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Russell Gordon Smith

Russell Gordon Smith (1978 BA Theology) died on 25 September 2022 aged 63.

It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Russell Gordon Smith on September 25, 2022 after his year-long battle with esophageal cancer. Russell spent his last month at his family home on Bowen Island surrounded by his loving family and their partners. He leaves behind his wife, Gillian, and their five children: Jessica (Steven), Alex (Ellie), Amelia (Sam), Griffin (Madie), and Rosie. Russell is predeceased by his parents, Hilary and Brian Smith, stepfather Peter Kelland, and sisters Clare and April. He will be lovingly remembered by his brother and sister-in-law Clive and Carol Smith and their children: Rachel (Tom), Greg (Chen), Stephanie (Hugh), his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Edward and Mariette White and their daughters Emma and Charlotte. Russell was born in Leicester, UK on the 4th of November 1959. As a young boy he attended Stoneygate in Leicester before heading off to join his brother at Uppingham boarding school in Rutland. At seventeen, Russell travelled to India for seven months, where he volunteered with Mother Teresa’s organization. Following his travels to India, Russell received his degree in Theology from Oxford University, Keble College. He adored sports of all kinds but was particularly proud of captaining the Oxford Eton Fives team. Following his time at Oxford, Russell was also a proud member of The Jesters Club, actively participating and hosting throughout his adult life. Russell had a strong passion for mental health advocacy and as a volunteer, ran the Leicester division of the Samaritans, a crisis hotline. Aspiring to work in the family business, Russell was sent to serve at Le Pigonnet in the South of France, training at a high level of silver service before joining his brother in the family’s industrial catering business: Brian Smith Catering Services. Russell loved to ski and travelled every year to Kitzbühel, Austria. There, on a T-bar ski lift, he met the love of his life, Gillian. They were married eight months later in Vancouver on August 25, 1990. Russell and Gillian lived in Leicester for the first seven years of their marriage before moving to Gillian’s hometown, Vancouver, BC in 1997 to raise their growing family. In 1999 Russell began working at Odlum Brown as an investment advisor, retiring as a company director in June 2019. Russell had a deep love for music. He sang with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir and was passionate about his two beloved grand pianos. His children have fond memories of falling asleep to Dad practicing with Mum often joining in song. Russell should be celebrated for his dedication to his community through holding board member positions for many of the organizations in which he participated. Russell was a deeply devoted and involved husband and father, creating time to ski every weekend with his family, making his famous pancakes on Sunday mornings, and spending numerous hours in the summer towing kids behind their boat at Hood Point. He will be forever remembered for his sense of humour, his pride in his family, and his deep love for Gillian.

Obituary originally published in the Globe and Mail.