitchen little man.with all the love that immerses from the Smith family how could he be anything but a Stoked happy kid.


The morning of the 60s contest I was free surfing before my heat. There was Nate paddling off the jetty and yelling MICHAEL!!!! I was always stoked to see my little buddy and said “what’s up kid” There were a few people out, I told Nate sit here by Uncle Michael and you’ll get every wave you want. He got a big smile on his face, and said OK . I positioned him next to me in front of the rock at the boneyard, and I told him it’s time to take over, and we did. I was yelling like a madman Go Nate Go!!! So I think most of the people out there were a bit intimidated by my banter and let Nathan go every time I yelled. We serve for a few hours, and had a Great time. It was funny the rest of the weekend, Nathan would come up to me and ask “Do you want to go take over with me??” I would tell him “Oh Hell to the yes” he’d start laughing and we’d go.

I’m so thankful we got to spend that time together.


I Love you little man, we will see each other again, the only difference is that this time I will be finding you.
-Uncle Michael

It is never easy to see someone you love go through pain and heartbreak, Smith family I will make this short and sweet as you all are in my heart forever. I was sort of on the outside looking in at this little grom, and let me tell you in a few words, Nathan made my wife the happiest woman on earth. I am not kidding, when she was able to get him for a day, she would bounce around the house telling me of all the things she had planned for them. I was just a rock in the road as she prepared the day and events for NayNay. Anyway, to Mel, you know you are special to me, you are a true friend in the deepest way, and I want you to know NayNay will never be forgotten here in this household. We love you all. Nay Nay remember to put on your 3-D glasses when watching cars.
-John Merlino

The last time I saw Nathan was at a party at our house in early June. That night, I realized that he was such a self-sufficient, happy, no-whining kind of boy that he just handled himself beautifully, even though surrounded by adults, young and old. I have a mental image of him taking care of business by loading his plate with tacos and getting iced tea. No drama. All smiles and confidence. Just a budding little grown up. The many photos I have seen of him lately both break my heart and lift me up. His life was too short, but it was definitely a charmed life… loved so intensely and deeply by his family and so many others.
-Nancy Rohr

I wish I had gotten to know Nate better. I will really miss seeing him run around with the other kids, skating, laughing, and playing on the beach. My first time around Nate was in Malibu a few years ago I think. He was so helpful to Kelia on the scooters and skateboards. They were using each other’s gear and he watched out for her despite just meeting her. I really admired how sweet he was to her and how polite he was to me. I thought to myself, this kid has been raised right! Another time at a Church campout he asked me if he could borrow Kelia’s bike. He didn’t care that it had flowers on it with a cute little basket. He just wanted to ride. I’ll really miss his smile and energy at the club events.
-Jessica Taft

If you would like to send us a story or experience you had with Nathan please submit an email to: with any and all details you would like to include, dates, location, Nathan’s age, etc…


This is a wonderful opportunity to share a experience you had with this special young man! As stories are submitted they will be added to this page. We hope to have an amazing collections for people to cherish forever.