From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Lili Rachel Smith, whose spirited refusal to accept the bounds of physical disability won her the friendship and admiration of some of the nation's top political leaders, died unexpectedly this week in her sleep, her family said. She was 15.
Smith was the daughter of leading Democratic political consultant Averell "Ace" Smith and his wife, veteran Democratic fundraiser Laura Talmus of Kentfield. One of the most feared political opposition researchers in the country, Ace Smith ran Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaigns in several states including California, as well as Antonio Villaraigosa's 2005 campaign for Los Angeles mayor, and the 2006 campaign of State Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Born with a rare condition, Apert's syndrome -- a congenital disorder characterized by malformations of the skull, hands and feet -- Lili Smith required extensive and often painful surgeries at birth and at regular intervals during her life.
Undaunted by her physical challenges, Smith -- with the strong encouragement of her parents and older brother, Abram, 19 -- became an energetic activist in social and political issues and a seasoned campaign insider, working with her father in Texas on Clinton's behalf during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Services will be held at Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael on Friday, October 16th at 10 am. Graveside services follow at Mount Tamalpais Cemetery.
The family has requested that to honor of their daughter's commitment to social issues, contributions may be made to the Clinton Global Initiative (New York, NY), the Breast Cancer Fund (San Francisco, CA) and Scattergood Friends School (West Branch, IA).
Ace Smith has been a friend to this blog over the years. At this time our prayers and condolences go out to him and his family.