December 10, 1979 – September 8, 2017 | Born in Columbia, SC | Resided in Bluffton, SC
Born December 10, 1979 in Columbia SC, Luke died on September 8, 2017 at Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC where he had been transferred due to mandatory Hurricane Irma Evacuation.
Luke will be having several private memorial services, but his magnanimous personality definitely warranted A Military Salute, which will be held Thursday Sept 21 at 2 pm at Beaufort National Cemetery, 1601 Boundary St. Beaufort, SC, open to all those who care.
Luke was an Artist, Poet, HipHop Lyricist & Beatmaker, & Navy Veteran. His HipHop Stage Name is ApacX (previously Armageddon) of www.apacx.net. His song “Surrender” the week before his death was rated “The most played song in Christian HipHop in the US” by #1Music. Many of his songs were in the top 10 on ReverbNation these recent 7 yrs despite his 100% service-connected brain/mental injuries incurred when he was just 23. He really identified with the angst of the Rap Music culture.
Luke’s honorable service in the military was as a Navy Airflight Launching Captain Trainer & Airplane Mechanic 1999-2004 Oceana Airbase Virginia Beach. He received several awards of “Superior Performance for training over 100 Veterans” in his job specialty, and his discharge was honorable.
I as Luke’s Mother, Legal Guardian & Caregiver Ms. Fran Smyth of 155 Lake Linden Dr. Bluffton, SC, have been his Constant Advocate these 14 years since injury, and have devoted myself to taking care of him in my residences since 2010. This task has not been easy, but these circumstances taught both of us about God’s Grace, through which each of us learned to love unconditionally.
Luke was raised in the Church, my ex-husband his Father Dan Smyth of Greenwood, SC and I having been in the Protestant Christian Ministry for the duration of our 21 year marriage. His father bought him his most memorable gift when he was a boy, a ball python snake, which was also memorable to me!
Luke has a younger brother Nathan Smyth of Charleston, SC whom he also deeply loved. They really looked great together and ‘the boys’ and I had many adventures to help Luke be as happy as he could safely be. It’s primarily Nathan’s fault I was nagged to death to get & train our beloved Therapy Dog Tahari, whom Luke adored.
Personal remembrances from family and friends may be posted on Lowcountry Crematory’s website: www.cremationsimplified.com, click on Obituary & search Luke’s name.
Luke was a member of Kempsville Presbyterian Church while in Virginia Beach & a much loved active participant in their College & Career Group. He longed to find a church after his illness, but could not seem to contain himself to a seat! (I would have to say he was an extremely enthusiastic Presbyterian Pentecostal!) But God is not confined to a building, and I can personally testify that despite the effects of the injuries and many medications on his thinking & behavior, his faith endured to the end. Luke and I want everyone to realize that GOD UNDERSTANDS MENTAL ILLNESS AT ANY AGE whether it be due to Alzheimer’s, Dementia, physical injuries & physiological illnesses, or chemical imbalances of the brain. These problems are as real as having cancer, but devastatingly affect the loved one’s thinking, perceptions and behavior to an even greater degree.
I often used to exclaim out of frustration “Luke, you are a man of extremes!” He actually loved this and it always evoked a smile and great laughter. But Luke was also the most generous and forgiving person I have ever known. He never failed to (eventually) say “I’m Sorry” when it was appropriate. He knew I loved him and I knew he loved me.
But there is an even greater love. The last time we talked, Luke excitedly discussed our names being recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Although his thoughts and ideas were undoubtedly and understandably affected by his illnesses, he never doubted that we are saved only by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ, and that’s what matters.
In addition to the Bible, Luke often quoted Tupac: “Only God is my judge.” But while I was mourning Luke’s death during Hurricane Irma, this Bible verse came to me: John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, Anyone who hears My Word & believes God Who sent Me HAS eternal life & WILL NOT BE JUDGED.