Jul 26, 1932 – Feb 13, 2018
It is with deep sadness that the family of Mary announce her passing at the age of 85 years. Mary was born in the Duck Lake/Horse Lake, Saskatchewan area to Theophile & Lillian (Nicholas) Smith.
She grew up alongside 13 siblings, her 6 sisters Evelyn, Phyllis, Marie- Ange, Anita, Diane & Monique, her 7 brothers Ovila, Ray, Franklin, Darryl, Ben, Jeff & Gayle. From a young age on the family farm, her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic, determination, and many more life skills that she passed on to her children and her grandchildren.
This spring her siblings will be taking some of her ashes back to the ‘Bluebell Prairie’, a meadow where she played as a child and where she said “were some of the best days of my life”. She was blessed with many great sister in laws and brother in laws- Marius, Julien, Fred, Frank, Allan,Terry, Ruth, Joylene, Marlene, Sally, Debbie, Carol, Jean and all their children.
In 1949, Mary met Lucien Gagnon at a community dance near Duck Lake and on November 7, 1950 they were married. They shared their deep love of their sons & daughters and were able to celebrate the milestones of their 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries along with their children, their sons & daughter in laws, their many grandchildren, siblings, extended Smith/Gagnon families and many great friends.
She was grateful and loved her in-laws Adjutor & Marie, Lou’s siblings & their families Emily, Armand, Arsene, Joyce, Marianne, Etienne, Elaine, Art, Simone, Ronald, Bernadette, Johnny, Ovide, Bernice, Gertie, Ed, Lucille and Ralph.
Lou & Mary’s journey started in 1955 when they ventured west to B.C. with their 3 small children Bev, Edgar & Louis. The road brought them to the great communities of Lumby, Merritt, Chase & Wells, along the way they were blessed to grow their family when Lorne, Elwin, Michelle & Robert were born.
In 1968, Lou & Mary made their move into Quesnel and in 1969 their youngest daughter Lori was born. Each community brought great new friendships and many adventures. They settled into a small piece of land on Patchett Road in the community of Bouchie Lake where they raised all 8 of their children. In 1983 they moved to a larger property and purchased a new home where they spent the next 27 years making great memories with their children, their daughter in-laws Sharon, Barb, Tania, Claire & Diana, their son in-laws Lee, John & Todd, their 20 grandchildren, their 11 great- grandchildren and 1 great-great granddaughter.
Mary worked each day of her life with so much energy, caring & teaching her children and grandchildren all her skills of gardening, canning, knitting, sewing, berry picking, cooking, dancing, garage sale & flea market treasure hunts, camping, fishing, grouse hunting, smoking salmon and even cutting & wrapping many deer and moose. She shared her strong abilities to play a great game of cribbage, nickel & dime poker and there was a family game of bingo at each celebration which her grandchildren always looked forward to. She was known to pretend it was one of her little grandchildren that won so she could see their faces light up when they yelled out “bingo”. She was always willing to play games whether it was lawn darts, bocci ball, charades or pictionary. Although she was fiercely competitive, she was most content when she was able to make her grandchildren laugh at her quick wit & comedic antics. She appreciated life’s simple pleasures- whether it was sitting in the sun on a warm day, having tea or the occasional cold beer with her many great friends she made in her life. She was loyal to all she called a friend.
She was extremely proud to be a Metis woman. She shared her culture with all. She was able to spend her last 4 years celebrating her Metis culture at ‘Back to Batoche Days’ each summer, where many of her family & friends would connect year after year. She enjoyed the jigging, fiddling, bannock making, fish frying, exercising her Michif language and the laughter she shared each year with all will forever be remembered.
She was an avid curling fan; she often enjoyed the Brier and Canada Cup tournaments, and assured she never missed a ‘Blue Jays’ game. Mary & Lou loved watching and supporting their children and grandchildren in all their sports & activities, cheering them on with a big smile.
Mary found much reward and purpose in many occupations. This included cooking in logging camps and restaurants, tree planting & volunteering in all the communities she lived; whether it was in the schools, the church or just helping her neighbours.
She retired after many years working for the Quesnel Community Aid Society and eventually BC Transit as a driver. She was well-known and respected by many through her commitment to this job, thus she was acknowledged for her community service with a Service Award from the City of Quesnel, which she cherished.
In 2010, Lou & Mary moved into the River Park Estates by the Fraser River in Quesnel. They enjoyed sitting on the deck, watching the river flow, where they made new friends and reminisced with old ones and walks with loved ones.
In 2011, due to their failing health Mary & Lou made their last journey together to Edson, AB. where, with their entire family support, they were cared for & loved in their final years. Mary was resilient & strong as she embraced the community of Edson, soon making lasting and meaningful friendships like she had done so many times before.
In September 2012, nearly making 62 years of marriage, she lost Lou. She laid him to rest in the Tranquility Gardens in the Quesnel Cemetery. Mary will now join Lou as they are “Forever Together” in their beautiful urns crafted by their grandsons Michael Gagnon & Matthew Gagnon. A private family interment will take place as per wishes.
In Peace, she was able to show her love & strength to all as she said “Goodbye”.
RIP Mom, Kookum ,Grandma, Mama & Mary…