KAYSVILLE — The man who inspired a whole neighborhood to put up Christmas decorations early has died.

Blaine Smith, who was told by doctors he wouldn’t live to see Dec. 25, died at 2:35 a.m. Monday, surrounded by his wife and children.

Smith was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic non-small cell lung cancer seven weeks ago and was told by doctors he had three months to live.

In a story published in the Deseret News on Sunday, Blaine and his wife, Debra, shared the story of how their family and friends came together to help him celebrate a holiday he loved.

His family put up a Christmas tree last month. Then friends put up Christmas lights on the Smith family's home. Soon the idea caught on, and some 20 houses in the area sparkled with the Christmas spirit.

Neighbors also came to the Smith house several times to sing Christmas carols, hoping to bring a little cheer and gladness to the Smith family.

The Smiths said their neighbors have always been friends, but this year, they became angels.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

— Carole Mikita