WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A man with a bright future and a lover of life that is how loved ones are remembering the man deputies say was shot by a dog in a hunting accident on Saturday.

“He touched everyone that he knew,” said Chris Brown, boss and friend of Joe Smith.

A man who put others before himself is how Joe is remembered.

“I would hear him out there making people laugh and singing and just filling everyone full of joy,” Brown said.

The 30 year old was on a hunting trip on Saturday.

According to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, Joe was sitting in the front passenger seat of a pickup. A rifle and hunting gear were in the back seat.

Investigators say a dog belonging to the truck’s owner stepped on the rifle, causing it to discharge. Joe was hit in the back.

“I got all the plumbers around, and we said a prayer. I told them I knew that Joe would not want us to wallow around and be sad. He would want us to celebrate his wonderful life. That’s what we are trying to do,” Brown said.

Joe was a plumber, singer, son, brother, and light to many.

“Every day, no matter how Joe was feeling that morning, Joe would bring light to this company,” Brown said. “That man was loved by everybody here, and the fact that he took time out of his life short life to tell other people about how much he liked them. He’s a wonderful soul.”

Brown says there is one lesson everyone can take from Joe, “to not take life too seriously. Have fun and enjoy every day because you never know when it will be over.”

Family friend, Melissa Slates, gave the following statement:

“In the stream of life, you were a river. Carving out canyons inside those that loved you. Winding your path to ponds in obscure places. Feeding souls mouth agape with passion and prose. Turning thickets into thoughts. Untamed and untethered to time and ether. You are what weak men wish to be and what rich men cannot buy. Genuine. A muse and a museum. Silver and fire. The love you left is a reservoir. And though we sit at the shore of our sadness, creating oceans with our eyes, we will reach for the well of your memory. Parched and ever longing for the man whose life runneth over to fill so many before his own.”

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