Sadly, the family announces the passing of Graham Randal Smith, 63, of Fort Frances, Ont., on Friday, March 7, 2014 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances.
Randy was born Jan. 9, 1951 to William “Bill” and Jean (nee Matheson) Smith, and was the youngest child of four.
He lived most of his life on Third Street West.
Randy attended Sixth Street School and his family were long-time members of Knox United Church in Fort Frances.
Randy worked at Arc Industries (Fort Frances and District Association for Community Living) for about 25 years. He was an avid supporter of the Fort Frances Muskie hockey and football teams.
In his youth, he loved to play “Home Run Derby” in the Alexander McKenzie School yard, picking blueberries and partridge hunting and fishing with his father, and visiting with his parents’ friends in Clearwater.
Randy also participated in floor hockey activities with the Special Olympics.
Randy was very social and loved his coffee time at A&W and Tim Hortons with his many friends. He will be fondly remembered for keeping his finger on the pulse of Fort Frances during his coffee breaks.
He had an excellent memory for names and as an historian. He often was seen enthusiastically riding his bike all over Fort Frances.
Randy and his brother, Keith, were very fortunate to have the loving support of a forward-thinking mother who championed the cause of special needs children, enabling Randy to lead an active and accepted presence in the community.
He remained living independently in the family home until 2011, when he moved to Green Manor, where he was embraced by the community and fellowship of his neighbours.
Early in 2013, Randy moved to Rainycrest, where he quickly became a familiar and friendly face to all who lived and visited there. Randy was always quick to greet everyone with a smile and a friendly conversation.
He will be forever remembered by those who knew him as the “The Best Guy in Town.”
Randy is survived by his sister, Barb Ballan of Port Alberni, B.C. and her children, Guy, Don, and Kim and their families; nephews, Steven (Tina) and Chris (Cindy) and their families; niece, Lisa Teeple and her son, Jeff (Kelly) and family; uncle, Robert (Rita) Matheson of Calgary, Alta. and their daughter, Janine (Marc) Stallings; and close cousin, Geri Kelly and family.
Randy was predeceased by his parents, William “Bill” and Jean; sister, Faye (Vincent) Gasparini; brother, Keith Smith; and brother-in-law, Victor Ballan.
A graveside service will be held Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
A reception will follow at Knox United Church in Fort Frances.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to the Fort Frances Community Living or the Rainycrest Activation Fund c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
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