Daniel "Dan" Frederick ((Gordon) Smith

Passed 01/11/2020

Obituary for Daniel "Dan" Frederick ((Gordon) Smith

Daniel Frederick (Gordon) Smith “Dan”

It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Dan Smith, of West Chezzetcook, on January 11, 2020. Born in Sydney, NS on October 25, 1951, Dan was the son of the late Irene (MacEachern) Smith and Fred Gordon. He was the cherished husband of Shirley Smith (Robinson) for 45 years. Together, they shared a special bond in love and music and used their strong Christian faith working as peacemakers and mediators to support many.

Their home was always open to friends, family and anyone who needed a hug, a warm meal or a place to stay. He was known for his gentle nature and non-judgemental spirit which enabled him to connect to people of all walks of life. Dan and Shirley had a heart for prison ministry and brought love and understanding to all they met. He was a talented composer and musician and blessed many with his guitar and beautiful voice over the years. You could always count on Dan to bring his guitar along and fill any room with music and joy. With his friend Sheldon, they established the duo “Smith and Chant”, writing many songs together and performing countless times, producing two albums. Dan was an active member in many churches over the years and brought his music to congregations as a worship leader.

As a boy, he spent his formative years at the family businesses in Sydney, the Esplanade Grill and the Silver Rail. He never lost his Cape Breton roots which were evident in his music and warm, welcoming personality. If you met Dan, he never forgot you and you could consider yourself a friend for life. He was a confidant, role model and listening ear to many over the years.

Growing up, Dan was a member of the Sydney Police Boys Club which had a strong impact on his life. This is where he found his love of music, beginning as a drummer. Moving to Owen Sound, Ontario as a young man, he established a branch of the Boys Club there. When he and Shirley moved to Nova Scotia he introduced The Boys and Girls Club to the Halifax area as well and became Director. Later, he used his entrepreneurial spirit and established his own business, Boomerang’s Fun and Games. Dan was also very involved with concert promotions over the years and worked with local artists in the recording industry. He later translated these skills and became a successful Marketing Director with Melaleuca.

Dan was a remarkable Husband, Father, Grandfather and Uncle. He is survived by his loving wife Shirley, sons Daniel (Lori), Chris (Liane) and Josh (Bex) all of whom he loved and supported unconditionally. He was an exceptional Grandpa to Jackson, Leah and Elijah whom he adored and who adored him. Dan also had a special relationship with John Tanner (Kelly) who was like a son to him. Also surviving are his mother-in-law Patricia Robinson, siblings John and Rose-Marie, special cousins Nick, Angie, Spiro, Athena, Ken, Ron, Bob and Sharon; Shirley’s siblings Cathy (Glen), John, Frances (Mike), Bernice (Al), Robert (Laura), Scott (Rachel) brother-in-law Darrell and many, many nieces and nephews. There are also countless others who consider Dan an honorary grandfather and role model. Dan was predeceased by his mother Irene, father Fred, father-in-law Russell J. (Jack) Robinson, sister-in-law Marie, nephew Dylan, and niece Carra.

A Celebration of Life for Dan will be held on Saturday January 18, 1:00pm at Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church at 17 Peter Court, Mineville. Reception to follow. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Huntington Society of Canada at

