September 7, 1923 – October 11, 2019
Elsie Grace Smith (nee Stacey) died peacefully in Nanaimo, British Columbia on October 11, 2019, in the loving presence of her children and their spouses, Judy Beer (Dave), Jim Smith (Heather), and Bob Smith (Lisa). She was the adored grandmother of Gordon Merkel (Denise Wadsworth), Rob Merkel, Bruce Smith (Tania Aldred), Robyn Holmes (Spencer), Arielle and Alexa Smith, and Shelby Richard (Gage). Elsie was predeceased by her loving husband of 55 years Norman Smith, as well as her parents Gladys and Jim Stacey, sisters Roberta Krutz, and Helen Clark, and brother Bill Stacey.
Elsie was born September 7, 1923, in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Headingly and Winnipeg. She graduated from Normal School and taught for several years in one-room country schools. After the war, she married Norman and they moved to the small mining towns of Favourable Lake, Ontario, and then Bralorne, British Columbia. She had fond memories of their adventurous life in those remote communities. In 1952 they returned to Winnipeg, where they resided until 1978, when they retired to Ladysmith and later Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island.
Elsie’s strength of character, positive attitude, intelligence, resourcefulness, curiosity, kindness, and above all, her caring interest in others, made her an inspiration to all who knew her. She loved her many recent and lifelong friends and was the heart of the family, the quintessential mother, grandmother, and aunt. She was happiest in a large family gathering or off on a cruise with a friend.
Elsie had plans for each day and plenty of energy to carry them out. She continued to drive, travel, check out the latest fashions, knit toques for newborns, bake, entertain, read, attend church, and play Scrabble with her grandchildren until her final months. She often expressed gratitude for her long and healthy life.
Her family wishes to thank Dr. Trepess as well as the staff at Berwick on the Lake’s Brio wing for their compassionate care of Mum throughout these last months. In lieu of flowers, donations in Elsie’s memory may be made to the Salvation Army Nanaimo or Hope and Healing International. A funeral service and celebration of Elsie’s life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, November 30 at St. Andrew’s United Church, Nanaimo.
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