Robert Nairn Semple

April 11, 1945 – May 26, 2019
Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Friend, Sensei and Mentor.
Nairn Semple, beloved son of Robert and Mary (Birtwistle) Semple, born April 11, 1945 in Northwich, Cheshire, England, arriving in Nanaimo in 1946, passed away peacefully on May 26, 2019 on the Palliative Care Unit at NRGH where family and friends gathered to say their goodbyes and send him off with love and gratitude.
Nairn was a painter/decorator by trade, and a darned good one! He was mentored by his Grandpa and Dad and named for them. He was loved and cared for during his lengthy illness by his sisters and brother-in-law, Susan & John (Ward) and Wendy (Pratt). They were honoured to walk this journey with him.
Nairn married twice and was blessed with four beautiful daughters; Krista, Randa, Lainya and Savannah and four grandchildren; Desta, Mateos, Beza (Krista/Tamirat) and Everett (Randa/Graham) with one more on the way.
Nairn’s greatest love, aside from family, was Karate. For 48 years he helped build and strengthen the Nanaimo Shotokan Karate Club, eventually achieving his 6th Dan (degree) black belt. He was a revered Sensei and his greatest joy was working with youth. Many came back to visit him as adults during his illness.
Nairn was a founder of the Canadian Shotokan Karate Association and, later, ShotoCanada. In 2016 he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his dedication to karate and ShotoCanada. Nairn left palliative care dressed in his karate gi complete with black belt. He looked strong and ready for his next adventure.
Thank you to Dr. Derek Poteryko, as well as the many palliative doctors and nurses on PCU, and other amazing staff and Hospice volunteers who came to love him during the final months of his life. Many cried with us as they too said their goodbyes. No words can express how grateful we are for their kindness and the high degree of compassion and professionalism they showed.
In the end Nairn was at peace, and expressed his belief that when he died his spirit would burst into a thousand pieces that would settle in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. He will be missed but his memory will never be far away.
Celebration of Life: Beban Park Social Centre, 1 pm, Sunday, June 23, 2019.
Donations to NRGH Palliative Care Unit and/or Nanaimo Community Hospice Society.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.