It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Laurence (Larry or Bud) Douglas Smith on Friday, September 25th, 2020 at the age of 77 years. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 55 years Judy, his daughter Lisa, his son-in-law Brian, his granddaughter Clara, and his brothers Robert (late Paula) and Don (Bev).
Larry was born and raised in St. Thomas, Ontario to Gladys and Harold Smith. He enjoyed a boyhood playing in the gulley under the trestle bridge and getting into much mischief (we can tell you a funny story about an unsuccessful attempt to dodge some horse manure!). He then attended the University of Western Ontario (which led to later arguments with his daughter about whether Western or Queen’s was superior) and obtained a degree in math. While still in university he met Judy on a blind date at the Western Fair thanks to his friend Ken who was dating Judy’s cousin Sally. The two enjoyed dates at the A & W drive-in before marrying in 1965. Although Larry considered teaching, he opted for work as a computer system’s analyst and accepted a job with GM in Oshawa. He soon realized he was a Ford man and joined the Ford Motor Company where he remained for over 30 years until his retirement. Larry enjoyed supporting Ford by buying new cars every few years, with his favourite likely being a Mach 1 Mustang. Larry and Judy soon welcomed daughter Lisa and spent many years living in Burlington, Ontario. Larry was a wonderful and involved father to Lisa and supported her in whatever she pursued. During her youth, he enjoyed coaching her soccer teams, including a stint as coach with the Burlington International Games in Vermont. One of Larry’s proudest moments was attending Lisa’s PhD dissertation defense. He was asked by the committee if he had any questions and all he said was, “I’m just damn impressed!” Larry was also father to a number of dogs. He particularly loved his miniature schnauzers Schatzie, Sacha and Maggie. In his later years he also loved cats, but dogs were definitely his first love. Larry enjoyed many pastimes over the years including, the gun club, photography, golfing, stamp collecting, vacationing with family, partying and dancing with friends at famous Halloween costume parties (ask us about the old man mask outfit), and power boating. The latter led to Larry being the Commander of the Burlington Power Squadron and teaching a safe boating course; roles for which he was quite honoured. The beginning of more proud moments for Larry was welcoming his grandchild. He was a loving and devoted “Papa” to Clara and was one of her staunchest supporters throughout her life. He often said how much he enjoyed pushing a baby carriage through the mall when she was little, and he was incredibly proud of what she has accomplished and the adult she has become.
Although Larry’s health deteriorated in recent years, necessitating that he be cared for in a nursing home, he remained devoted to his family and followed our lives with interest. We will be forever grateful for the kind and considerate care he received at Garry J. Armstrong Home and we would like to thank the physicians and staff of the Montfort Hospital for caring for him so compassionately in his last days.
Given the pandemic situation, there will be no public service; however, a small family gathering will take place in St. Thomas, Ontario in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Ottawa Humane Society to honour Larry’s love of animals.