Obituary of Kenneth Smee
After a courageous battle with cancer, Kenneth Alfred Smee died peacefully on May 10, 2023 with his family by his side. Ken left us to join the love of his life and best friend, his late wife of 48 years, Willie (2013). He is survived by his mother-in-law, Willie Ruben; his siblings Gwendie, Doug, Tom and Linda, their spouses, Frank, Jen, Ellen and Ken; his brother-in-law Rudy and his wife Reina; his three beloved children and their spouses, Andrew and Yvonne, John and Kate, and Caroline; his eight adored and adoring grandchildren Madeleine, Charlotte, Sami, Lindsey, Michael, Dean, Ian, and Gabriel; and, many loving nieces and nephews.
Born in Pincher Creek in 1940, he grew up in Lethbridge and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1962. He continued his education at McGill University, where he met Willie, and where he earned an MSc in Physics. He served in the Artillery in Petawawa and Cyprus, and was on the faculty at RMC for five years. After leaving the Canadian Armed Forces, he obtained an MBA from Queen’s University in 1971. He then joined Alcan for several years after which he began his long successful career with Royal Bank of Canada serving in a variety of roles from Comptroller and Chief Accountant to President, Royal Bank of Puerto Rico, and ultimately as Executive Vice-President, Systems and Technology. After retiring from RBC in 1997, he served on the board of directors for several companies. Always an active contributor to his community, Ken was a member of the RMC Club, Chairman of Queen’s University School of Business Advisory Council, and Chairman of the Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto. Ken was an enthusiastic member of the United Church, first at the Mount Royal United Church, then Oriole York Mills, and now Eglinton St. George.
A wonderful person, Ken was happiest spending time with family and friends and traveling the world to experience new cultures and to see his grandchildren. He was the consummate good sport. No fan of running from his military training days, he nevertheless took up running in his 60s to join Willie, his children and grandchildren on many 10k races. He loved adventures and was curious about the world, becoming a wine expert after many trips to France with Willie and their friends. He and Willie also enjoyed many long walks on the Camino de Santiago where they made many friends from all over the world, a tradition he continued after her passing. Ken was kind, generous, funny, intelligent, loving, and cultured. Interesting to talk to, Ken will be sorely missed but leaves us to be with his cherished Willie.
The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19th. The service in celebration of Ken's life will be held on Saturday, May 20th at 1:00 p.m. at Eglinton St. George's United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd., Toronto, with a reception to follow. Memorial donations may be made to Eglinton St. George's United Church or to the RMC Club. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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