On the morning of November 13, 2018 at Central Okanagan Hospice, surrounded by loving family, Steve’s year-long struggle with pancreatic cancer came to a peaceful end. Steve battled valiantly despite many obstacles, to have the opportunity to share a little more time with his daughters.
Steve is survived by his loving daughters Julia and Karli, and wife Traci. Also mourning his passing are: his parents Arthur and Dianne Smith; sisters Elaine (Rod) Malcolm, Alison (Dan) Peace and Tracy Coyle; mother-in-law Sheila Moore; sister-in-law Terri (Frank) Naidu; many nephews, nieces and cousins.
Steve was predeceased in 1982 by his nephew and Godson, Adam Malcolm.
Born in North Vancouver, Steve was the youngest of four children. His three older sisters were glad to have a little brother to play the role of any male character, such as dad, prince, baby, Tarzan, sheriff, etc., in the many make-believe games we played. Steve’s Hot Wheels were a prized possession and the tracks could be found all over the house as he sought the perfect launching pad. Within a few years, these would be replaced with his coveted Farrah Fawcett poster and the old Bullworker, used to build up those biceps and triceps. Steve attended his first few years of elementary school in North Vancouver before the family moved to Victoria in 1971. No doubt his teachers were hard pressed to discipline Steve with a straight face, as he was the acknowledged class clown.
Steve trained as a welder then worked at Esquimalt dockyards, mill shut downs in BC and Alberta, and North Vancouver dockyards. Steve and Traci married in 1990 and they settled in the Lower Mainland to raise their daughters. After Steve and family moved to Kelowna in 2002, he continued welding in the Okanagan and BC interior. While attending an appointment last month in the recently opened Kelowna Community Health building at Doyle and Ellis, Steve remarked the steelwork framing was his last project.
Steve’s real joy in life was being a dad to Julia and Karli. Family camping trips to Bear Creek Park were eagerly anticipated each year and Christmas was a time to let loose his inner Clark Griswold, filling the front yard with ornaments and lights. Steve liked nothing better than hanging around the house with Julia and Karli, and their multitude of friends. There was an open-door policy where friends could always find safe haven and a sympathetic ear. Steve was an avid supporter of all Julia’s and Karli’s endeavours and never missed the chance to take in soccer games or dance recitals and competitions.
Steve treasured his close friendships with Al and Colleen, Steve and Trish, Rob and Jackie, and Jill, who were so supportive over this past year. Best buddy Al and Steve shared many great times together on the golf course and relaxing afterwards. Steve, wearing one of his many Hawaiian shirts, loved sitting on the back deck with friends and family enjoying a cold one and swapping stories. Steve was a master joke teller, often making his mom blush (almost) at the latest shaggy dog story heard at work.
Despite the challenges of the past year, Steve continued to smile and found humour in the world around him. He never left the cancer clinic without calling “you have yourself a wonderful rest of the day”. A huge thank you to Steve’s oncologist, Dr. Kaethe Clarke, and Dr. Laura Shaw at the cancer clinic for doing everything possible to give Steve precious moments with family. Thanks to the caring nurses in the chemo room, especially Steph and Amy, and to the dedicated volunteers. You all made difficult days just a little brighter. Thank you to Dr. Paul Hart for your care and support. Thanks to Kimberly Hayter, NP, for making herself available after hours and Lorraine on 4B. A special thank you to the wonderful Palliative home care nurses, Deanna and Melody for your extraordinary kindness and support. Lastly, our heartfelt gratitude for the gentle and compassionate care provided to Steve during his final days at Central Okanagan Hospice. Angels, all.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting ongoing cancer research by making a memorial donation to the BC Cancer Foundation, bccancerfoundation.com.
A Celebration of Life is tentatively planned for April 20, 2019 with details to follow closer to the date.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Stephen Philip Smith April 21 1962
November 13 2018..