Michael Foster Smith MD, FRCPC, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep in September while at the family cottage on the Sunshine Coast. His adored wife, Connie, was at his side.
Michael was born in Toronto, Ontario. He grew to be a handsome, well-loved man who lived a life of passionate engagement. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1971, and completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of British Columbia in 1978. Following this, he completed additional training in pediatric anesthesiology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. When he joined the anesthesiology staff at BC Children’s Hospital, he became one of the few who performed pediatric cardiac anesthesiology.
Dr Smith was clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology at UBC. Michael loved to teach and was a mentor and inspiration for many students, in recognition of which he received the UBC Master Teacher Award in 1991. He made numerous contributions to his specialty through participation in research and administrative activities. He was an outstanding anesthesiologist with a calm and deliberate approach to caring for children. Surgeons knew they could focus on the operation because the child was in expert hands. With a kind spirit and unassuming demeanor, he was known as a confident and humble man.
Michael was passionate about family and friends and generous with his time. He loved carpentry, and was a knowledgeable handyman at home and cottage. His very active outdoor life included sailing, kayaking, camping, and participating as a member of the volunteer ski patrol at Whistler. He was a pilot and a motorcyclist. In his spare time, he played guitar and built working model airplanes. He played hockey with the Children’s Hospital team, the Pedi-Hat Tricks. Being a consummate prankster, he loved to entertain using his many disguises, magic tricks, and collection of special ties for every social occasion.
Michael will be sorely missed by all who knew him. To his family, colleagues, and friends, Michael’s absence is like a hole in the sky. He is survived by Connie (Kraai), his wife of 26 years, daughter Meghan, son Colin, brother Peter from Toronto, and sister Pam from Ottawa.
Donations may be made to the Michael Foster Smith Fund, c/o Department of Pediatric Anesthesia, BCCH, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver V6H 3V4.
—Richard Lee, MRCSE, Vancouver
—Gerry Goresky, MD, Vancouver
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