It is with great sadness that the family of John C. Smith announces his passing on 20 May 2020 at home in Victoria after a brief and very brave struggle with cancer.
John was born in Gravesend, England to Emily (nee Howett) and Cyril Smith, and had one sister, Marjorie. He received a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Nottingham and was a competitive cyclist in England, becoming a British University Hill Climbing champ and racing as an amateur in Europe. John and his friends also enjoyed the live jazz scene in England.
After serving in the British Army, John worked with Laing’s in Britain, earning his professional accreditation and building England’s first motorway. John married Stephanie Daffey in 1961 and together they had three children. In 1968, they immigrated to Canada where John worked for Gulf Oil, supervising the construction of gas stations across Ontario.
In 1972, he moved his family to Nova Scotia, where he worked until his retirement in 1998. John worked at several private firms as well as federal and provincial government departments. He led numerous large engineering projects including at Bedford Institute of Oceanography, the Bedford Waterfront, and Halifax Dockyard. John purchased a 27 foot wooden Tancook Sloop during this time, which he sailed and raced for more than 15 years.
In 2006, John moved to Victoria, BC to be close to his children and grandchildren. He re-discovered his passion for cycling and competition with the Sidney Velo Cycling club. John became a fan of organized bike tours and cycled many spectacular routes in BC, the Cascades, and finally rode sections of Giro Tour route in the Dolomites, Italy, and a lifelong goal. John always planned his trips well including where the best coffee shops were along the way.
John found a lot of pleasure in volunteer service as well as learning local history and culture. In Nova Scotia he was the Vice Commodore of Bedford Basin Yacht Club and Director of the Junior Sailing Program. He was an active member of Run Nova Scotia and the Halifax Cycling Coalition to improve bike safety. In British Columbia, John was an active volunteer at the Royal BC Museum, served as a Director of Sidney Velo, and loved to attend local lectures at the University of Victoria and in Sidney.
As all who knew him, John was active throughout his life – running, canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, sailing, ice skating and cycling. He will always be remembered for his passionate pursuit of physical activity, love of the outdoors, attention to detail, grit and strong work ethic.
John is survived by his three children, Daniel, Joanna (Terry Sullivan) and Lucy, two grandchildren, Maia and Ross, and a niece and two nephews in Italy, Brigitte, Livio and Sylvio.
The family thanks all of the wonderful people who were involved in their father’s care over the last eight months including his physician, Dr. Houghton, the doctors, nurses and staff at the BC Cancer Centre, Victoria Hospice Palliative Care Program, Island Health, and Van Isle Home Care.
There will be a gathering to celebrate John’s life at a later date. Location and details to follow.
Memorial donations in John’s memory can be made to BC Cancer Centre or Victoria Hospice.
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de John Cyril Smith 2020..
Décès pour la Ville: Victoria, Province: Colombie britanique