Died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Friday, April 11, 2014 after a short battle with Mesothelioma at the age of 65. Beloved husband of Debra McKinnon-Smit and loving father to Jennifer Smit and Joe South of Corunna; Jackie and Jim Easson of Camlachie; and Madison and Matthew Smit of Sarnia. Cherished brother to Willie Smit; brother-in-law to Donna Lee McKinnon of Chesley; and Papa to Jacob and Grady Vandenberghe and Marlo and Briar Easson. Predeceased by his parents Willem and Francine Smit, in-laws John and Joan McKinnon and granddaughter Morgan Vandenberghe(2012) and nephew Wayne Thibert(1986).
Hank moved to Canada from Ede, Holland in 1952 at the age of 4 with his parents and sister and settled in Petrolia. Hank was a dedicated Sarnia Firefighter for 32 years before his retirement in 2008. He was an avid golfer and enthusiast of classic cars. He will be remembered for his infectious smile and being the life of the party, playing the harmonica for anyone who would listen.
Hank touched the lives of many and had many treasured friendships. One of Hank’s most valued friendships was with Judy Schultz, his first wife, whom he had a special relationship that many have envied and can never be repeated, also Jim Stenten a special family friend. Hank’s long time friendship with his “brothers” at the Sarnia Fire Department gave him such strength and joy over his career and beyond; they were invaluable to him. Hank’s greatest achievement was watching his first and second generation kids grow up. He loved his kids unconditionally and with all his heart. He will continue to watch over them and share life’s ups and downs with them.
The family wishes to give a special thank you to the Victorian Order of Nurses staff and especially to Diane Ducharme and Teresa Anderson for their above and beyond care that they provided.
Family and friends will be accepted at SMITH FUNERAL HOME on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at SMITH FUNERAL HOME on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Cremation to follow. Sympathy may be expressed through donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Association (cheques only at the funeral home please). Memories and condolences may be sent online at smithfuneralhome.ca