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Obituary

MINA DOROTHY SMITH (published on May 16, 2009)



MINA DOROTHY SMITH On May 11, 2009 after surgery at Seven Oaks Hospital. Aunty Mina was born on the family farm near Morris, Manitoba August 30, 1916. She is predeceased by her parents Robert Lightfoot and Isabelle Lightfoot (nee Springford), her husband John Francis Smith, formerly John Thorpe of England, her sisters Grace Vickers (Chris), and Leta Elliot (Lauren) and grand nephew Michael Vickers. She is survived by her nephews, Jim Vickers (Hilde), Don Elliot (June), and grand nephews and nieces Annamarie, Nicole, Holly, Ian, and William. Mina came to Winnipeg to make her way in the world in the late 1930s. She started by cleaning and domestic service in hotels and later became the personal maid to the Lieutenant Governor's wife Margaret McWilliams, feminist and author. Mina met and married Jack Smith in 1947. Jack was a musician in Mart Kenny's jazz orchestra. They took up residence in the West End. Mina and Jack both became employees in the Winnipeg General Hospital. At the General, Mina became a shop steward in the laundry department where her candour and assertiveness served her well. She later worked at the Sunshine Laundry plant near their residence. Mina was active in community affairs working on the campaigns of Stanley Knowles and serving on the founding board and building committee for Seven Oaks Housing Co-op. Her parents stayed with her during the 1950 flood, and her mother later stayed with her after she was unable to live on her own. Mina and Jack had an active social life in the music scene and the bars. When Jack retired they were part of a band that played in many seniors' residences. After Jack's death in 1981 she lived for several years in the co-op she had helped to found. Later she moved to Greenwood Place. Mina loved her seniors' apartment on Greenwood and yearned to return thereafter breaking her hip in 2008, but it was not possible. Mina grew up in the Methodist and later the United Church in Morris. She attended various churches in Winnipeg, but lately enjoyed the services at Fred Douglas Lodge. Mina came to Fred Douglas Lodge in February of 2009 and had already made many friends there when she fell and broke her hip. Mina was a resident of Oak Unit. Many thanks to Dolly and the other staff that were instrumental in making it home for her. Mina enjoyed the humour and company of her table-mates Norman, James and Allen. She especially enjoyed palling around with her buddy Norm. She will be missed by many people and remembered by even more. God bless you Aunty Mina The family would like to thank the staff of Seven Oaks Hospital who were so patient and skilled in ministering to her in her last days and the staff of Fred Douglas Lodge who were very skilled in integrating Mina into the social life of the complex. We would also like to thank the staff of Grace Hospital for their support in the months after Aunty Mina's first hip surgery. Aunty Mina was always a challenge to care for, and you did your jobs well. A memorial service will be held in the Chapel at Fred Douglas Lodge at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2009, the Rev. Paul Peters-Derry officiating. Interment will be at a later date. Arrangements have been made in co-operation with Thomson Funeral Services. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to Manitoba Society of Seniors, Age and Opportunity, or The Alpha House Project.


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