Smith, James Edwin

October 29, 1931 – October 17, 2020
at the age of 88 years

A celebration of Dad’s life will be held at Carlin Hall, in the near future, when public health allows it. 

Jim as everyone knew him was born on the homestead in Meadow Lake, SK, the second in a family of seven kids to Thelma and Merritt Smith. No stranger to hard work, at 14 Dad was forced to quit school and work in the lumber camps to support the family after Granddad suffered a broken back. Dad met Irene Shepherd and married her in August of 1950. The marriage was fruitful as Mom gave birth to eight children in 11 years beginning with Kenneth, Douglas, Carolyn, Wallace, Alexander, Kathy, Robert and finally Allen.

Sad times befell our family with the loss of Sandy so they decided in 1961 to move to Salmon Arm from our home in Ontario. Dad always was a competent and confident man, never one to back down from a challenge. He constructed a plywood camper for our half ton and we drove 3600 kilometers with three boys in the back, Carol and baby Kathy up front with Dad and Mom carrying Rob.

Dad went to work logging to feed all those mouths plus brother Allen. A grader man back in Ontario, it was probably there that his love of all things Caterpillar yellow began. Our front yard was always adorned with some piece of equipment and it was in this element of machines and freshly turned dirt that Dad was happiest. His perennial scrap pile from which the most wondrous devices were built using salvage metal and repurposed thingamajigs was how Dad taught us the value of hard work, ingenuity and creativity.

He worked as a log scaler, welder, Millwright and carpenter over the years in addition to owning and operating numerous pieces of heavy yellow equipment. 

Playing guitar since a young lad, it gave him great delight to play aside his grandson Colin at the Carlin Hall coffee houses. Dad was a prime reason that the Carlin Hall was relocated rather than demolished as he and Mom, along with other community volunteers, worked very hard to ensure this historic building remained a vital center for the community which he had been a part of since 1962.

Too many years of hard work and injury took its toll on his mobility, so he quit running grader in his late seventies to concentrate on raising animals, but he still managed to repurpose metal into useful machines. 

Always joined at the hip and the heart, he and Mom celebrated their 70th anniversary this past August.  The only thing Dad loved more than Caterpillar yellow was our Mom so it was only fitting that she and others from our family were with Dad as he gently slipped away from a life well lived in a community of people that respected and valued his contributions to so many others. 

Dad, you did a good job of raising and providing for us and now its time to take a rest but I can’t help thinking you are pushing a road somewhere, diesel smoke in your face and the sound of creaking tracks in your ears waiting for Irene to cook you up some pancakes.

12 Comments

  1. Well daddy you would have been 90 today! We are all still missing you!

  2. dad, it’s been a while since you passed but your spirit is with me as I wander out back to my scrap pile looking for metal to make or rebuild some thing or other out front of my shop. Even the burnt off stubs of welding rods lying in the dirt remind me of the times as a little boy I picked them up from the ground around your projects. just like you, some of these machines worked better inside my head than when I build them but often an idea has to evolve as it goes. I saw you build wondrous devices that you needed and my son sees me do the same although I admit you could weld rings around me with your eyes closed. perhaps welding with my eyes closed is the reason mine don’t look the same. Rest In Peace Dad and know you never raised any kids that didn’t love and respect you

  3. i am so sorry to read this news. What a fine example and pillars Jim and Irene have been in our community. I am so glad you could all be together to bring Jim and each other some comfort through those awful last days. I hope to be able to attend a service and share in the many heartwarming memories. Our sympathy go out to all the family.
    Charlie and Sherry (Wookey] Deans

  4. I’m so sorry to learn about Jim’s passing. Loved the many occasions in which Alan & I visited, laughed & reminisced. Also the times we RV’d to remote locations. Fond memories of a great man who had an inventive, progressive mind.

  5. Allen, Ken and your whole family, so sorry for your loss. Such a well known and respected man did you all proud I am sure. Thinking of you during this difficult time. Take care

  6. Very nice loving words that summed grandpa up. He has had such a positive impact on manny lives. Could bring a smile to anyone. Truly hard to say good bye to man like him. He will be missed so deeply.

  7. Sorry to hear Jim has passed away. He was our neighbour for 20+ years and was always out working in the yard. A hard worker he was. I always giggled when he called me Trish and I hated to correct him that my name is Lisa. We enjoyed times shared down at the Carlin Hall and loved to hear him play his guitar. He will be greatly missed. Condolences to the family.

  8. We are sorry to hear about the loss of your dad Kathy.So we are sending our condolences to you at this sad time.our thoughts are with you. Terry and Maureen

  9. Daddy always wanted a wake
    When we are able to due to Covid measures we will have that at Carlin hall! We will make sure everyone knows when and where! Thank you for your kind words! Dad is finally taking a well deserved rest free of all his worries waiting patiently for Mom to join him.

  10. So sorry to hear of Dad’s passing. He can rest now.Will you be having a service ? Keep us updated on things Please. Love you all XOXO

  11. Sad news. Condolences to the Family. Laurene and Tjac

  12. Dear Kathy and family would like to send our deepest sympathy from the Veitch family your dads sister Jean family .lm Jean Jr hope aunt Irene is doing ok will be in touch my husband and I live in Kelowna now and would love to attend the wake and reunite with family all the best Jean reimers

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