The Pioneer Woman's Ree Drummond Mourns Death of Her Brother

Ree Drummond honored her late brother Michael Smith in a moving tribute shared on Nov. 3, calling him her "first friend and buddy."

By Gabrielle Chung Nov 03, 2021 10:47 PMTags
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It's a sad day on the ranch for Ree Drummond and her family.

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Pioneer Woman star shared news that her beloved brother Michael Smith had died at the age of 54. In a moving tribute shared to her Facebook, Drummond wrote alongside photos of her sibling throughout the years, "It isn't possible to sum up the life of someone as perfectly wonderful as my brother Michael, so right now I won't try."

"He was seventeen months older than me, my first friend and buddy, and I'm so grateful for over 50 years of photos and memories," she continued. "Please pray for my parents, whose devotion to Mike was boundless, and who will feel this loss most acutely."

The 52-year-old Food Network star added, "Michael Smith, you were everything."

According to a Nov. 2 Instagram post from Drummond's sister, Betsy, Michael passed away "last weekend." Betsy wrote alongside a photo taken from their childhood, "He was one of a kind, and he will be missed by so many people who loved him."

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"I'm very thankful for his life, the connections he made and his caring, fun and independent spirit," Betsy shared. "Love you forever, Mikey."

A cause of death for Michael has not been released.



Known as "Cowboy Mike," Michael was previously featured on a season-seven episode of The Pioneer Woman, in which Drummond cooked up his favorite breakfast. Drummond later called it her "favorite episode...for obvious reasons."

Drummond also mentioned her big brother multiple times in her 2011 book, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. In it, she shared that Michael had "developmental disabilities."

Prior to his death, Michael had become a local fixture in his hometown of Bartlesville, Okla. His longtime friend Dan Dalton told news station KTUL that Michael showed up to every baseball, football and basketball match in town, "not to really watch the games, but to connect with people."

Calling him a "Bartlesville Icon" in a tribute on Facebook, Dalton said Michael "went fast and did not suffer." He added, "God has been very good to my favorite buddy. I know he is making lots of new friends in heaven."

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