The 25-year-old diplomat was killed in Afghanistan on April 6. Her funeral was held Wednesday in her hometown of River Forest, Ill.
"She shows you that you can have an impact no matter what your age, and she shows you not to have fear in doing what you want to do in life," Jessica Buicko, college classmate, said of Smedinghoff.
Smedinghoff's casket was draped in the American flag as it was brought in to Saint Luke's Church. Friends say she was so proud to represent the American people during her work in the Foreign Service. She was a diplomat for just three years, but made a lasting impression.
"In a class of bright an ambitious foreign service officers in training, Anne stood out as a super-star in the making," Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy said.
Smedinghoff and four other Americans were delivering books to a school when they were killed in southern Afghanistan. She had met Secretary of State John Kerry a little more than a week before she was killed. Kerry flew to Chicago on Monday to speak with her family.
"We're so proud of what she was doing and all the great work," Tom Smedinghoff, father, said.