How giving forward changes lives: Margaret’s gift to future generations


Margaret Smith lived on a quiet street in Cordova Bay, in a house with views of the lush, green Cordova Bay Golf Course on one side and the ocean on the other. She grew her own vegetables in her backyard, spoke several foreign languages, and loved a good social get-together where there would be lots of different people, interesting conversation, and plenty of laughter. She travelled extensively with her husband, Donald Blair Smith, hosted guests often, and filled the role of matriarch of Parker Avenue until she passed away peacefully, in her 100th year, in 2017.

Margaret knew how lucky she was. She appreciated all she had in her life. That’s why she dedicated her life to giving back, and why she left a legacy to Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island in her Will so her giving back could continue well into the future.

Annie Huus, a good friend of Margaret’s who lived down the street from her for more than 50 years, saw first-hand how generous Margaret was. Annie recalls how Margaret selflessly filled her days with volunteer work, supporting a range of causes.

Annie also recalls how Margaret took the time to form a close friendship with Annie’s daughter, Lisa. Lisa lived with infantile muscular atrophy, a physical health challenge, but she was determined to live life to the fullest – just like Margaret.

Lisa passed away more than three decades ago, and in her 20 years made a big impression on Margaret. The Huus family established a memorial fund to support youth like Lisa who lived with health challenges but were pursuing post-secondary education, and soon after Lisa’s passing, Margaret told Annie she’d be leaving a legacy to Children’s Health Foundation. She wanted to continue to support Island youth like Lisa.

“Margaret believed that everyone deserved a chance,” says Annie. “She then decided that she would share some of her wealth to support that belief.”

Margaret lived life fully, and her generosity will ensure that others can do the same.

“Margaret was an incredible person,” says Annie. “She never put herself first.”

The Lisa Huus Memorial Fund, supported by Margaret’s legacy gift and other donations, provides financial assistance to disabled youth pursuing post-secondary education.  For more information about how you can provide support to future generations of Island kids and youth, contact Shelley Engelhardt, Director of Development at Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island by emailing