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


Hi Shirley, I am so saddened to hear of Danny's passing. Dan and I hung around together when he lived in Owen Sound. In fact, Dan and I traveled out east to Cape Breton Island together in his black 1967 Thunderbird. Dan and I were still hanging around when you started dating him. I remember he always had his trusty Ovation with him. We drifted apart and were set to have a reunion at your house in Allenford but I failed to show (my apologies). Dan was a good guy and I'm happy to see that he was successful. My apologies for the lateness of my condolences but I just happen to be doing a google search for Dan and found his obituary. Please take of yourself. Again my sympathies to you and your family. Dave
- David Gibbons
Dear Shirley and family, Our thoughts are with you, as you reflect on your many wonderful memories of Dan. We cherish Dan’s kindness and helpfulness, and his words of encouragement. It was an honour and pleasure to know him. - Dee and Neil Meister
- Dee Ryan-Meister
So sorry to hear about Dan’s sudden passing. He ( and you Shirley) were always so kind and helpful to Seamus. For that I will be forever grateful. Kindly take of yourself.
- Donna Blewett
So sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. My sincere condolences to Shirley & family. Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. Lorraine
- Lorraine Roberts
Shirley and boys! Bob and I are so sorry to hear of the loss of Dan... Such a talent and quick wit. Shirley, I always admired your strength and came to think of you as such a "Godly woman". May you be just as strong through this and may you have many friends and family to help you through it! Sincere condolences my friend! Bob and Cindy Leonard
- Cindy Leonard
We are all still in shock . God Bless Dan and may our Heavenly Father wrap Shirley & Family in His warm comforting hands . We have all been blessed just to have known him and to have felt his magical smile .... Sam
- Sam Moon
My love,thoughts and prayers are with you and family..
- Betty sullivan
Shirley and family, I am sorry for your loss! Dan was a wonderful person, talented, kind and generous! I hope the love you shared and the good memories will lift your spirits! God bless!
- Cynthia Rushton
Shirley I still mention your wedding photos when talking about weddings, and looking through your book when I would babysit the boys. It's funny how a photo can impress itself upon a person even so many years later. Not that I can bring to mind the exact details but the feeling of freedom and joy and the happiness you and Dan displayed is still with me to this day. The memory of a loved one is never lost, it carries on through the lives they have touched.
- Lisa Jean
Dear Shirley, Daniel and Josh. I think it absolutely blows that your dad was taken so prematurely and unexpectedly. How I loved to sing "Life is like a Mountain Railroad" or "I'll Fly Away" with him. Such a skilled and accomplished guitar player always with that goofy grin on his face playing some of the most obscure and wonderful music, inevitably praising the Lord. I loved our little rendezvous down at Two if by Sea, discussing his next music project or hearing about the latest accomplishments of his boys. One thing is for certain, he loved his Shirley, make no mistake about that. I may never miss him as much as you, but rest assured, I will miss him a great deal, his smile and his music. I suppose we should take comfort in the fact that God will make certain that his guitar is always perfectly tuned... "Weary Pilgrim, Welcome Home"
- Gerry
Condolences at this very difficult time. Margaret Randall
- MARGARET Randall
Aunt Shirley, Daniel, Chris, Josh & Families We are heartbroken to hear of Uncle Dans passing. We will truly miss his gentle spirit and comic relief, as he always knew what to say to put on smile on everyone’s face. We are thankful to have had a nice visit before the holidays, sharing in some of his favorite things: a good meal, good company, the Toronto Maple Leafs game and the countless “memes” he had saved on his phone. We would have never known it at the time that it was one of our last Uncle Dan hugs, but man was it a good one. Thinking of you guys, big hugs from Ontario Karl, Julian & Ariana Jeschonek
- Julian Jeschonek
Dear Shirley and family, Steve and I are sorry for your loss. He was a special person who impacted our lives and the lives of our family in so many ways. He will always be dear in our hearts. Praying for you and your family. Steve & Michelle Smith
- Steve Smith
Dearest Shirley and family, heartfelt condolences and much love to you all. I have seen first hand your beautiful faith and deep, abiding love and have been personally comforted by the warmth of your connection to each other and to God. May you cherish the many fond memories, and may peace be a companion to you now and always. Holding you tenderly in my heart with so much Love.
- Heather Fraser
Shirley, the boys, and the entire Smith family, words will never be able to express what a beautiful soul Dan was, the complete sadness we are feeling, and the love we had for you all. I knew Dan for 52 years, and he had a special place in my heart! I will never forget everything he did for me, and my family! Goodbye my freind, sorry you had go so soon, you were an awesome freind indeed, and I will miss you beyond words! Thank you for everything you have done for me. I will cherish our memories forever! <3
- John Mason
