Ryan Denis Smid

June 13, 1971 ~ August 6, 2023 (age 52) 52 Years Old


Ryan, a private pilot, filed his final flight plan on 6 August 2023 and waved off by his beloved wife, Lisa, and daughters Tatyana and Natalya, departed on his final journey, at age 52, after a valiant fight against pancreatic cancer. 

Born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Ryan was known for his quick wit, humor, competitive spirit and enthusiastic approach to everything he did.  A proud Saskatchewan boy, he was a fanatical Riders fan wearing the green with pride. He joined Air Cadets at age 12 and after earning a B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, he began his 28-year military career as an Artillery Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).  He served the Royal Regiment across Canada in 1 RCHA, 2 RCHA, various headquarters and around the world, culminating in command of 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Ryan also attained a M.A. in International Trade, is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program, was invested in the Order of Military Merit, awarded the Medal of Bravery, and earned the Canadian Forces Decoration with clasp.  Lieutenant-Colonel Smid (ret’d) served on operational tours in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Lebanon in addition to participation in several international Disaster Assistance Response Team missions and domestic operations.  Ryan was so very thankful for the greatest gift the CAF and the Royal Regiment gave him, that being the life-long friendships he developed.

After retirement from the CAF, Ryan achieved another of his life goals when he was appointed Headmaster of Robert Land Academy, an institution employing a military-model and holistic education for students in grades 5 to 12. An authentic and transformational leader, he employed his business and team collaboration skills to facilitate the institution’s sustainable growth, a remarkable legacy.  Ryan was so very passionate about RLA and its vision of developing boys into young men with the essential qualities of leadership and citizenship in order to fully participate in and contribute to society.  He truly believed in the significant value of this great institution and had great respect and admiration for all the RLA staff, educators, board and committee members, who committed their lives to helping the boys achieve their potential.

On June 3, 2000, Ryan married his soulmate, Lisa (Cheeseman) in Shilo, Manitoba.  Together they enjoyed many adventures through postings across the country and travels around the world with their greatest joy being their two daughters, Tatyana and Natalya.  Ryan thoroughly embraced fatherhood, teasing his ‘girls’ endlessly, and keeping them on their toes with all family trips involving quizzes in geography, the French language and the subject matter of the day.  The girls loved it!!!!!  He knew all their favorite songs and enjoyed singing loud (and off key) with them especially to all the songs in Pitch Perfect movies and Top Gun. He celebrated their achievements in cadets, gymnastics, tennis and school.  With Lisa at his side, he worked with their girls to help them achieve their potential. He was so very proud of his girls and loved them with all his heart.

Whether working with his military team, the boys at RLA or his daughters, Ryan was always keen to push people to achieve their individual potential. He was often heard expressing the philosophy of working hard to achieve your specific potential, not looking to what another is doing. He truly believed in helping people be their best.

Ever loved by his family, Ryan leaves behind his loving parents Madelon and Dennis Smid, his beloved baby sister René Thiele (Ron) and nieces Piper and Sarah, his parents-in-law Marie and Patrick Cheeseman, sister-in-law Rowena (Mike) and nephews Parker and Porter, brothers-in-law Dale (Nathalie) and nephews Jacob and Finnegan and niece Sophie, and Kenny (Moe) and niece Keira and nephew Lukas, along with many other family members, friends and colleagues. Held in high esteem, Ryan was an active and attentive godparent, and he gave family, friends and colleagues, around the globe, the gift of his time, care and attention. 

Ryan will be lovingly remembered at a Celebration of Life at 7th Toronto Regiment, Toronto, Ontario, date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Soldier On program at http://soldieron.ca or to Robert Land Academy at https://robertlandacademy.com/founders-scholarship-fund/

He is always with us.
Good shooting, Ryan. Stand easy.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ryan Denis Smid, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Ryan Denis Smid?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Ryan's memory.


Private Family Service

White Bear Cemetery
SE 20-22-16 w3
White Bear, SK S0L 3L0


© 2023 Swift Current Funeral Home & Crematorium. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility