Obituary of Patricia Joyce Smith
SMITH, Patricia Joyce
July 17, 1921 - June 20, 2022
On the evening of Saturday, June 18, 2022 our Mom, Grandma, Great-grandma, Auntie Pat – and keen, interested friend to many – said: “I’ve had a wonderful life”, asked about the well-being of others she loved, and then listed her favourite flowers (“roses, tulips, larkspur, daffodils, iris, sweet peas”), while we held hands. We know she was recalling her life’s Wintergreene chapter since 2006, as well as many other chapters, right back to her childhood.
After a hard-scrabble beginning on a WWI veteran’s allotment granted to her father near Keeler, SK, Pat’s life became steadily more “wonderful”. Her life was enhanced by close relations with parents, four sisters and a brother. All her siblings were also born on the farm, “it mostly grew kids, rocks, and rabbits”; it was lost during the early Depression. In Pat’s teen years, family living right beside Wascana Creek on Douglas Avenue provided great summer and winter memories, no matter how sparse income was during the Depression or WWII. More improvements came with employment (especially in 1940-44 at No. 15 EFTS and RCAF Station, Regina Airport), marriage within 8 months of meeting Vic at the Queen City Skating Club in 1939, warm relations with her parents-in-law and brother-in-law, marriages of all her siblings, and her own and others’ children, along with many long friendships.
Capturing her active, energetic life is challenging. Pat was an extraordinary homemaker for more than 11 homes after 1940: in Buena Vista (summer cottage), Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Weyburn, and Yorkshire. A talented seamstress, she made her own clothes until the 1990’s, as well as dresses, suits and coats for many others. Pat also was a cook, baker, welcoming host, gardener, knitter, antique seeker, draper, furniture reupholster, fabric recycler, decorator, ceramicist, painter and book-reader. She provided reliable care for her daughters, parents-in-law, nieces, granddaughter, great-grandson, and, during their illnesses, for sisters, brothers-in-law, friends, and especially her husband during his last six months.
Volunteering and community involvement came easily: swimming instructor (Haro deGroot School); art teacher (Wascana Rehabilitation Centre); Seniors’ Education Centre, U of R; youth and other groups at churches (St. Matthew’s, All Saints, St Mary’s in Regina, St. Robert’s in Yorkshire) or the Girl Guides; Canadian Cancer Society door canvasser and Prairie Artists’ Guild member into her 80’s; federal and provincial election day scrutineer; summer relief receptionist for her dentist. Volunteering continued at Wintergreene in its garden, walking and knitting clubs, where she also participated in a wide array of activities, especially bridge.
Beginning as sailing crew with her Dad (Endeavour), brother (Enchantress) or husband (Y-Flyer), life-long physical activity was valued. Pat was a former member of Queen City Skating and speed skating Clubs, Tor Hill Ski Club (cross country & downhill), and Last Mountain Sailing Club (racing committee boat member; part of its Raise the Clubhouse gang). A certified amateur swimming and amateur skiing instructor, she took great pleasure in teaching children or adults. A 1988 Canadian Amateur Speed Skating Assoc record for her age class (800m, 2.40.02 minutes) signalled her overall fitness at age 67; bike-riding continued into her 80s.
Frequent travel was another delight: Montréal and Halifax, 1941; Vancouver and Victoria, 1954 and regularly thereafter; Québec City, Liverpool/ Leeds, 1959; throughout England and Scotland in 1960-63; Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, 1962; after Vic’s 1979 retirement and with friends, California, Greece, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Hawaii, or almost every major western Canadian ski slope (6), as well as Vancouver Island, Toronto and Ottawa after his passing.
Predeceased by her beloved husband of 52 years, J.V. (Vic) Smith, 1992; a still-born child, 1946; daughter Christine E. Wheadon, 2021; parents, Walter W. (“Cap”) Slaughter and Jessie F. (née Blackshaw); parents-in-law Ada (née Earl) and L.J. (Jack) Smith; all four sisters, her brother, and all their spouses; five nephews and many friends.
Living on, honouring her loving, caring legacy are her daughter, Pamela Smith (Robert Stirling); son-in-law Robert Wheadon; step/granddaughters, Heather Stirling, Terri (Bruce McBride), and Caitlin (Jay Fetherston); four great-granddaughters; two great-grandsons, Julian and Declan; eight nieces (especially Jennifer Ho and Dorothy Watson), a nephew and their families; and special friends of 30+ years (Wendy, the MacRaes and the Platts) and more recent friends at Wintergreene.
A private Interment will be held at Riverside Memorial Park (in the Field of Honour: her husband, F/Lt. J.V. Smith, was a RCAF WWII veteran) on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life at Wintergreene Estates, 4950 Pasqua Street, Regina, SK; her home for almost 16 years, with invited staff and friends.
Floral tributes gratefully declined. In her memory, please consider contributing to the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, 2180 23rd Avenue, Regina, SK S4S 0A5 or the YWCA, Isabel Johnson Centre 1940 McIntyre St, Regina, SK S4P 2R3.
Her family is forever grateful for the attentive care provided by staff at Wintergreene and from Seniors Home Call, as well as care provided years ago by Dr. Kazmi, and wholly successful surgical and cancer care treatment 14 years ago by Dr. R. Cameron, Dr. Rao and Dr. Rayson.