Dear Shirley & family, I was so sorry hear the news that Dan is no longer with us. I always adored you and Dan from our days at City Heights and that continued on throughout the years. Dan gave me some great inspiration through Celebrate Recovery. Dan always knew what to say at the right time and that was very healing. He was always sending messages of love and hope through his music which he shared openly. My thoughts and prays are with you and your family. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". Matthew 11:28 - Sincerely, Connie Moore
- Connie Moore
Shirley and family, my sincere condolences on the loss of Dan, prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. May he RIP. Glenda Cole (Robicheau) and family.
- Glenda Cole
Please accept my heartfelt sympathies for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. JJ Noble
- Janet Jean Noble
Dear Shirley, I am so sorry to hear about your husband sudden passing, may our Heavenly Father give you & your loved once the comfort & strength you need in these difficult days,& in the times to come. It was so nice to see you & chat with you a few weeks ago. Love & Blessings. Henny
- Henny Feddema
Sincerest condolences to Danny's family and friends.
- Roland McCaffrey
So sorry to hear the news. Glad that I did see Dan at Christmas. He was always a kind and caring man who provided me with comfort and support in difficult times. He was a true gentleman and friend and will be missed!
- Bill Sanderson
My deepest sympathy to Shirley and his beloved family. I have to count myself blessed to have come to met and know Dan over the past years through business. He was one of the finest people I've known. I will miss our conversations. Forever in your hearts. Be at peace Dan. You will be missed dearly by so many.
- Dorinda MacIsaac
A true friend from a very early time. I enjoyed my almost weekly talks with him. Deeply sorry for your loss. He will rest in peace
- Lorne Duke Novak
Shirley and family- I am so very saddened and sorry to hear of Danny”s passing. He was a wonderful friend to Ron and myself over the years. I had a nice chat with him recently and we talked about getting together in this new year. I will still do that with you, Shirley. I am sorry that I will miss his service as am in Winnipeg presently but will be in touch when I get home. My sincere condolences from my daughters as well. Marian Stauch- Kennedy
- Shirley Smith
I am so sorry to hear of Dan's passing. He was a great mentor and friend. I met Dan when he was the Director of the Cole Harbour Boys and Girls Club. He was inspiring and just a great guy all around. He will be missed.
- Patti Collacutt
Dear Shirley and family, I send to you my deepest condolences and support to you at this very difficult time. May the prayers of strength and love help you through this sad time. I am so sorry for your loss. Jean Fader
- Jean Fader
"He was a confidant, role model and listening ear to many over the years." Dan, or as we called him, Danny, was a great man. I was blessed to call him family, he was my cousin and my friend. We had several conversations over the past 10 months and he was a great confidant, role model and listening ear for me and I will never forget him for it. I was shocked hearing that he passed away on Saturday, it just didn't seem possible. Shirley, Dan, Chris and Josh, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much Danny loved all of you. I wish I could be there for his funeral, you all will be in my thoughts and prayers. I love you all.
- Bob MacGillivary
Shirley and family...My love and prayers are with you as you walk though this most difficult time.. Together you and Dan touched so many lives...Shalom Danny
- Danny Compton
Dear Shirley and family- I was do sorry yo hear of Dan's passing. He truly was a kind and generous soul. I'll miss his messages and updates about Meleuca!
- Debbie Dicks
Sorry to hear of Dan,s passing. May God be with your family now and always. You will always be remembered. Pat & Len Goodall
- goodall
Dear Shirley and family, we were both shocked and saddened when we heard of Dan’s passing yesterday. Dan was such a shining light in this world and an amazing friend to our family. His contagious laugh and larger than life presence brought joy to all that knew him - our lives are all richer knowing him! Sending you all our prayers across the miles and know the Lord will see you through this season. Many Blessings, Peter and Shelley Crouse.
- Peter Crouse
Shirley and family, our heartfelt condolences. So grateful for the friendship our family has enjoyed with you and Dan over the years. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. MIchael & Colette Crouse
- Michael Crouse
Went to school with Dan. He was a funny guy. Full of fun and ready for just about anything, legal, of course. I like him then and I am glad that I touched base with him at Sheldon's church. We were both a little different over the years, but he was still the same friend that I knew back then. I am sorry I lost touch. I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go to the family. God Bless you all. The Father has a great fellow!!!
- Jule Martell
Shirley and family: Alvin and I were shocked and saddened to hear of Dan's passing. May it comfort you to know that Dan will hear those words (that we all probably hope to hear). Jesus will say, "well done you good and faithful servant." Sorry, we cannot make the celebration of life, as we fly out to Florida early that morning. Know we will have you all in our thoughts, though.
- Bonnie Gàrdinet
So sorry to hear about your loss, Shirley. You used to work on my feet at the Twin Oaks Hospital. I also heard your husband in concert. He resting with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Joyce Power

Leave a message to share your favorite memories and offer words of sympathy and comfort:

Enter Your Phone Number

To leave a condolence message, add photos, or add videos, please provide your name and email address.