It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Gwendolyn Marguerite Smith (nee Meeks) on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at the Poseidon Personal Care Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Gwen was born and grew up in Bellrock, Ontario and was the fourth of five children. In her early adult years, she moved to Kingston, Ontario where she worked and attended the Kingston Business College. In 1944, she married Crawford Smith, the love of her life. While Crawford remained in the military until being discharged after WWII, she lived for a brief time in Brockville. At the end of the war, they moved to their long-time home west of Bath, along Lake Ontario. While lovingly restoring their Georgian-style brick house, they raised three children. Once her children were all in school, Gwen returned to the workforce at Millhaven Fibres where she was a secretary in the Research Lab and later for the factory’s comptroller. She retired in December 1984.
Gwen had a passion for music, and researching family history. She took piano and singing lessons and for many years directed the Junior Choir and played the organ for services once a month at Bath United Church, where she also taught Sunday School. Gwen was also a proud descendent of many United Empire Loyalists and served as President of the Bay of Quinte Branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada (UELAC) as well as Dominion President of the UELAC. One of the proudest events of her life was being presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the official opening of the Loyalist Parkway in 1984. In 2003, Gwen was inducted into the Bay of Quinte Loyal Americans Hall of Honour.
Gwen is predeceased by her parents Arnold Clair Meeks and Mary Rosetta Reppard; Crawford, her husband of over 50 years; daughter Susan Simpson; sister Delesslyn White and her husband Freeman; and brothers Oakland Meeks and Maitland Meeks.She is survived by two children – Malcolm Smith (Chuck) and Jennifer Clarkson, as well as her youngest bother Leland Meeks (Kae), grandsons Peter Clarkson (son of Jennifer) and Duncan Simpson (son of Susan), sisters-in-law Bessie and May, four great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She will also be missed by Diane, Maureen, Fran, June, Jennifer, Kelly, May, Audrey, and Maggie who were part of her “Winnipeg family”.
Many thanks to the staff at the Poseidon Personal Care Centre for the wonderful care they provided Gwen for the last eight and a half years. Thanks also to the friends and relatives who showed their love for Gwen over the last few years through cards, letters, phone calls and email.
Gwen will be laid to rest with a private service and burial for family and close friends at McDowell Cemetery in Sandhurst, ON. A pubic celebration of Gwen’s life will be held on Saturday, October 11 at 1:00 PM at Payne Funeral Home in Odessa, Ontario . For those who wish, donations in memory of Gwen can be made to the UEL Heritage Centre and Park, the Alzheimer’s Society, or a charity of choice.