SMITH, Merle J. 1923 – 2003

SMITH Merle
Merle Smith of Vulcan passed away peacefully on  September 12, 2003 at the Vulcan Community Health Centre at the age of 80 years after a short battle with cancer. Merle was the oldest son born to Harry and Grace Smith in Vulcan on July 27, 1923. He grew up on the family farm outside of Vulcan. He started his education at Harvey school and continued on with his high school in Vulcan. He married Pat Pickard in 1945 and they had three children Wayne, Brian and Allan. Merle was fortunate to find work that he loved . Merle farmed just west of town for many years and, after the sale of his farm, moved to Vulcan.  It was there he started another journey with Betty Stokes and her eight children.  He married Betty on December 31, 1974.  He now focused on his second love – carpentry.  He built many houses and helped with projects in the area.  He was known around town as a competent handyman with a solution for everything.  No job was too small, too big or too difficult for Merle. In everything he did, his own special flair showed through, from simply signing his name to dancing effortlessly across the dance floor as a member of the Old Time Dance Club.  He put his own unique fingerprint on everything he set out to do.  He was an amazing woodworker and craftsman.  And every job he undertook was done perfectly. Throughout Merle’s life, he was a fun-loving sportsman who tried and excelled at many different activities.  Whether it was baseball, archery, hunting, fishing or golfing – which he decided to learn in his 60′s, he was always a natural.  He never seemed to act his age.  He would bound up ladders, jump off scaffolding and do things most men his age shouldn’t. Merle enjoyed spending time with his family and loved making his grandchildren laugh.  He was very active in the community and added so much to the lives of others.  He took pride in the work he could do to build the senior centre and later treasured the times with friends playing pool, darts or shuffleboard there. Merle is survived by his wife Betty of Vulcan, two sons Brian (Mavis) of Victoria, B.C., Allan (Mellissa) and their children Ashley & Geoffrey all of Coronation, his brother Virgil of Stony Mountain, MB., his sister Verna (Frank) Turner of McBride, B.C. Merle is also survived by his  step-children Terry Tiffin of Vulcan, Chris (Ron) Tait of Lethbridge, Joe (Montse) Hagg of Medicine Hat, Roy (Ida) Hagg, Steve (Penny) Hagg, Vicky (Roger) Williams all of Brooks, Rob (Nicole) Hagg of Stony Plain, and Ron (Melissa) Hagg of Calgary, sixteen grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Merle was predeceased by his young son, Wayne, his dad, Harry, his mother, Grace; his favorite uncle, Bud Plumb, his first wife, Pat, and his brother, Jack. Celebration of Life Funeral Service Wednesday September 17, 2003 at 11:00 A.M. at the Vulcan Cultural Recreational Centre with Lee Spice officiating. Honorary Bearers Ken Sokvitne, Howard Hagg, Ken Gatenby, John Wolfe, Louis Shaw, John Andrews, Ivan Haga, Harvey Simmons, Horst Thiering and Bob Haga. Casket Bearers Ray Bagozzi, Jim Spaeth, Randy Wolfe, Ron Fernley, Ed Nolte and Chris Irwin. Interment Vulcan Cemetery. In lieu of flowers tributes in Merle’s memory could be made to the Vulcan Senior Citizen Centre Box 36 Vulcan, TOL 2BO. Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home. Directors. Telephone 1-403-485-2633. E-mail condolences to vulcanfuneralhome@hotmail.com.

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