Jane Norlie Porter Smith (nee Harris)

April 6, 1951 – November 15, 2018
With profound sadness we announce the passing of Jane Norlie Porter Smith (nee Harris) in the early morning of Nov. 15, 2018. Her memory will sustain those left behind to mourn, including her devoted husband Rankin, sister Ann, brother Michael (Shirlee), nephews Stephen and Lucas, and friends and family near and dear to her.

Jane was born in India to British parents. Her father served in the Canadian military, so Jane lived in many places around the world and in Canada.

She became an alcohol and drug counsellor who shone, not only on the front lines, but also as a trainer of volunteers and professionals alike. She developed protocols and training manuals when the practice of harm reduction was just emerging.

She first worked at a Montreal outpatient treatment pilot, helped move it to Vancouver in the 1970s and stayed on the West Coast until the end of her days.

She met her soul mate Rankin Smith in 1983 and they were married in 1990. The lived on Cortes Island, where Rankin owned and operated the Cortes Bay Marina. They eventually sold it to the Seattle Yacht Club, but stayed on to manage the outstation along with the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club facility across the bay.

It was on Cortes that Jane developed her skill at woodturning, creating stunning bowls that sold locally and internationally. She also excelled at stained glass, carpentry and anything else she turned her mind to.

Though slight in build, Jane served as a volunteer firefighter on Cortes for 10 years.

Jane truly lived for her friends. If you knew her you had a friend for life. Her generosity was unmatched – tools, furniture, whatever. If you needed something Jane would arrive at your door with the object on “permanent loan.”

She was a happy cook, a reluctant gardener and doting attendant to a succession of equally devoted Siamese cats.

The family is grateful for the care and attention of doctors Wainberg, Hopwood, Gelmon, Dan, Austin and Bryant, the entire home care nursing team, the wonderful hospice staff and the caring chemotherapy unit nurses.

A celebration of life will be arranged at a future date.


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