November 7, 1953 - December 17, 2021
Jim died at home in Charlottetown on December 17, 2021 surrounded by his wife, children and stepchildren. His retirement planning was interrupted in the summer 2021 when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. As with all things in his life, he was gracious and patient in dealing with his illness.
Jim was born and grew up just outside Glasgow in Coatbridge, Scotland. He earned his BSc(Hons) from the University of Strathclyde, his MSc from the University of Manitoba, his PhD in Food Science from the University of Nottingham and his MBA from the University of Strathclyde.
After teaching university food science courses in the UK in 1988 he accepted the senior scientist position at the newly established PEI Food Technology Centre now BioFoodTech. He became Executive Director in 2003. As Executive Director he led the transition of FTC into its role as BioFoodTech, incorporating bioscience technology expanding professional technical services to both food and bioprocessing companies.
Jim was active nationally and internationally, building collaborations and connections with significant organizations including Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST), FoodTech Canada, Innoventures Canada and Canadian Food Innovators (CFI). As a member of CFI, he was instrumental in the organization being awarded $30 million from the government of Canada that resulted in the launch of the Canadian Food Innovation Network. He was a member of the US Institute of Food Technology International Food Science Certification Commission. He was also a contributing member of the Joint United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives and editor of several books on food additives.
Jim’s after work interests included researching his family history and traditional Scottish poetry and music. He had a beautiful baritone singing voice. In the early days of The College of Piping and Performing Arts Centre he volunteered singing at the summer performances and on their recordings, often a cappella and in Gaelic or Scots. He also served on the board and as president. As an avid exercise buff he was a regular swimmer and runner. He especially enjoyed trail running in the Bonshaw Hills. In earlier days, he participated in marathons and triathlons and as a member of the National Scottish Volleyball Team. He enjoyed downhill skiing, beach and trail walks, visiting art galleries, challenging word and math games, good food, testing craft beers, pottering around the property and quiet times at home with family.
Jim had strong ethical principles. He was supportive of family and staff. Jim had a quiet, gentle presence. He was patient. He was warm and loving. Jim is missed.
Thank you to everyone who extended support and comfort throughout Jim’s illness and during the past year. All has been and continues to be greatly appreciated.
Patricia Neal Manning, wife and the Smith and Manning families
We share the above memorial for the late Dr. James “Jim” Smith. We recognize families who have experienced a death during COVID-19 restrictions faced unique challenges in honouring their loved one.