Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On airs on A&E on December 2 and 3 at 9/8c. The documentary illuminates Garth Brooks personal and professional life for his fans, offering insight into the trials and triumphs of his life.

One heartbreaking obstacle that Brooks had to overcome was the passing of his brother, Jerome “Jerry” Paul Smittle, in 2006.

Smittle’s obituary on ObitTree reads “Jerome ‘Jerry’ Paul Smittle, 56, died on Friday, August 25, 2006 at the St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK. He was born January 2, 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma the son of James Perry Smittle and Colleen Carroll MeElroy. He worked as a law enforcement officer in the Tulsa County Sherrifs Office. He also served in the U.S. Air National Guard. Jerry lived a life of devotion to his family and a legacy of love in the hearts of people that he touched. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mrs. T. Raymond (Colleen) Brooks in 1999. He was a loving son, father and Grandfather.” It goes on to list the family members he was survived by, including his brother Troyal Garth Brooks.

While the obituary does not reveal his cause of death beyond the fact that he was in the hospital when he passed, tributes written by those leaving their condolences on the obituary’s page offer clues into how and why he passed.

Two years after his passing, Mac Gardner wrote “I knew he had been sick for many years, and I regret not seeing him more.” Janice Sharp, who said she did not know Smittle personally but had heard about his illness through a friend, suggested that Jerry suffered from cerebral palsy.

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How Garth Brooks’ Brother Jermone ‘Jerry’ Paul Smittle Died

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