With saddened hearts, the family of Donald Smith announce his passing on Friday, January 6, 2023 at the Invermay Health Centre. He was 91 years old.
Donald Smith was born September 1, 1931 to James and Bertha Smith. He was born in the log house in which he grew up north of Invermay, Saskatchewan. He was the 7th of 8 children . He attended Loch Sloy School until Grade 10.
Donald had worked on the farm all of his childhood and continued to while also working on threshing crews and travelling with construction crews throughout the province. He was particularly proud to have worked on the University Hospital and the Legislative Buildings. He also helped build many grain elevators. Donald went to Trade School in Saskatoon and learned many trades that he used his entire life. He built many houses and buildings in the area, including his own. He was a master Mechanic, electrician/plumber and later loved wood-crafting. Donald was Mr. FixIt, to Hazel, our family and any neighbours who needed a hand.
In 1957, Donald married Hazel Nustad of Dahlton, They settled on the farm north of Invermay. They had 6 children; Jeffery, Sherlyn, Richard and Tracy. Sadly two daughters Sherry Lynn and Stacy Dawn passed away at birth.
Those first years on the farm were tough. Hazel remembers crying standing on the hill with Donald looking out on the field that had been just been hailed out. But with a lot of hard work they built their farm and yard. Like many, they had cows, pigs, chickens; anything to make ends meet. Also their yard was always gorgeous with a huge garden and beautiful flowers. Don and Hazel hosted many family gatherings at the farm.
Donald was also an active community member. He was on the School Board, RM Counsellor, United Church , and a dedicated Sask Wheat Pool member. He volunteered at the Seniors Club, drove the HandiBus, and helped out whenever he was asked. Don drove a school bus for many years and said he would be happy to do it for free. Those were his kids and they loved him.
When it was time to leave the farm, Hazel wouldn’t leave unless they took the house with them. Once in town, they created a beautiful garden and yard. He enjoyed his daily coffee buddies.
Donald built many cherished furniture pieces for his family in that shop.
He even took up fishing, in fact it consumed him. The family saying is “Dad may walk with a cane but he runs with a fishing rod.”
Don and Hazel went on many holidays from Alaska to the Maritimes with friends. They especially loved time spent in Phoenix with family. He also journeyed to Africa at 75 and shot his first moose at 86.
Daddy Donald and Mommy Hazel welcomed many many new Canadians into their family. Daddy Donald was the designated Driver Instructor. He had infinite patience. As a family we are so grateful to the Filipino community who enriched their lives so much. You are truly part of our family.
Late in life Donald developed Parkinson’s. The last 1 1/2 years of his life were spent at the Invermay Health Centre where he had exceptional care.
Left to cherish his memory are: his wife of 65 years, Hazel; his son Jeffery and Annette; daughter Sherlyn and Dave Haley; son Richard and Bonnie; daughter Tracy and Wayne Looker; sister Verna Carlson; 8 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
Predeased in death by: his parents James and Bertha; siblings: Jean Carlson, Dorothy Braaten, Edith Herd, Arthur, Vera Benson, Earl and their spouses; daughters Sherry Lynn and Stacy Dawn,and grandson Dawson Looker.
Donald, Don, Daddy Donald, Dad or Pappy; whatever you knew him by, He set an unwavering example of honesty, patience, hard work and fun-loving dedication to his family.
Dad made all of our lives richer and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.