After a short illness and soon after his 83rd birthday, Brian Edward Smith of Bobcaygeon has died. Beloved and devoted husband of 56 years to Noreen, he was also the much-loved father of Joyce, Carole (Bill) and Helen (Adrian), and papa to Angus, Kate and Freya. Brian delighted in his family and we in him.
A graduate of the University of Reading, Brian taught in Brighton, England before immigrating to Canada with Noreen in 1967. He spent his career in the Niagara area, teaching geography at Merritton, Governor Simcoe, Beamsville, Ridley College and Niagara District high schools. Earning an MEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Brian was a thoughtful and compassionate teacher, seeing the best in every student. He was an active participant in theatre and musicals, photographing, stage directing and often also acting alongside students. He starred as Thomas Becket in a St. Catharines production of Murder in the Cathedral and led a fundraising performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Kawarthas. His beautiful approach to words made him an excellent lector and emcee.
Blessed with a sensitive bass voice, Brian shared his talents and love of music with a multitude of choirs, including the Brighton Orpheus Choir, Chorus Niagara, the St. Cecilia Singers, the Peterborough Singers and the Kawartha Lakes Singers.
Born in London, England, Brian is predeceased by his parents and his brother Ted. With the love of his grandmother, he survived a difficult wartime childhood to grow into a man of deep decency, great sense of humour, a cinephile’s encyclopedic memory for actors and directors, a passion for photography, and a constant curiosity. A good IPA, an excellent football (soccer) game, books from quantum physics to spy thrillers, cryptic crosswords and a challenging jigsaw puzzle were all favourite pursuits.
Cremation has occurred and a celebration of life will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations to Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes would be much appreciated.