How Passion, Hard Work & Kindness Built the Career of a Lifetime


For some people, a job is simply a means to an end. For others like Lorne Smith, it is a passion that can hardly be considered work. After 65 years in the real estate industry, he was one of the few who made the saying “choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life” a reality.

At the age of 91, Lorne Lester Smith passed away after a lengthy career in real estate. In 1951, after spending time in the Royal Canadian Air Force and as the owner of Kawartha Garage in Peterborough, Lorne began his career in real estate and would soon open Lorne L. Smith Realty Ltd. which operated for 40 years. He finished the last 11 years of his career with RE/MAX Eastern Realty in Peterborough, working hard to service home buyers and sellers in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

In the years that followed, Mr. Smith helped found the Peterborough Real Estate Board, and served as the Director of the Ontario Real Estate Association, and that’s only to name a few of his accomplishments. Helen (Zakos) Drury, who spent 52 years of her own career alongside Lorne, shared a long list of his career highlights, but one thing stands out above the rest.

“He was a very kind man who liked to help everyone. He was my mentor, my best friend, and through all the ups and downs he always thought about others.”

A topic that continued to come up was Mr. Smith’s generosity, his passion for helping others, and his love for real estate. In his last 11 years with RE/MAX, Helen shared that she always wanted to plan a retirement party for Lorne, but there was always one major roadblock standing in her way.

I always wanted to plan a retirement party for him, but he never wanted to retire!

Helen, much like Lorne, has a passion for real estate, still selling for RE/MAX with no plans to retire. As we hear time and time again, real estate is a people industry. That is thanks to people like Lorne whose passion for real estate will live on in those who had the privilege of working with him throughout his career.