Ian David Naismith passed away peacefully on October 3, 2020, at the age of 86, at Advent Health Hospice Care East Florida in Palm Coast, FL. The youngest of five sons, he was born on September 24, 1934. His parents, Alice (Cannon) and Archibald Naismith were originally from Scotland. They were missionaries at the time in Narsapur, India where he spent part of his younger childhood. Ian was an officer in the Royal Air Force based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malaya) for three years. He always had a love of sports whether it was soccer, tennis, field hockey, paddle tennis, skiing, golf… even pole vaulting, receiving two RAF medals! He received a good part of his education in Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow and then Jordanhill College of Education where he received a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). He majored in Latin, Greek, and English.
In the third year of his time in the Royal Air Force, a notice was being circulated among the various UK military bases for a position as a professor/teacher of English in the USA at a junior college military school. To Ian’s surprise and delight, he was accepted and flew over to New Mexico, where he would teach at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in 1959, and thus began a whole new lifestyle. After three years there, he taught briefly in California and then at Montclair Academy (now Montclair Kimberly Academy) in New Jersey. He successfully coached soccer and golf, though he would later comment that the golf team members perhaps did not need his guidance, rather the opposite! While teaching, he acted in Community theater all over the country, in Roswell, New Mexico in “Bus Stop” and “World of Susie Wong”, in Bellport, Long Island in “Under the Yum Yum Tree”, and in Upper Montclair, New Jersey in “Critics Choice”. It was at the Academy, where twin brothers, Gregg and Gary Deehan, who were on the golf team, would introduce Ian to their sister, Elaine. Ian and Elaine married in 1968 and recently celebrated 52 1/2 years of marriage.
They belonged to Bradford Bath and Tennis Club and then Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey. It was at Montclair Golf Club where another fine tradition was born. Ian’s great talent as a performer enabled him to command the attention of a room. For over thirty years, Ian was asked to propose the “Toast to the Haggis” by Robert Burns at the Club’s Member-Member dinner. A bagpiper would harmoniously play prior to the speech. Ian then delivered it with such enthusiasm and vigor that the captive audience even believed they were going to eat a rare delicacy! He was also asked to deliver this speech at The St. Andrews Society of the State of New York.
After eleven years of teaching, Bernard W. Deehan, Ian’s father-in-law, persuaded him to go into the investment business. In 1968 Ian started at Goodbody & Co. and was actively involved with a variety of other firms, ending with Sands Brothers. His wife, Elaine, flew for United Airlines as a flight attendant for thirty-six years and four months based out of JFK; therefore, they were able to travel to many parts of the world. Visiting Bermuda each July with his wife’s parents and family members was always an extra special treat.
In September of 2003, Ian and Elaine moved from Essex Fells, NJ, retiring in Ormond Beach, FL, where they enjoyed a more relaxed lifestyle. Ian was always a charming host, a wonderful grill master, and a humorous storyteller to family and friends.
Ian D. Naismith was predeceased by his parents, Alice and Archibald Naismith of Carluke, Falkirk, Scotland and his brothers, Dr. James Naismith (spouse, Margaret), of Ontario, Canada, and Dr. William Naismith (spouse, Elizabeth), of Largs, Scotland.
He is survived by his spouse, Elaine D. Naismith, his brothers, Archibald Naismith (spouse, Greta, deceased), of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Edwy Naismith (spouse, Patricia), of Surrey, England. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Jill Gilbert (spouse, Jack), of Scottsdale, AZ, brother-in-law, Gregg Deehan (spouse, Peggy), of Upper Montclair, NJ, brother-in-law, Gary Deehan (spouse, Jody), of Jacksonville, FL, and brother-in-law, Alan Deehan (spouse, Sally), of Ponte Vedra, FL, and nineteen nieces and nephews . Ian will be greatly missed. A celebration of life is planned at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to AdventHealth Hospice Care of East Florida, 150 Memorial Medical Pkwy, Palm Coast, FL 32164.