Ree Drummond’s brother Michael Smith: family tragedy explained

Ree Drummond’s career has evolved over the past 10 years, moving beyond her best-selling books and successful Food Network TV show to include her Pioneer Woman blog.

The famous chef and married mother of four, who frequently makes appearances on shows like The Today Show and The View, has experienced serious emotional anguish over the past several years.

Read on to learn what we know about Michael Smith, her older brother, and his terrible passing.

On October 30, 2021, 54-year-old Michael Drummond passed dead. However, a close friend of Michael’s named Dan Dalton did mention in a memorial on social media that Michael “went fast and did not suffer.” It was never revealed how he passed away.

Dan was the first person to publish about Mike’s demise on social media, even though Ree Drummond’s sister Betsy also shared the news of his passing via an Instagram post on November 2.

A day later, the Food Network celebrity shared a Facebook memorial for her brother. Following Mike’s passing, the cookbook author shared a statement on social media. Ree penned the following Wednesday’s message: “Michael Smith, you were everything.”

She continued, “I won’t try to sum up the existence of someone as wonderfully beautiful as my brother Michael right now. He was my first and best friend, and I appreciate the more than 50 years’ worth of pictures and memories because he was 17 months older than me.”

“Please pray for my parents, whose devotion to Mike was boundless, who will feel this loss most acutely,” the 54-year-old continued.

Michael Smith, often known as Mike to his friends and family, was the older brother of Ree Drummond, a popular Food Network personality. Ree and Mike were two of the four kids who were reared in Bartlesville by their parents. In his hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Michael, who had special needs, was well-liked and had a deep interest in the work of the local first responders.

After hearing of his passing, the Washington County Emergency Management Agency wrote a eulogy for the 54-year-old, referring to him as a “legend and icon” who “will be sorely missed and always remembered.”

In a memorial, the Bartlesville Professional Firefighters Union acknowledged that Michael was “one of a kind” and said, “We are going to miss our friend Michael Smith.”

In addition, Michael was well-known to Ree’s readers due to his appearances on The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network and frequent references in her blog posts. The younger brother’s sister Betsy also posted a statement on social media in the wake of Mike’s passing.

She posted on Instagram, “We lost Michael, my beautiful brother, this last weekend. He was unique, and the many people who adored him will miss him. I’m grateful for his life, the relationships he formed, and his independent, fun-loving character. I will always love you, Mikey.”