Donald Smith  2017

Donald Smith 2017

Obituary Overview
Donald Smith
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of my father, Donald Ross Smith, on November 22, 2017. Born on May 30, 1927 in Brisbane Australia, my father was a globe trotter long before the Harlem basketball team. He spent time in Fiji, England, and Montreal at a very young age. This was a result of my grandfather’s job which required him to move around the world for the British company Cable and Wireless – installers of water cables and land lines. Dad’s migration to Halifax came early in his childhood years. A product of the Halifax School system, Dad traveled the halls of the now famous Tower Road School and later QE High School.
In pursuit of a mechanical engineering degree, he attended Dalhousie University and later the Technical University of Nova Scotia where he received his master’s degree. Dad played on Tech Basketball team and Tech Tennis Team while at TUNS and later in the Metro Intermediate basketball league.
His working career began in National Defense Establishment Atlantic where he dedicated 37 years. After that he consulted for another 10 years before he finally called it quits to enjoy a lively retirement with my mother Ferne. Coincidentally, they met in the lab but she changed jobs as married couples could not work together then.
Winters were spent in Florida at our family condo which allowed Dad to show off his tennis, golf and swimming prowess. For over 70 years, Dad enjoyed summers at the Halifax Waegwoltic Club and the Waeg became a focal point for our family. It is here that my father was a lifeguard, a tennis player, and a sailor. Dad was always of thing of beauty as he glided from one end of the pool to the other effortlessly. Like father like son he got me into swimming and tennis at an early age. We both continued to enjoy playing tennis together until his 89th year. That did not diminish his interest as he still enjoyed going down to watch others on the courts. The family sailboat named The Drifter could be seen floating up and down the North West Arm on those warm summer days.
Probably Dad’s greatest engineering feat was to be realized in 1968 when he became Group Leader of the Mechanical Design Group which spearheaded the design of a research craft called the PROTEUS which stands for the Propulsion Research and Ocean-Water Testing of Experimental Underwater Systems. The words finite element analysis mean nothing to we lay people but for him it is the elixir of life. In 1974 he became the group leader of Structural Mechanics and the use of finite element analysis for determining the strength of propellers which was to mature into a major project.
At the time of his retirement his work in this field culminated with him being awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Associate of Deputy Minister Material of the Department of National Defence. He also received an award for Government Patent for another engineering achievement. It is safe to say some people are put on earth for a particular purpose. My father is one such individual. His love of science and engineering is unparalleled and his devotion matched his passion.
I would be remiss to not also note that Dad was an aspiring artist throughout his life and his most notable piece the “Boot” hangs in our home. Don is survived by his only child Perry and daughter-in-law Alison (Edwards). Don was predeceased by his wife of 59 years Ferne Bell Smith and parents Clarence (Jack) and Selda Ross Smith. Donations in Dad’s memory can be made to Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation ( or to charity of choice. There will be no visitation and a private family memorial will be held. Thanks for so many wonderful years Dad as a mentor, father and friend. You and Mom will forever live in me. Until we meet again.

Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Donald Smith 2017.source

Décès pour la Ville: Dartmouth, Province: Nova Scotia

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