Brandon Smith died doing what he loved.

In 2001, when racing in the Adelanto Grand Prix, Smith, the son of future Hesperia City Councilman Thurston "Smitty" Smith, crashed his motorcycle and was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"At that point, I said 'that's it, no more racing,'" Smith's mother Margaret remembered Thursday.

"At the end of the day, it was a sprained wrist," chuckled Thurston.

But Brandon, despite having raced since he was 8 years old, was an obedient son, and gave up racing because his mother had asked him to.

"Finally, he said 'mom, please, I love it,'" Margaret said, in a home filled with floral arrangements sent by sympathetic friends. "'I could get hurt walking down the street.'

"'OK, but if anything happens to you, I don't know what I'd do,'" she recalls telling her youngest son.

On Friday, August 24, during the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race, something went terribly wrong. Smith, wearing #327 in the Open Expert division, crashed and was thrown from his bike. Despite medical care on the scene, Smith died at the site of his accident. He was 19 years old.

"He's been planning this race for two years," Thurston said. "It was just meant to be."

"If I continued to say no," Margaret said, "He would have accepted that."

Smith, who had lived in Hesperia since he was two months old, was a 2006 Sultana High School graduate and was attending Cal State San Bernardino.

"He led a fulfilled, balanced life," Margaret said. "He aspired to take over Smitty's [concrete pumping] business. And we told him he needed to go to college and get a business degree. ... He never wasted a moment. He always had a plan."

Among those plans was one to marry his high school sweetheart, Jennyfer "JK" Carlson, although parental pressure from both families kept them from becoming formally engaged until after college.

"But they were already making plans," Thurston said. "They had everything worked out."

That sort of focus was typical of Smith, his parents said.

"If you were to look in his drawers right now, everything's perfectly neat," his mother said. "I tell Smitty, 'I don't know where he got it.'"

His work ethic he learned at his father's knee, though. When his father and grandfather built the backstops at Lime Street and Timberlane Parks, 11-year-old Smith was there beside them, helping to improve the baseball diamonds he played on as a second baseman and outfielder.

"He wasn't afraid," Margaret said. "He wasn't afraid to work. He wasn't afraid to have fun."

"We'll have a hole in our heart for the rest of our lives," Thurston said.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, 24000 Waalew Road in Apple Valley. A reception will follow services at the Hesperia Elks Lodge, 9202 E Avenue in Hesperia.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking mourners consider a contribution to the Brandon E. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of the Victor Valley College District Foundation, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, CA 92395.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.