It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mother, grandma, great-grandma, sister and friend, Louise Smith in her 81st year. Louise passed away with her family by her side on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the Virden Health Centre in Virden, MB. She was the loving wife of
Mervin and mother to Wendy and Dennis. Olive ‘Louise’ (Downing) Smith was born in the Assiniboine Valley in the R.M. of Woodworth on February 6, 1934 to Olive and Ed Downing. She was the second child of five. Louise, along with all her siblings was born and raised in the valley. As a family they enjoyed tobogganing and fishing together. Louise attended Errol School, Verity School and Kenton School where she stayed with the Curry family and helped with chores and the delivering of milk. She then went on to complete her schooling at the Lenore School where she was one of the first to graduate in 1951. At this time she worked at Lenore General Store.
October 20, 1951 Louise married the love of her life, Mervin Smith at the Lenore Presbyterian Church. They were a match made in heaven! They began their life together on a farm in the Lenore area where they welcomed their first born, Wendy Shay, on September 10, 1955. Shortly after Wendy was born they left the farm and moved into the town of Lenore where Louise worked for Lester Brown Construction as a cook. Getting settled into town life they soon had baby number two on the way. February 16, 1957 they welcomed a son, Dennis Keith. Their family was now complete. In 1960 Louise, Merv and their kids moved into Virden where they bought their home, where they have resided for their remaining years together. Throughout Louise’s years she had many jobs doing what she loved…cooking and baking. She worked at Larry’s Restaurant for the Toughs until the summer of ’72 when she and Merv decided to run their own restaurant, ‘Smith’s Café’ in Oak Lake, MB. After great success in Oak Lake they decided to manage and run Smith’s Central Café out of Virden for the next six years. In 1980 Merv and Louise decided to go on the road together where they cooked for a crew who worked for Foxwarren Crushrite. They did this for ten years - how Louise managed Merv in such close quarters for so long, one will never know. She loved that man and his teasing…the twinkle in her eye proved it all!
In her spare time Louise always enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. After eight grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren she soon became an avid number one fan at many sports events and concerts. Louise loved her family. From mending to sewing, cooking to cleaning, gardening to babysitting, her nurturing ways say it all. We will forever remember playing ball in the backyard, eating straight from the garden, bologna, alphagetti, and good ice tea, teaching the kids to cook, clean, and bake, daisies and cactuses, drinking coffee in the Christmas mug, and the way her lotion smelled (and always sneaking to the bedroom for a little squirt so you could smell as good as her), playing cards, visiting on the patio, taking pictures with the cornfield, always trying to grow taller than her, camping trips, “the paint stick”, and always being welcomed into her home. She enjoyed nothing better than a good ol’ square dance with her sweetie pie on her arm! She loved a good game of curling and the odd vacation with her amazing friends. She had a zest for life and saw the good in everything. Just as she died she lived...with acceptance, no fear and grace! She did it with finesse! She was just simply amazing! Louise was predeceased by her parents Ed Downing and Olive Foster and her step father Robert Foster, her parentsin- law Wes and Jean Smith; brother Willie Downing; brothers-in-law Ken Brown and Howard Good; sisters-in-law Ruth Downing, Velma Good and Donna Downing.
Left to mourn Louise’s passing are her husband Mervin of 63 years, her daughter Wendy Tolton and son Dennis (Deb Smith); her grandchildren and great-grandchildren Sean (Candace) Tolton, Brooke, Hanna, Foster and Peyton; Theressa (Brad) Nixon, Terrence, Alyssa and Ethan; Calvin (Anna) Tolton, Sebastain , Olivia and Haydn; Max (Claire) Tolton, Leviand Callen; Shawna (Dwight) Smith Barre, Hali and Damian; Michelle (Jason) Hayward, Jadyn, Cardyn and Maddyn; Danielle (Camiel) Serruys, Quinton, and Kix and Denisha Smith. Also by sisters Bertha Brown and Marg (Bob) Hunter; brother Gordon Downing; sister-in-law Frankie Good; brothers-in-law Bill (Kathy) Smith and Howard (Darlene) Smith…and numerous nieces and nephews.
The ceremony to celebrate Louise’s life was held at St.Paul’s United Church on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 1 p.m. with Rev. Janis Campbell officiating. Hymns were sung by St.Paul’s Church Choir - The Village Choir accompanied by Shirley Nolan. Active pallbearers were Louise’s grandchildren - grandsons Sean Tolton, Calvin Tolton and Max Tolton; granddaughters Shawna Smith Barre, Michelle Smith Hayward and Danielle Serriys. Ushers where granddaughters Theressa Nixon and Denisha Smith. Special groups in attendance were Virden Lions Club, the Twilight Curlers and Golden Gals Curlers. Immediately following the service a tea and luncheon was held in the St.Paul’s lower banquet hall served by the St.Paul’s Helping Hands. Interment was held at Breadalbane Cemetery.
Words alone cannot express the appreciation that we feel during this sad and difficult time in our lives with the loss of our beloved wife, mother, grandma, great-grandma, Louise Smith. Our heartfelt thanks to family, friends and neighbours for all the beautiful cards, fl owers, food, fruit baskets, phone calls, visits and general love and support. Sincere thanks to Carassadden Funeral Chapel for their sensitivity and guidance with arrangements. Special thanks to Rev. Janis Campbell for her compassion and for delivering such a touching service in memory of a very special lady. Thanks to grandma’s eight grandchildren for acting as ushers and pallbearers. Grandma would have been so proud of you all. She loved each of you so much. Kudos to the St.Paul’s Choir for Louise’s favourite hymns and to the St.Paul’s Helping Hands for serving the delicious luncheon. Thanks to the Lions Club, Twighlight Curlers and Golden Gals Curlers - you were all special to Louise. Thanks to the Breadalbane Cemetery crew for a job well done. We would like to send out huge hugs to the doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and palliative care at the Virden Hospital for all you did to make Louise comfortable while she was a patient there. Thanks for putting up with our family and for letting us spend our last precious months, weeks, days and moments with this special lady. It meant the world to us. We are all so lucky to live in such a caring community. Sincerely Mervin, Wendy, Dennis, Deb and families. SMITH, Louise