SMITH, Derek Eduard
March 31, 1934 - January 10, 2019
Derek was born in St. Paul’s Hospital to Mona and Christian Smith. He was of Dutch heritage on his father’s side and English on his mother’s side. He died in the same hospital on one of the coldest and snowiest days in January. Growing up with 4 siblings: Julian, Sharon, Derek and Jan led to many interesting dynamics in the household. All were multitalented in athletics. The youngest two - Derek and Jan - formed a special bond. Derek was a natural athlete and excelled in high jump, basketball, hardball, boxing and hockey. He was a very effective goalkeeper. The subject he liked the best in school was art and nature. Mrs. Fyfe in Grade 2 opened up a whole new world of art and nature for Derek. In the summer, you would find him with his sketch books, engrossed in getting things perfect. He quit school and joined the navy but a concussion put an early end to his fighting years, just as the Korean conflict reached an end. After the Korean conflict, he started, but did not complete, training in Psychiatric Nursing. He then secured a job as Mine Safety Officer at the Rocanville Potash Mine. He met and married and they had two children: a boy Michael, who died in early infancy; and a girl Geri Lou who was raised by her grandparents. Since both his children had been affected by fetal alcohol syndrome and since he had been counselling in the navy and in the mine, he quit the mine job and, after, attaining his GED he entered SIAST, Kelsey Campus in order to become a recognized Addiction’s Counsellor. Many times, he was asked: How many years were you active in addiction counselling - “40 years at least,” he would say with a laugh. He started counselling in Rosetown, and being recognized by Angus Campbell, the father of addictions in Canada, he moved to a permanent position in Saskatoon. There he met Dr. Susan Hemmings who had developed an interest in addictions by being invited to talk to the group in the four-month Salvation Army program on the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on the body. Together they bought an acreage near Pike Lake and over 20 years restored all of the farm house, part of the homestead into what they called the early prairie Victorian look. But after 30 years, the amount of work required to maintain 80 acres, took its toll. They renovated their cottage by Pike Lake and moved there permanently in 2014. On the acreage and at the cottage, Derek perfected his wood carving, concentrating his talents on birds and small animals. He enjoyed painting and ballroom dancing. He was also an avid fisherman. He and Susan enjoyed many years displaying and selling their crafts under the logo Sunshine Arts & Crafts. He was not blessed with good health and had heart, lung and diabetic problems. He died peacefully in the early morning on January 10, 2019. Derek is survived by his brother Julian (Yolande) and their many children and grandchildren and his beloved wife Susan. He was predeceased by his mother and father, his sisters Sharon and Jan and Jan’s son David. Derek was an approachable, easy going man dedicated to the solving of the problems of addictions. Countless people have been helped by his encouraging talks. He will be greatly missed. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 16, 2019 at Windsor Chapel (704 Windsor Street, Saskatoon, SK). Arrangements in care of David Schurr with Mourning Glory Funeral Service (306) 978-522, www.mourningglory.ca
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