JACKIE SMITH Jackie Smith's life was a life well lived - she was a young nurse in the Australian Outback, a Toronto Star women's issues reporter, a public health advocate and teacher of ethics and philosophy. With her sharp, questioning mind she probed deeply and battled convention to make life better for others. And in the years she lived with breast cancer - a tumour finally wrestling its way through her brain - that caring came back to her. Her son Daniel, family and 40 devoted friends circled her with love and care. That's what made life beautiful, even in death. Restless, searching, she reinvented herself, changing jobs, changing houses. But her heart was constant. Even as she lay dying, her first question was always: How are you? An outspoken crusader to the end, she rallied against dysfunction in the health care system more so, once she became a patient. Jackie died Monday, October 8, 2012 in the palliative care unit at Baycrest Hospital. She leaves Daniel, strong and caring like his mother and his partner Yasmin Omidvar, brother Christopher Smith and his wife Shirley, of Adelaide, her niece Stephanie with husband Jason and two kids, Alex and Zara and niece Rebecca with her fiancé Adrian. She also leaves behind her friends who saw in her a model of a life fully lived. Friends and Family will gather at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 4th at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse to remember Jackie. In honour of Jackie's commitment to bioethics, Ryerson University has introduced the Jackie Smith Memorial Award in Ethics. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the scholarship by contacting Maureen Sheridan at 416-979-5184.
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Published in the Toronto Star on Oct. 13, 2012