Derek Harvey Smith aged 88 of Nanaimo, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on June 26, 2014.
Derek leaves his beloved wife of 42 years, Diana, to mourn his passing. He also leaves a sister, Christine, in the UK, as well as family in Victoria.
Derek was born in Littlebourne, Kent, UK, on August 12, 1925, to Maude and Sidney Smith. He grew up working in the family mill, then at age 17, in 1943, joined the Royal Navy. He served during the Second World War as an engineer on tank landing crafts seeing action in many parts of Europe and the Far East. Derek immigrated to Canada in 1949 and settled for a few years in Winnipeg before joining the Canadian Navy in 1952. Derek served his adopted country well for 24 years, before being honourably discharged in 1976. Derek worked as an engineer at the municipal hospitals for the city of Winnipeg until his retirement in 1989. Leaving the snow and ice behind, Derek and Diana headed west to Nanaimo where they enjoyed many years with friends they made through Branch 257, Lantzville Legion. Derek always remained strongly connected to the Navy, and he was President of the Nanaimo branch of the Royal Canadian Naval Association for many years. He also worked with sea cadets and was an active member of the Legion.
Derek was a character to the very end, and his friends and comrades, as well as Diana’s extended family, will remember Derek fondly.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Nanaimo Seniors Village for the excellent care they extended to Derek during his residency over the last two years.
A memorial service celebrating Derek’s life will be held on Sunday, July 6, at 1:00 pm at the Lanzville Legion.
Sunset and evening star,
and one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
when I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the
boundless deep, turns again – home.
Twilight and evening bell,
and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place, the flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face,
when I have crossed the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson