GORE BAY—A pillar of the Gore Bay community, Phyllis Smith, passed away on October 14, in her 79th year.
“Phyllis was a really good friend and a delightful person to be around,” stated Betty VanderWeerden, who along with her husband Harry were good friends of Phyllis and her husband Doug Smith.
“Harry got to know Doug through shipping cattle and that’s how our friendship got started,” said Ms. VanderWeerden. “We have been friends for a long time, we were at Doug and Phyllis’ wedding, even though we had only known them a short time.”
“We went on many trips, like Christmas shopping, and always had lots of fun together,” said Ms. VanderWeerden. “Phyllis especially loved shopping for her grandkids, sons and daughter-in-laws.”
“Harry and I went on a lot of boating trips with Phyllis and Doug,” said Ms. VanderWeerden.
Ms. VanderWeerden noted that Phyllis, “did so much for the town, so many things that people don’t even know about.”
Ms. Smith was one of three Gore Bay residents who received Gore Bay Citizen Lifetime Achievement Awards this past July as part of the Canada Day celebrations held in town.
Gore Bay Mayor Ron Lane explained at the ceremony, “Phyllis Smith is a long time resident of Gore Bay and throughout her time in our community through her volunteer work and humanitarian efforts has improved and impacted the lives of many both in Gore Bay and beyond.” He noted, “she was very active in her church and for over 20 years organized the annual turkey supper which was and continues to be a major fundraiser for the church.”
Ms. Smith loved to curl and play golf and worked hard to ensure the success of the Gore Bay Curling Club and the Manitoulin Island Country Club, said Mayor Lane. “She was a very caring person and volunteered for over 20 years at the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home and also assisted with Meals on Wheels, which provided suppers to seniors still living in their own homes.”
“Phyllis was always looking for ways to help community organizations, or for specific things that needed improvement in the community generally, and once she focused on a project she made sure the job got done,” said Mayor Lane. “I have known Phyllis for many years and she is a smart, warm, caring person and supportive and loving wife, mother and grandmother and a good friend to many.”
Beloved wife of Doug for over 55 years, Phyllis is the cherished mother of Gordon (Beth) and Jeffrey (Jillian). Dear grandmother of Mariah, Samantha, Deanna, Emma, Brianna and great-grandmother of Anthony and Melina.
Phyllis will be greatly missed by her siblings Iris (Barry) Rodgers, Dennis (Brenda) Ritchie, Roger (Leanne) Ritchie, Sandra Ritchie, Randy (Alicia) Ritchie and Doug (Cecile) Ritchie as well as special niece Michelle Bond, and many other beloved nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother Gertrude Ritchie, infant grand-daughter Elizabeth Smith, brother Karl Ritchie, uncle Jim Eadie, grandmother Norma Eadie, grandfather Bill Eadie and sister-in-law Jo Griffith (Andy). Phyllis was born in Little Current on April 10, 1939, the daughter of Gertrude Eadie. She was raised by her grandparents, Norma and Bill Eadie, in the Green Bush area and later Little Current. She attended the Little Current High School and at age 16 went to work for seven years for the Bell Telephone in Little Current and Elliot Lake.
In 1962, Phyllis married Doug Smith of Gore Bay and moved there to raise their family.
The funeral service was held on Thursday, October 19 at the Gore Bay Community Hall.