Dr. Smith was born on the Fourth of July, 1946, in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1971, and completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of British Columbia in 1978. Following this, he completed additional training in pediatric anesthesiology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. When he joined the anesthesiology staff at BC Children's Hospital, he became one of the few members of the group who performed the highly specialized practice of pediatric cardiac anesthesiology.
He was Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of British Columbia. He loved to teach and was a mentor and inspiration for many students, in recognition of which he received the UBC Master Teacher Award in 1991. He made numerous contributions to his specialty through participation in research and administrative activities. He was an outstanding anesthesiologist with a calm and deliberate approach to caring for children. Surgeons knew they could focus on the operation because the child was in expert hands. With a remarkably kind spirit and unassuming demeanor, he was known as a confident and humble man.
He was passionate about family and friends and generous with his time. He loved carpentry, was a knowledgeable handyman at home and cottage. His very active outdoor life included sailing, kayaking, camping, and participating as a member of the volunteer ski patrol at Whistler. He was a pilot and a motorcyclist. In his spare time, he played guitar and built working model airplanes. He played hockey with the Children's Hospital team, the "Pedi-Hat Tricks." Being a consummate prankster, he loved to entertain using his many disguises, magic tricks and collection of special ties for every social occasion.
He was a dear friend to many and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Connie (Kraai), a Holstein, IA native; his daughter Meghan; son Colin; brother Peter from Toronto; and sister Pam from Ottawa.
Donations may be made to the Michael Foster Smith Fund, c/o Department of Pediatric Anesthesia, BC Children's Hospital, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver V6H 3V4.