Obituary: Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith

NAUGATUCK — Tyler Smith, of Naugatuck, passed away Sunday, April 1, 2012, from complications in his battle against cancer.

Ty was born in West Virginia. He attended Bethel High School and WCSU before settling in Naugatuck where he led a fulfilling life. He married Monika (Schemmel) Smith on July 16, 1988, and raised one daughter, Kylie Sepko, now of Plainville.

Ty loved music, family, friends, nature and animals. He was a singer/songwriter and wrote original music and lyrics which he performed over much of the East Coast as a solo performer, as a member of duets, and in various bands. He further shared his love of music worldwide via the International Lyrics Playground and locally by serving on the Naugatuck Arts Commission. He could always be found with a guitar in hand for work, a gig, pleasure, Christmas with the family sing-along, or to amuse a baby granddaughter.

Ty worked and taught in Bethel and Danbury. He was a cherished employee at the Music Guild until his first battle with cancer in 2003, after which he taught guitar lessons from home, where many of his students also considered him a friend.

He is survived by his wife, Monika, and his daughter, Kylie, along with her husband, Jeff Sepko, and their daughter, Katja Gerlinde of Plainville. He loved his life, his home, family, friends, and his music. He will be truly missed and his memory cherished.

An informal celebration of his life will be held at his home, starting around 4 p.m. on April 29 to share music and memories. Bring a guitar, a thought, an anecdote, or just stop by to say hi to Linus (the dog).

To honor his memory feel free to donate to either a music or nature group, or simply sing a song or hug a loved one.


  1. Ty,
    Thank you so much for being you, the person that you were, my guitar teach and my friend. I really enjoyed our time together, as I’m sure you did too. You leave us much too early, and you will be dearly missed by all who knew you. I’ll think of you every time I pick up my guitar. Monika and Kylie and family, you have my family’s deepest sympathy. Always remember the good times you had together. And take comfort in the knowledge of the great, positive effect, Ty had on all the people who were lucky enough to know him, or study with him. Peace be with you, Brian Hawthorne

  2. RIP Ty. You were a great teacher and friend.

    I enjoyed the lessons every week and your constant encouragement. Thanks also for the laughs.

    Every time I pick up my guitar and play a song with my kids around the fire, I will think of you and what you taught me.