Dr. Murdock Arthur Smith, MD
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we regret to announce the sudden passing of Murdock Arthur Smith on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, surrounded by his loving family. He went the way he wanted, with his family by his side and working right up to the end.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Frances Smith (Johnson) and four children, Helen (Colin) Smith-MacPhail of Meadowbank, PEI, Kathleen (Mike) Mulherin of Port Williams, NS, Murdock (Colleen) Smith, Big Bras d'Or and Robert (Lindsay) Smith, Fort St. John, BC. He is also survived by grandchildren, Nicholas, Emma, Olivia and Leah MacPhail, Linus, Alden and Henry Mulherin, Murdock Smith, Jonny Whelan and Jack and Edison Smith. He was predeceased by granddaughter, Jillian Whelan in 2012. Murdock is also survived by sisters, Mora Smith and Louise Smith-MacDonald; nieces, Elizabeth (Stephen) and Alison (Darryl); brother-in-law, Dr. Bill (Carol) Johnson, Saint John, NB; sister-in-law, Elsie Johnson, Edmonton, AB and several nieces and nephews.
Born July 16, 1940, Murdock was the son of the late Murdock Arthur and Helen Kathleen (Holloway) Smith.
He grew up in Ashby on Upper Prince Street and attended Ashby School and Sydney Academy, before heading off to King’s College, Acadia and later, Dalhousie University, where he graduated from the Dalhousie Medical School, Class of 1969. He returned home to Sydney with his bride, Fran, in tow and started a family, a life and a legacy that would span the next 50 years. June 15, 2019, would have marked his 50th year of practicing medicine to the great people of Sydney.
The most important things in Murdock’s life were his family, his work and his community. He poured his heart and soul into these. From his too numerous to mention committees and work on many boards on a local, provincial and national level (what wasn't he involved in?) to looking out for the regular guy, he was a true community builder. If he saw a need that he could fill, he would try his best to fill it. He was passionate about his home, Cape Breton. He strived to contribute and to make an impact in whatever he was involved. Murdock was a huge supporter of the Screaming Eagles, as anyone who saw him at a game at Centre 200 would know! He enjoyed his regular Thursday night bridge games with the Ashby Bridge Club and the unconditional friendship of a group of people who were like family. Murdock enjoyed the hard working beauty of Sydney and Cape Breton. The family has countless memories of driving down back roads, to small communities and neighborhoods (often while he was making a house call) and seeing the subtle treasures of this Island.
One of the things that Murdock was most proud of was being a constant and consistent provider of primary health care on Cape Breton Island. He loved to care for people from "cradle to grave" and talk about "the babies of babies he delivered". He respected all of his patients and was honoured to provide 50 years of service to generations of Cape Bretoners. While he was proud of his many achievements within his profession, Murdock was humbled to be a integral part of so many lives of his patients, from the many births to the deaths and everything in between ... he was a true FAMILY physician, and they just don't make them like that anymore! It is impossible to describe the impact Murdock had on the lives of so many people.
Known as "Papa" to his 12 grandchildren, Dad left us with all kinds of wonderful teachings: work hard, be responsible for your actions, make an honest effort, be compassionate, enjoy a good laugh, keep your friends close and take care of those you love. In honour of him, please consider these life lessons.
Visitation will take place at Sydney Memorial Chapel, 49 Welton St., on Wednesday May 15 from 7-9 p.m. and Thursday May 16 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service, under the direction of Sydney Memorial Chapel, will take place at the Joan Harris Pavilion on Friday, May 17 at 2 p.m., with Rev. Thomas Whent officiating. Reception to follow.
Family flowers only. Memorials may be made to the Hospice/Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital or the YMCA.
Special thanks to the staff of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, especially the Coronary Care Unit.
"Forever loved, forever in our hearts, until we meet again."