Dr. Harry John Smith, BSc. (Agr), DVM, MVSc.
On 1 December 2011 at the Sackville Memorial Hospital in Sackville, NB, Dr. Harry John Smith, BSc. (Agr), DVM, MVSc., beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Harry was born in Arundel, Quebec, on 3 September, 1927, to Jack and Myrtle (Welden) Smith, and spent a happy childhood on the family farm with his two younger sisters, Mary Craig and Nora Trineer. The last surviving member of his immediate family, he leaves to mourn several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He graduated from Macdonald College with a degree in Agriculture, planning to carry on his father’s farming tradition, but while at university was bitten by the entomology and parasitology bug (so to speak!) He enrolled in the Ontario Veterinary College (now part of the University of Guelph) where he studied for his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a Masters degree in Veterinary Parasitology from the University of Toronto. Upon graduation in 1960 he came to Sackville, NB, with his wife, Susan Bird, planning to remain for one year. It was the beginning of a lifetime career in the Animal Pathology Laboratory in Sackville, NB where he was involved in research and diagnosis until retirement in 1990. He also taught a course on medical protozoology at Mount Allison University for several years, and lectured for a semester at the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI. He authored dozens of publications for various medical, veterinary and zoological journals, and made several contributions to Merck’s Veterinary Manual. He performed to the very best of his ability and never faltered in this aim.
As a young man at university in Guelph, Harry was able to
take pilot training, getting his flying license on a
"tail-dragger". He flew for a few years only, a
growing family and work taking precedence, but he had a lifelong
fascination with flight, and relished every chance he had to fly
either commercially or in small planes with family members who were
Harry was a member of a host of professional associations, including the Canadian and New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Associations. He served as Chairman and President of many professional groups, including holding the office of president of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. He was co-founder and member of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, serving as president from 1985-1988. He strongly supported the Boy Scouts of Canada, the Sackville Basketball Boosters Association, the VON, the Rotary Club (he was a Paul Harris Fellow), and the Sackville and District Cancer Society. He served as board member of the NB Division of the Canadian Cancer Society for many years and was awarded the Medal of Courage by the Society. Recreationally, Harry was a member of both the Sackville Curling and Golf Clubs and a member and past president of the Sackville Art Association. His oil paintings are hung with pride in the homes of many friends and family members. A very important part of Harry's life was his role as Layreader in the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly in the Parish of Sackville and St. Paul's Church where he was a member for over fifty years. Harry's faith was central in his life. Above all, he was a gentleman, courtly and honest and kind, with many friends over his long life.
Harry’s personal life was rich and satisfying. In 1959, he married Susan Bird in Ottawa, and they became parents of two much-loved sons, Andrew (Judy), and Stephen (Lynn), both in Ottawa. He was very proud of his three grandchildren, Alex, Patrick and Emma Smith, the apple of his eye. In 1984 Sue died of cancer and in 1998 he married Nancy McFarlane. Harry and Nan enjoyed travelling together, gardening, renovating, working together on games and word puzzles, entertaining, reading, and enjoying the bird life at both their homes. With Nan came a second family of four daughters, Leigh (Pierre), Charlottetown; Lesley (Brian), Winnipeg; Hilary, Oromocto; Sara, Halifax; and two more sons, Seth, London, ON and Peter John, Calgary. In addition, ten more grandchildren called him variously Harry, Grampa, Pa or Papa: Anna (Jay) and William; Maggie; Jonathan, James, Mercedes and Ursula; and Jack, Sam and Kate. They all loved him dearly and he loved them. He relished telling them stories, collecting insects with Patrick, playing crib, and enjoying their company during long and happy holidays at his and Nan’s summer cottage in Port Hilford, NS, a place Harry came to love greatly and adopt as his own. Many hilarious bridge games were played there too, with much laughter and happiness. His beloved corgi, Christie, gave him years of devoted pleasure and he missed her sorely. Harry adored being with his family. As his health deteriorated, he turned from curling and golf which he so enjoyed to Sudoku and word games with the same desire to excel. And he began a second book of memoirs on which he continued to labour during his last weeks of life.
The family is greatly indebted to the kindness of Linda Amos and Barbara Ward who helped Harry remain at home as long as possible. The skill and compassion of Dr. Catherine Johnston and the staff of Sackville Memorial Hospital were unrivalled in their impeccable care for him.
Visitation will be held at Jones Funeral Home, 70 Bridge St, in Sackville on Thursday, December 8, 2011 from 7 to 9 pm. On Friday, December 9, a Funeral Eucharist will be held at 2 pm in St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Sackville, NB, celebrated by Canon Kevin Stockall. The committal will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 1 pm at Lakeside Cemetery (The Point), Port Hilford, NS. Those wishing to make memorial donations are invited to do so to the benefit of St. Paul’s Anglican Church or Sackville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.