Jonathan Beck Smith
August 4, 1968 – November 14, 2019
Jonathan Beck Smith was born August 4, 1968 in San Francisco, California, the eldest son of John and Patricia Smith. He died unexpectedly but peacefully on November 14, 2019 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan with his beloved wife Denise by his side.
Jon is also survived by his mother Patricia, his brother Jeremy (Monet), his brothers-in-law and friends Mark (Amy, Tyce) and Jared (Sheri-ann) Holinaty, his father-in-law Garry, and his mother-in-law, Liz. His father, John, died in 2012, a loss that Jon felt deeply.
Jonathan grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, and from an early age demonstrated a remarkable diversity of aptitudes. Jonathan always had a strong sense of self and identity. As insatiably curious as he was intelligent, he passionately and fearlessly pursued a wide variety of interests. He had a keen sense of humor and a quick wit, and would laugh unapologetically loud, often before anyone else got the joke.
Jon cultivated a lifelong passion for music. A gifted pianist, Jon loved playing music with friends. He became proficient at playing several instruments, and later owned a music store where he would teach and impart his love of music to his students.
Jonathan’s greatest lifelong passion was for what he learned from the Bible. He studied the Bible diligently and sincerely and concluded that living by its principles was the best way of life. Baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1985, Jon selflessly volunteered much of his time helping others to understand how applying Bible principles could improve their lives in the present and give them a joyful hope for the future.
While living in Toronto, Jon came to know and fall in love with Denise. They married in 1992, and early on, established the pattern of sincere hospitality and readiness to help others in need that would continue throughout their married life.
In 1998, Jonathan and Denise moved to Wakaw, Saskatchewan to assist Denise’s grandparents. Jon loved Saskatchewan because he loved the people. He found them humble, generous, straightforward, kind, and hospitable, and prone to expressing their hospitality with lively conversation and great food. That was a perfect fit for his own personality, and he formed close and lasting friendships.
After moving from Wakaw to Prince Albert in 2007, Jonathan found application for his many talents in running several businesses, including Prince Albert Rental and Leasing. In 2008, Jon and Denise purchased the Keyhole Castle, renovated it, and ensured its protection by successfully applying to have it declared a heritage home. They loved hosting guests and concerts, and made their guests feel warmly welcomed. Jon cared deeply about his community and the people in it and found satisfaction in helping to provide employment and housing. He genuinely loved the people with whom he worked and treated them like family. People responded to his straightforward honesty and sensed the genuineness of his concern for them.
More than any other quality, gratitude characterized the final months of Jonathan’s life. He expressed deep and sincere appreciation for the exceptional efforts of health care professionals like Dr. Janelle Braun at Westhill Chiropractic and Dr. Joel Wolsey and the many caring nurses of the fifth floor and ICU at Victoria Hospital. Friends and family who visited to provide encouragement often left feeling encouraged. Above all, Jon was profoundly grateful for the tireless, informed, and loving care provided by Denise. In his final days, Jonathan felt very loved, and he was.
The morning of November 14, 2019, Jonathan won his battle with illness. He won because he “endured to the end” with his strong faith and integrity intact, and with his hope for the future clear and bright. (Mt. 24:13) Jon firmly believed the Bible’s beautiful promise that in the near future, “no resident will say: ‘I am sick’” and eagerly anticipated that time. (Isa. 33:24) He had a strong and well-informed faith in the Bible’s promise that there will be a resurrection of the dead to perfect health here on earth. In his heart, Jonathan echoed the words that the man Job said to his God, Jehovah: “You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.” (Job 14:15)
When those who knew him well speak about Jonathan, clear and consistent themes quickly emerge. People loved his smile, his laugh, and his wonderfully unselfconscious sense of humor. He was keenly intelligent, but never tried to make anyone feel less so. He was genuinely unaffected and would behave the same way with people regardless of who they were. He tended to like people immediately, and his tolerance — even celebration — of their idiosyncrasies opened him up to deeper and more lasting friendships than many of us are ever privileged to have. He had a unique ability to see people apart from their problems, and problems apart from the people who had them. An empathetic listener, Jonathan saw in people their potential, and wanted to help them be the best versions of themselves. People sensed the sincerity of that desire and felt comfortable and safe in his presence. For that reason, his absence will be all the more keenly felt.
A Memorial Service will be held at Nordale Community Hall, 1306 6th Avenue NW, Prince Albert, at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Marianne Turcotte, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.
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