On December 19, 2013, family, friends, and the La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department said farewell to Joshua Travis Smith, 25. He was given firefighter’s honors; people lined the route and saluted the procession as it passed through his hometown. His flag draped casket was carried on the back of La Crosse Fire Department’s oldest fire engine to his resting place at Crestview Memorial Park, La Crosse Virginia. Joshua is the second La Crosse firefighter to die in the line of duty.
December 14, 2013, Joshua’s life was tragically cut short when, while responding to the fire station alarm, he had a car accident and died from injuries sustained in the accident. Joshua Travis Smith was born on November 22, 1988, only minutes after twin brother, Jason. Joshua’s parents are Mildred Smith Lewis and James Allen Baskerville, Jr. He has a brother, Jabaris, twin brothers, Malcolm and Malik, and a sister, Shameka. He lived in the town of La Crosse, Virginia, all of his life.
In high school, he was an awesome athlete and participated in soccer, football and basketball. He received numerous awards in school, including Male Athlete of the Year. Joshua volunteered at the local YMCA and worked in food service at McDonald’s in South Hill, Virginia.
After graduating high school in 2007, he took college courses at Southside Community College and went to work at Sonic in South Hill, Virginia. He was a manager and a valuable member of the management team working in South Hill and Creedmoor, North Carolina Sonics.
Joshua coached and was a referee for Lake Gaston Soccer Association. He was a born leader who loved serving people and working with young people in his community. Joshua had a contagious laugh and a heart of gold. When he walked into a room, he lit it up. He never met a stranger. Joshua loved all things Duke Blue Devils, Dallas Cowboys, and the color royal blue. He loved muscle cars, the 1967 Shelby GT 500 and the 2003 Mustang Cobra SVT, drawing, and cooking. He especially loved spending time with his family.
Joshua wasn’t one to shy away from a challenge or new experiences. He often made his fire house brothers laugh, but they knew he was serious about learning to do his job well. Three months after becoming a volunteer firefighter, Joshua announced to his family that he was scheduled to interview for a salaried fireman’s job. He had finally found a place in the world where he could make a difference. Joshua’s spirit and influence live on in the hearts and memories of parents, Mildred and James, and the entire family.