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Colleen (nee Gair) Smith

SMITH, Colleen (nee Gair) - Colleen Smith, nee Gair, treasured sweetheart and life partner of Bob Smith of Collingwood, Ontario has filled her dance card here on Earth. Colleen joined her daughter, Kimberley, her parents, Myrtle McInnis and Bill Gair, along with many other departed family and friends engulfed in a sea of love, with Bob and her two daughters, Cheryl Cameron (Don) and Jill Usher (Jeff), as her witnesses just before dawn on Saturday, October 28, 2017. Colleen was a prairie girl at heart, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in Selkirk, the eldest of 5 girls. She was the apple of her grandparents’ eyes, a great source of pride and joy to her parents. Known for her spirit, sense of humor, loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, beauty and her constant helping hand. She was admired by many and loved greatly by both immediate and extended family. Hard-working, her energy was not easy to keep up to growing up as she was involved in school, community, church and home. Colleen had a deep wisdom, the gift of intuition...she was an old soul who wanted to care for the world. To that end, Colleen moved on from high school to The School of Nursing at The Winnipeg General Hospital, graduating on September 12, 1954 and moving on to quickly becoming charge nurse as she excelled at whatever she did. As someone who had deep compassion, felt the pain of others’ journey and who saw the ‘heart’, the spirit of God in all whom she met Colleen’s work was never far from her mind. If Colleen had her way she would have taken every soul that was alone home to nurse and love through their healing. In her early years of nursing she was particularly drawn to caring for the elderly and for those who had mental health struggles. She sometimes said that they were the easy ones and that they always had a way of bringing a smile or even a laugh to her day. By early 1957 Colleen had met her future, Robert H. C. Smith (Bob) of the R.C.M.P. Smitten from the moment he first met Colleen, Bob pursued her until she challenged him, “if you want to spend time with me then meet me tomorrow at church. That's where I will be.” He met the challenge and they were together from that moment forward. Married in Winnipeg on January 10, 1959 Bob and Colleen raised their family of 3 girls moving from Portage la Prairie to St. Albert to Ottawa. She was the ultimate police officer’s wife, always being ‘on-call’ alongside of her husband, serving their country together. In the early years it wasn't unusual for her to be seen cooking for some weary officers in the middle of the night. Upon retirement in 1986 Bob and Colleen moved to their much loved home with a view of Georgian Bay, songbirds and indescribable sunsets in Collingwood, Ontario. For the next 25 years 3 Raglan Street was a place where many gathered and meaningful memories were made. It was a place of comfort for Colleen and Bob, their safe haven. Colleen loved Bob dearly….she loved her children...she absolutely adored her grandchildren. They delighted her and she was grateful for them. She was extremely proud of each and every one of them….Patrick, Teena, Barry, Tara, Christopher, Sandy, Sarah, Heather-Lynn, Jordan, Braden and Tristana...the mere mention of any one of them never failed to bring a smile to her face, a light to her fading eyes. Colleen was always a faithful daughter and she loved her sisters, Maybelle Gair, Rosemary (Ken) Kurish, Diane (Hugh) Morrison and Carroll Gair. Colleen also loved music, dancing (not many could keep up to her on the dance floor), sweets (in particular, Turtles) Coke, Gaither gospel music, reading (she had a thirst for learning) and she loved the sun. Colleen was passionate about growing her faith and spirituality. She was accomplished at knitting, crocheting and needlepoint, gifting many members of her family with her beautiful sweaters or blankets. Colleen was also a great cook. One never left her home hungry. Known for her roast beef dinners family looked forward to Sunday dinners. Colleen and Bob taught Sunday School together, were elders in their church, in the church choir, and were part of the first hospice group in Collingwood. One of the greatest gifts that Colleen offered was her gift of listening. Nobody was a better listener. She chose her words carefully, offering advice only when asked. She had no time for gossip, and was ahead of her time in her beliefs about Life, seeing us all as equally beloved children of God. Colleen’s tenacious spirit carried her through many valleys, peaks, accomplishments, disappointments, heartache and challenges. She was a warrior who is now free, dancing in the light of the sun, embraced by love and by those who have prepared the way before her. Colleen has made a difference in her lifetime and will always be remembered and missed by those who knew, which includes her sisters-in-law Joyce (Irwin) Graham, Dorothy (Norm) Barker and Catherine Seneca, and her brother-in-law Donald (Patricia) Matheson, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends. Predeceased by parents-in-law Ada Allen, of Napanee, Ontario and John Smith, of Stratford, Ontario, brother-in-law Ronald Matheson and step-father Ferk McInnis. The family would like to thank the staff at the John M. Parrot Centre of Napanee and Campbell House Hospice of Collingwood for their care. Under their care Colleen and her family were treated with dignity, humor, love, kindness and grace. They are a gift to those in their care. We are grateful for their part in Colleen’s journey. We would also like to thank Dr. Bryan Marshall for his guidance and wisdom, always given with the utmost respect and with a full heart of compassion. A memorial Service was held at Trinity United Church, 140 Maple Street, Collingwood, Ontario at 4 pm on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. There will be a reception following the service. All are welcome to attend, service or reception, or both. Donations to the Canadian Mental Health Association OR to Hospice, Georgian Triangle in Colleen’s memory would be appreciated by the family. Friends may visit Colleen’s online Book of Memories at www.fawcettfuneralhomes.com13223714
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