With heavy hearts our family would like to share that on October 23rd, 2019 our amazing dad & husband, Captain Keith L. Smith, lost his battle with cancer. To say he fought this terrible disease bravely with dignity, and stubbornly would be a huge understatement. Keith is survived by his wife Janice, children; Jillian (Jason) and Joey (Stephanie) grandson Kingston.
Keith was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1951 to Robert and Josephine Smith. He grew up in Saskatoon with his 3 brothers and always enjoyed the outdoors. He had many fond memories of family time at the cottage on the lake. Keith graduated from Aden Bowmen High School.
Upon leaving home, Keith traveled around North America and made his way to the west coast, where he became a commercial fisherman. He had a deep love for the sea, spending the rest of his life by the ocean. Keith braved the harshest seas on the Pacific Ocean for 50 years and took the utmost pride in his seamanship.
In 1975, he met the love of his life, Janice. They were married for 43 years (as he would joke, “in a row!”). They married in 1976 and started their adventure by purchasing a fishing boat and building a house in Lantzville. Keith and Janice enjoyed many years exploring and fishing in B.C. In 1982 they welcomed their first child, Jillian, followed closely with their son, Joey in 1984. Keith loved being a father. He worked hard to provide for his family, but always took time to take his family on adventures and create a magical back yard for his children to enjoy. Two of his favourite people were his next door neighbours, his in-laws, Marie and Lorne Wilmer.
Keith was a dedicated member to his community. He loved living in Lantzville by the sea. He was a volunteer with the Lantzville Fire Department for 15 years where he made many friends. Keith was always ready to lend a hand or share a joke with people in his community. He enjoyed walking to the village with his dog Rocco. Keith always loved having a dog. Some might say that his last dog Rocco was his favourite child.
In 1992 Keith completed his Marine Masters papers. He became a Captain on a landing vessel which delivered supplies up and down the coast. Keith also worked as a Captain on a tug boat. Keith began his career with BC Ferries in the mid-90s. He worked various routes, including Haida Gwaii, Texada Island, Thetis Island and finally his retirement route on Gabriola Island, where he and Janice built their cozy dream cottage. Keith retired in 2014.
In 2015 Keith became a Papa to his pride and joy, and best little buddy, Kingston. Together they loved watching ships go by, playing outside, picking strawberries, watching dinosaur shows and playing with the dogs.
Keith was the real deal. What you saw was what you got and he always told it like it was. He was hard working, skilled and versatile. Never one to sit still, he was always ready to take on the next project and he took great pride in his work. He set an amazing example of a loving husband, father & papa. Captain Keith forged a trail of laughter, generosity, compassion and wisdom wherever he went. He is loved dearly and will be missed every single day. All that being said, his biggest accomplishment may have been surviving this long without a cell phone.
The Smith family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported us throughout Keith’s illness and passing. We also would also like to extend our gratitude to the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. M. Segedi, everyone at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Dr. H. Putter, Dr. S. Kulla, and the NRGH palliative care team, with a special thank you to nurse Vi.
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