J. C. Smithson – Eulogy – St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Almonte (2015/03/21)

SMITHSON (JC)

John Carson (“Jack”) Smithson, deceased March 17, 2015 

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen!

My name is Bill Chapman.  I am a long-time friend of JC Smithson going back about 40 years.  During that time I have had the privilege to know Jack’s family and to be made to feel part of it.  I was also Jack’s lawyer.

You have no doubt heard the adage, “There is an exception to every rule.” Jack Smithson was that man. Indeed he was an exceptional man. Everything about him was of the highest standards, a paradigm to others, a model of leadership and decorum.  He was invariably well turned out, an example of proper deportment and bearing; he was polite without being sterile; humorous without being vulgar; kind without being unctuous; wise without being precipitous; welcoming without being overwhelming; familial without being exclusive; and patient without being ponderous. Jack was quietly motivated by his private commitment to the service of others, an unbending objective to do what was right and to assist himself and others to get there with a minimum of flurry. And speaking of rules and exceptions he had that gratifying insight and ability to rise above static procedure to accomplish what was equitable not clinical while at the same time preserving a respect for elevating ritual, hard won morality and dignified human conduct.

Jack is blessed to have lived a long and productive life of 95 years.  He was an unqualified citizen of his nation in general and a valued contributor to his community in particular. Perhaps his greatest legacy is that he gave us all lessons to emulate.  He was a living case in point. I venture to say without contradiction that there is no one who knew Jack Smithson who is not the better for it. His was a liberating friendship, an uplifting affection and a broadening camaraderie.

It has been said, “If you want a big funeral, die young!”  Even in death Jack Smithson is the exception – having already been ceremoniously remembered last evening by both the Royal Canadian Legion and the Masonic Lodge, and today we celebrate his life with his extended family and his many colleagues, associates and friends in his place of worship in keeping with the strengthening traditions of the Anglican Church.

We can all be proud to have known a man such as JC Smithson who exemplified the bounty of human worthiness. He was truly a blessing to his family, a credit to his friends and an ornament to our community. His happy memory will live long in our hearts and minds!