Sadly, I announce the sudden passing of my only son, Campbell Stewart Smith, 63, of Rainycrest Long-Term Care, 550 Osborne Street, Fort Frances, Ont., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 at La Verendrye General Hospital in Fort Frances.
Born in Winnipeg, Man. on April 20, 1946, Cam accompanied his parents to Fort Frances in August of 1951. His school years were spent at Robert Moore.
His first job was at The Laundromat but he went on to ARC Industries, where he was the chief sawyer of pipe for the local mill. As well, he removed and replaced rivets on aluminum boats.
Currently, he was volunteering part-time at Good Impressions Printing.
“Travelling Man” described Cam’s desires, beginning with Winnipeg street-car rides with Grandma Smith. Fort Frances mobility followed on a tricycle with dog, Nichimos, a two-wheeler, and finally a moped proudly owned.
These allowed him to supervise the Public Works Department at work (as well as to learn some questionable language!)
His passenger experience was as an inveterate rider on the Fort Frances Bus Lines, thanks to Mr. Wright, observing truck driving and gearing with Lakehead Freightways, private ride on CN trains, working the yards, many rides with John Myers from the air base, plane rides to the south for Christmas, and delighted always when the occasion called for a taxi.
Any trip to another city always included bus rides there.
The lake played an important part in summer. Cam ran his boat while Bob Dandeneau fished. Swimming more proficient underwater than on top was regular.
He was renowned for his run down the lake steps and across the dock to a loud call of “Geronimo” and a cannon ball into the water—much to the amusement of his visiting cousins.
He also curried their favour by making all of them a mean milkshake.
Earlier, Cam and his team won an award for an out-of-town bowling competition. Still at it, he currently holds the family’s highest proficiency level in Wii bowling.
Winters were consumed by hockey, which was his passion. Muskie men and ladies always first, but any other games he could attend.
The Blueline Club presented him with a leather Muskie jacket which displayed on the sleeve “#1 Fan.” He certainly prized that.
Barney Maher, Bill Sterns, and others accompanied him to many games.
Cam had a remarkable memory; a good trait mostly, but questionable when it concerned something one of us might want to forget.
He also enjoyed a keen sense of humour, which was evident in 1959/60 on a school report card saying, “Cammie has quite a sense of humour. He sees the funny side of everything and often surprises the others by his heartfelt laughter.”
His deep love and appreciation for any kind of music helped him fill many days. He enjoyed singing and his pleasant voice often could be heard from his neat room as he accompanied the tapes. His dancing was somewhat hampered by three hip replacements, but still he persevered to do the “chicken dance” played especially for him by the monthly Wednesday Night Orchestra group.
He always was available and anxious to call a Bingo game, complete with instructions and general patter, or to act as emcee if desired.
Cam was predeceased by both sets of his grandparents; his father, John C. Smith Q.C. in Yuma, Az.; his father figure, Frank J. Newstead in Saskatoon, Sask.; and his “second” mother, Florence Challis in Winnipeg, Man.
He is survived by his mother, B.E. June Smith (nee Stewart); the Stewart uncles, Paul (Velma) of Virden, Man. and their three children, Michael (Connie) of Calgary, Alta. and their two sons, and Brian (Lilianne) of Elora, Ont. and their five sons; his paternal cousins, Mary Jane (Raymond) Kyle of Thunder Bay, Ont. and their children, Kathleen (Terry) Jorden of Sherwood Park, Alta. and their daughter, Julie (John Tilbury) of Thunder Bay, Ont. and their son, and Erin Kyle of Winnipeg, Man. and three children.
Also surviving is his extended family, Robert (Joy) Newstead of Sherwood Park, Alta. and their children, Scott, Andrew, and Laura Jackson, and Richard (Susan) Newstead of Swift Current, Sask. and their children, Jill and Mark; and special friend, Gale C. Niblock (Hugh) of Midland, Ont.
Thinking them to sad, Cam avoided funerals. Consequently, the family, staff, and residents of Rainycrest—his 22-year home—welcome anyone to join them in the Hallett Hall at Rainycrest for some tea and a celebration of Cam’s life on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009 from 2-4 p.m.
The graveside service will be held at a later date.
The honourary pallbearers will be all of his friends and Community Living.
It would be appreciated, if anyone who might care to make an in memoriam donation, would consider Community Living Fort Frances District or the Fort Frances Public Library c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
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