January 25, 1932 – January 15, 2020
Beloved father, John Donald Ray Smillie, born on Robbie Burns Day, January 25, 1932 passed away ten days short of his 88th birthday on January 15, 2020 at the Chilliwack General Hospital. He lived a full and joyous life, exploring the mysteries of science, art, music, and nature. His early profession took him deep into the woods of Northern Ontario surveying the grandeur of Agawa Canyon. It was here that he met his beloved wife Merrilou and the mother of his six daughters June (Jim), Phyllis (Frank), Susan (Steve), Janet (Perry), Christine (Frank) and Catherine (Dave). Together, these two nature lovers provided an idyllic childhood for their young family, at ‘Hilltop House’ on Water Street in Hilton Beach, St. Joseph Island, Ontario.
We are so grateful for the wonderful memories and grounding we received from seeing Dad at work in his rose gardens (with hummingbirds flitting ’round his head’) and the vegetable gardens and orchards that sustained us. In his childhood, Dad had visited Vancouver with relatives and had determined that one day he would live in this beautiful place. And so – he and his family were transplanted to Deep Cove, North Vancouver, BC. His wife, Merrilou preceded him in death in 2008, as well as his daughter Janet and great-granddaughter Serenity (all in the same year). The great comfort of his final days, was his companion Maureen, along with her children. Maureen’s daughter Gert had an especially special place in Dad’s heart and they affectionately called each other “Mr” & “Missy”.
John was also preceded in death by his parents, Ray Lewis Nelson Smillie & Christina Fraser Carruthers and all his noble ancestors, along with grandsons Tobias & LeVar. He will be greatly missed by his younger twin sisters Pat & Caryl, of Victoria BC, his six daughters along with their spouses, his grandchildren: Che, Josh, Shane (Tracy), James, Shalayah (Cory), Ariana, Bianca, Perry, James, Ariane (Sandy), Alexander, Lyrissa (Jeff), Christarr, Sharon, Megan, and Douglas. He leaves a wonderful legacy to his many great-grandchildren: Natalya, Damien, Willow, Asher, Clover, River, Evie, Graham, Jay, Braxton, Jacob, Troy, Levias, Calan, Giizis, as well as many dear nieces and nephews.
Like a good Scot, Ray & Chrissie Smillie’s bonny boy was born on Robbie Burns Day, and this year on Burns day, the family and friends of JDRS gathered at various venues and “raised a wee dram” in his memory. Slainte! – we will miss you dear Dad.
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