Thomas Hugh Smith

Thomas Hugh Smith was born September 22, 1936 in God’s Country with the gift of the gab and a penchant for fun. His favourite sports included Alpine skiing on his beloved Red Mountain, playing basketball and teasing vulnerable females, young and old, including his sisters, Joan (deceased) and Ellen. As a consequence of his incessant teasing, he also became proficient at jumping out of open windows and evading carving knives, preparing him for an inevitable career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Tom was predeceased by his father, Thomas, and his mother, Jessie, who instilled in their son a love of music, good food, abundant drink and a fierce devotion to family.   He grew up in Rossland, and left to accompany his family to Victoria for the sake of his father’s health.

Eventually, he made his way to Toronto with the RCMP, where he met and married his life’s love, Lois, over 53 years ago. In those early days of their marriage, he was known for his frugality. He could make a boxful of homemade sandwiches last most of the way across Canada before he had to break down, actually stop the car, and—God Forbid—eat at a restaurant. While he was economic with day to day life, he was always generous with family and friends, taking particular delight in later years in buying fine single malt scotches to share with his brother, Gord.

Family duty brought Tom and Lois to Victoria in 1966, where they raised their three children, Tom Jr, Lisa and Bob. Outdoor hikes, skating, long walks and talks, blackberry picking and family vacations, Tom loved spending time with his family. Tom adored his mother, Jessie, and she lived with them for 23 years. Their home on Cadillac Avenue became the unofficial Smith Family Homestead, hosting relatives from as far away as Scotland and England throughout those happy years. Hot dog roasts, barbeques, big family dinners, water fights, wine making and parties, it was a beehive of activity. “Who has more fun than we do?” became Tom’s motto.

After 23 ½ years, Tom retired from the RCMP, spending happy years travelling with Lois to many of their favourite destinations: Reno, Rossland, Cape Breton, Rossland, the Oregon Coast and Rossland. When they weren’t travelling, you’d usually find Tom and Lois playing cards—not for the faint of heart—or entertaining in their kitchen. They were routinely seen on their ritual walk around the neighbourhood. Tom was infamous in his family for his Donald Duck impersonation, entertaining generations of laughing children, who in turn filled the household with oft repeated pleas to “do Donald Duck” and then “do it again, Grandpa”.

Tom passed away on October 17, 2015 at the age of 79. There will be a celebration of life for him on November 28th at 1206 Tall Tree Place, Victoria, BC (aka Lisa and Peter’s) from 1:00 pm until the bartender shouts “Time Gentlemen Please!” Refreshments will be provided. In lieu of flowers, please bring your memories of Tom and a willingness to share a toast to a man who was greatly loved and will be sorely missed. His memory will live on in the hearts of his family and all of those who had the privilege of meeting him.   With a life force such as his set free, the stars will shine brighter and the sun will burn brightly for all of eternity.

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Condolence Messages

  1. I and my family want to offer condolences to my aunt Rene and the entire smith family in Tom’s passing. I have alot of wonderful memories of Tom as my uncle and will always remember his warmth and laughter when we were together. He was a great man and we will miss him dearly.

    Sean, Yvonne, Leah and Ashlyn Fahey

  2. My condolences to the Smith family at this time. Tom always extended himself and his home to our family whenever we ventured out West. I will always remember the great fun we had and his great warmth and generosity to me.
    He indeed will be greatly missed.

  3. Maureen Wilson :

    Our sincere condolences to all of you. We will remember Uncle Tom for the twinkle in his eyes, the love for his family and homeland, and the ability to tell a story! May your memories give you peace and live forever in your hearts.
    Maureen, Paul, Turner and Griffin

  4. Mike, Susan, Lizzie, Vincent Connor :

    We are saddened with the loss of Uncle Tom. He and entire Smith family are alive in our hearts and we are sending our love and prayers from many miles away. I hope you find comfort in the treasured memories of family time spent together. With Love- Mike, Susan, Lizzie, Vincent ❤️

  5. Carolyn & Bernie Bates :

    Lois’s brother Bernie and I extend condolences to Lois, Tom, Lisa and Bobby and families on the loss of a husband, father and grandfather and extended families. Tom’s booming voice and love of stories and laughter will be missed. On one trip to Cape Breton we indeed shared the trip from Ontario together sharing motel rooms and that same boxed lunch. Better times could never be had. Loads of love, laughs and yes a wee sip here and there. Tom lived life and loved life and his memory will live on in the hearts of his family.

  6. Keith and Carole Simpson :

    Lois and Family please accept our sincere sympathy on your loss of Tom. Lisa, you have written a wonderful tribute for your Father and everything you said is dead on. Tom certainly enjoyed every minute of his life and I spent several years working with him at RCMP Headquarters. He was a dedicated and valued Policeman. He even shared some of his single malt with me whenever we got together to try and solve the world’s problems! Another one of “the good ones” gone.

  7. Frances and Paul Zaza :

    Dear Lisa,
    Your tribute to your Dad was beautiful and touching. Our warmest thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

    Sincerely,
    Paul and Bunny

  8. Jackie and David Pardy :

    Lisa, we are thinking of you and the family at this time and sending our love.

    Sincerely,
    Jackie and David

  9. Indeed, Tom was one of the “good ones” in high school too. The best centre on the Rossland High School basketball team, unabashed voice in the school choir at a time when only girls did that sort of thing, an important member of the ‘cabin building gang’ – he lugged the old iron stove up to Indian Flats. With his steady nature and easy demeanor it’s not surprising that he would be a great cop. High School was a wonderful experience with him there.

  10. Bob & Jackie Baker :

    Lois @ Family. Our hearts and prayers are with you. we will remember Tom-playing cards- his zest for life and his infectious laugh.

  11. Paddy and Sylvia Ryan :

    Lois and family, please accept our condolences on the passing of Tom. Tom and I met at the RCMP Training Depot in January of 1958 . This friendship lasted over the years. His sense of humour always kept the party going. He always talked about Rossland B.C. and Red Mountain where he developed his skiing ability. Sylvia and I and you and Tom had many a good time at the RCAF Station on Avenue Road in Toronto. We all have fond memories of Tom. He was one of my best friends. All the very best to you Lois and your family.
    Paddy and Sylvia, Burlington, Ontario.

  12. Richard (Dick) and Judy Dickins :

    Lois, please accept our condolences on the passing of Tom. It has been years since I last saw him or you but it is impossible for anyone who met Tom to forget him. I recall many stories about him in Toronto, including hobbling on one leg from the Beverley Street Barracks and driving to the Avenue Road Legion, in a borrowed car, – to meet with his friends.

    The obit describes Tom to a T,( no pun intended). I have great memories of him, he was truly one of the good guys, may his memory and his love of life and family live on.

    Richard (Dick) and Judy Dickins,
    Brockville, Ontario

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