October 22, 2021
Born November 29 in Burnaby BC, Roger attended Edmonds Elementary School then Burnaby South. His love for the stage started there in Sound of Music with his sister Penny. He was active in many music and drama productions, in Burnaby and New Westminster.
Roger learned RV Service at the family business and went on to become Service Manager on the other lower mainland lots.
In 1981 he visited Mick and Glo, Mom and Dad, on Quadra Island. He was hooked. He married and had one son; Jeremy. After many years and several positions at Walcan Seafoods, he opted to be a fish and wild life guide and was a good one for several years. He always loved the water, that was his Happy Place.
Quadra was a perfect place to hone his music and acting skills, he loved the old “coffee houses” at the Community Centre. Since they couldn’t afford a piano, when one was required they loaded Roger’s piano into the back of his pickup and off it went to do the job. He had a great voice and sang solo or group, played piano or guitar and acted whatever role came up.
The highlight was lead singer in Tidemark production of the Mikado. His last 20 years or so were spent in Campbell River working retail auto and marine stores, then working with adult and children with special needs. He loved them all.
Roger was a social drinker like many of us, beers with the buddies after work or weekend parties. I’m telling you this because Roger would want me to. Alcohol began to take control of his life. Studies show it can actually rewire the brain. He went through many treatment centers and would always tell me “don’t try to hide it Mom. If they ask about me tell them I’m in treatment. People need to know how powerful alcohol can be and be watchful.” He was never able to beat it.
The last few years he was in and out of hospital, kidneys and liver not functioning properly. 2021 he was in long term care at Lady Minto hospital on Saltspring Island and they were wonderful. December 1st, 2021 he moved to Campbell River New Horizons extended care and was admitted to hospital December 14th. His organs were shutting down, and lungs infected. Alcohol is not kind.
He passed away at 8pm December 22nd, 2021 with his son Jeremy at his side. He leaves son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Ruby and grandchildren Amelia, Eliza and Griffin. Parents Richard (Mickey) and Gloria Smith, sister Penny Ritchie (Ted), nieces and nephew Marlo (robert), Deanna (Dave), Jesse (Rachel), Uncle Gary Norum (Regina), grand nieces and nephews and many cousins.
He lived a full life, loved and was loved. He asked that his ashes be sprinkled in Discover Passage so sometime this summer when the weather is fine that will happen.
Roger loved animals and always had dogs and cats, in younger days a pet raccoon, baby birds, and once a cold wet bat he found clinging to a bush.
Maybe they will meet again on the Rainbow Bridge.
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