Family struggles to come to terms with Hedley man’s murder

Memorial for Douglas Smith being held April 13 at Hedley's Chuchuwayha Hall

Family of the Hedley man whose death was deemed a homicide by RCMP are still taken aback on who would want to kill such a giving man.

On March 6 RCMP were called in to investigate the death of 55-year-old Douglas Richard Smith.

“The whole thing is just absurd to me,” said Doug Cade, Smith’s uncle who he was named after. “The whole thing is why and who. It is hard to say what is going on. He befriended everyone. It didn’t matter who they were, they were welcome into his house forever it seemed. I guess that came back to bite him.”

Police were called to Smith’s Richter Road residence at approximately 8 p.m. on March 6. It is believed Smith was found with a gunshot wound to the head, although RCMP have not confirmed that. Smith was a former truck driver who lived on his own but had two adult children. Those who knew the man said he was very giving and offered his hospitality to many.

“I can remember years ago when he was trucking, he would pick up a hitchhiker and bring them home to stay with him and his family, offering them some shelter and some food,” said Cade, who lives in Summerland and last saw his nephew last May during Hedley Stamp Mill Day.

Cade said Smith followed in his family’s footsteps by getting into the trucking business. It’s a line of work that took his father in 1966 when he was killed in a motor vehicle accident. His mother, Arleen Cade, died in 2008 in Surrey. In his immediate family, Smith is survived by siblings, his daughter Niki who lives in Penticton, son Jeremy, who is also in the trucking business, and five grandchildren.

After living in Surrey for many years, the outdoor lifestyle of fishing and camping along with Hedley being the residence of his grandfather where he spent many summers, drew him back to town. He settled back in the community in the early ‘80s to raise his own family.

“He was a hard-working guy that was sports and outdoors minded. Fishing was his big thing. In fact, the family is going to ask for no flowers at his service and instead a donation be given to Agur Lake Camp instead,” said Cade.

Jennifer Douglass was Smith’s partner for seven years and remained friends even after their break-up. She said his death is a great loss to Hedley.

“He would do anything for anyone. One time he gave away our last $20. I got mad at him but he said they needed it more than we did. It was a friend who needed gas money to get to the Coast for a family situation. He was right and that is the kind of man he was,” said Douglass. “When the gas station is closed in Hedley, we have very erratic hours here, people would come to Doug because they knew he would siphon his tank for them so they could get to Keremeos or Princeton to fill up. He was a really good person.”

A memorial is being held in Hedley for Smith on April 13 at 1 p.m. at the Chuchuwayha Hall. A memorial dance is also happening that evening at the community hall.


Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read