Our beloved Don was called home on August 7th, after a brief illness. He lived a life of integrity and died peacefully, with dignity, at home. Family was a priority to Don; his departure is an unfathomable loss to life partner Ellen Besso and cherished daughter Bronwen. The couple were each other's backbone, their strong marriage allowed them to include many in their circle of love.
To Ellen, Don was "an exemplary husband and father, who always put family first". "Kindness has been my guiding principle in life", says Bronwen, attributing this to her parents' example. To his little sister Barbara, "He was always there with listening ears, the right words and a comforting touch". Nephew Jeff says, "His smile and aura were one of a kind, nothing can replace a beautiful soul." Brother Gord recalls Don racing a Ferrari on a 750 Honda and losing because the bike would not top 100 mph!
Don was a warm and gentle man, unassuming, generous and genuine, with his own brand of humour. People felt good around him. He was a sponsor in Canada's Tibetan Resettlement Program and helped Syrian refugees resettle on the Coast.
A long time community member, Don was a Professional Land Surveyor in both Ontario & BC, operating his own company on the Coast. He loved the outdoors, walking, biking, kayaking, surveying in the woods and swimming effortlessly across the bay each summer.
Don travelled extensively in his 20's with Johnny Besso, to Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia and India, took family trips to Mexico and the US, then from 2007 to 2017, made five life changing trips to India with Ellen, where they met many Tibetans in exile, culminating in a meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Deep gratitude to the medical professionals who cared for Don: Dr. Mundy, Dr. Dragowska, Dr. Jangi, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Wadge, Dr. Gyamtso and Dr. Tsomo, to Lisa, Eva, Nely, Carol, all the caring nurses and care aides and Coast Ability.
Please send memories of Don to: email@example.com.
Donations in Don's name to Children's Sanctuary Namibia Society: www.childrenssanctuarynamibiasociety.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Garton Smith, please visit our floral store.