Sheila Francis Smith, DDS., D.Orthos., M.Sc., passed away peacefully on June 17, 2020, age 58, following a courageous 3 year battle with breast cancer. She had an amazing fighting spirit which her illness did not affect. She never complained and took every setback in stride. Smith didn’t let her disease define her and continued to travel, play golf and take advantage of ‘life.’ When her time came, Smith got her final wish – passing away peacefully at home, in her bedroom with her “bubble family” at her side.
Although she was from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, a town near Toronto, Smith spent much of her life on Captiva Island. She and her family began visiting the area when she was a child and purchased condos on South Seas Island Resort not long after it was built. She always referred to Captiva as her “second home.” And her joy, positivity and happiness will be missed greatly on the island.
She attended University of Toronto, and was accepted early into the dental program at U of T, graduating in 1986. Her dedication to her patients and the children she treated extended from her Pediatric Dentistry Residency at the Hospital for Sick Children, to a lifelong commitment to Bloorview-MacMillan Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital for Cleft Lip and Craniofacial Care.
In 1989, she graduated from the Graduate Orthodontics Program at U of T with a Masters following in 1991. Smith was a trailblazer; in a time where there were few female orthodontists, she entered private practice with a partner and over time she became the sole owner and eventually moved her practice becoming so successful she needed an associate.
Smith was one of the first female presidents of the Ontario Association of Orthodontists and was also president-elect of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists. Smith was also vice-president of the Tennis Villas Condominium Association at South Seas.
Her father, Stuart Smith, Sr., and her brother, Stuart Smith Jr., still spend a good deal of the year on Captiva. There were memorial services on Captiva for her mother, Audrey Smith, who passed several years ago, and the Tennis Villas Condominium Association is planning a tree planting memorial ceremony in Sheila’s memory after travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada are lifted.