Obituary of Mary Fernande Jeanitta Smith
Mary Fernande Jeanitta Smith
July 4, 1931 – August 27, 2020
With deep sadness we announce the peaceful passing of Ferdie on August 27, 2020, with her family comforting her and at her side.
Ferdie was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta, and was raised on the Buchanan Farm for the first 8 years of her life. Later the family bought a farm south of Lundbreck and this farm today is still known as the Thibert Farm. The farm was the hub of family gatherings and the occasional community barn dance. Fern’s father made cheese he sold in the community and her mother sold the many eggs her brother Armand raised. Ferdie recalls her dad driving her and her sister Raymonde to the convent in Pincher Creek every Sunday evening after dinner and then they were picked up and brought home on Friday afternoon. Ferdie left school to work when she was in grade 9. Until her dying day, she spoke heartwarmingly about life on “the farm”. Ferdie married Wallace Roy Smith on July 29, 1950, in a very humble ceremony at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Blairmore, Alberta. Together they had 4 children, Gordon Smith, Sandra Prentice, Bryan Smith, David Smith, 9 grand children: Robyn Smith, Stacey Smith, Colin Prentice, Kiera Baranyay, Nicholas Smith, Olivia Smith, Ruby Smith, Isabelle Smith, Amanda Smith, 4 Great Grand Children: Frea Prentice, Joey Baranyay Jr, Jackson Baranyay, Lucy Barr.
Together the Smith family lived in Blairmore, Bow Island, Grand Forks, and Cranbrook- which was home for fifty years. The relationships she built with friends in each community stayed with her for a lifetime. Ferdie was especially thankful to her niece and nephew-in-law from Kimberley for their unyielding support and to her close neighbors who built a sense of community and belonging together, long after her children moved away from Cranbrook.
Ferdie will always be remembered as a strong, independent woman who loved to laugh and bake/cook for her entire family and friends. Food was what Ferdie used to bring her family together, a lesson learned from her mother and sisters. She loved her garden which her brother-in-law planted and nurtured, and she shared the harvest willingly with her family and neighbors. Golfing and curling were her sports of choice and she hung onto golfing until only a few years ago. Her big heart was balanced by her feisty nature and unfiltered opinions and advice. She was a treasure in her own right and as a working, single mom for fifty years, she put her children first and provided a nurturing sense of family and caring that most would not be able to duplicate. She really was – amazing.
Ferdie is predeceased by her beloved sisters, brother in laws and favourite brother Armand as well as two other brothers, her husband, and a beloved niece.
Donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation if you are so inclined, in honour of Ferdie.