Farming Rural 21

Clifford "Cliff" John Smith

June 23, 1924 ~ March 25, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old

Clifford "Cliff" Smith Obituary

Clifford John Smith, aged 99, passed away March 25th, 2024, at the Creekside Lodge Assisted Living Home in Maple Creek, SK.

On June 23rd, 1924, Clifford John Smith was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick. In 1929, when he was 5 years old, his parents (Lee & Edna Smith), Grandfather (John Smith), and two siblings (Flora & Harvel) moved west and settled in Consul. Consul was chosen as the place to settle as some of his dad’s siblings and their families had relocated to Consul a few years prior and had prosperous crops. Cliff and his family initially stayed with some of their relatives until they were able to purchase the Watson farm, located 4.5 miles North of Consul. His family grew to 6 children with the arrival of Gerald, Ernie, and Hazel. Cliff attended school in Consul until grade 2 but was later homeschooled so that he could help his dad on the farm. At 15 he left home to work for Pete Reesor. During this time, he gained much insight + skills that prepared him for starting his own farm.

On September 17th, 1944, Cliff married the love of his life, Mary Swihart from Vidora, SK. They bought their first section of land the year following and welcomed their first daughter Doreen in 1947, Don in 1949 and Debra in 1954. He enjoyed spending time with his family which grew from 3 children to 8 grandchildren to 18 great grandchildren. He was proud of his family + his family adored him. Every summer for the last 16 years everyone would gather at the farm for a reunion. A weekend Cliff always looked forward to.

Cliff had a deep love for farming + ranching. For him it was more than just a job but his life’s purpose. Every season came with excitement for days filled with work that he loved. Whether it was calving, seeding, branding, irrigating, cutting hay, fencing, or selling cows, you could always find him busy doing something. He saw a lot of changes in farming over his lifetime. He was one of the first farmers to irrigate out of the Cypress Lake, irrigating the same piece of land for 78 years. His work brought him great joy and was one of the reasons why he was able to do it until he was 99. Some of his fondest memories were selling the calves to cattle buyers in Ontario, a relationship that lasted 50 years + turned into a close friendship. Cliff had that special ability to make friends with anyone.

When he wasn’t out in the field with the cows, working the land, or caring for the garden, you could find him visiting with friends over coffee, telling stories and playing (mostly winning) card games. He was a curling fan, loved a rodeo, was a supporter of 4H, and was always in the stands at the local hockey games cheering on the Consul Rockets. He was proud to be a part of this community + could never imagine living anywhere else.

He was a generous man who loved to help whenever he could. If someone was in need, Cliff was eager to help. He gave to mission projects + served on many boards in his lifetime, giving of his time + wisdom. A few of the boards he sat on: The RM #51 board, Hospital board in Maple Creek, Credit Union board, Red Coat Trail committee, Consul Church of God, and International Bible College.

Cliff had always planned on living out his final days at the farm but after finding it harder to do the things he loved, he made the difficult decision to make the move to Assisted Living in Maple Creek. This was a big change after living on his own since Mary passed away in 2009. Although his time at the Home was short, he spoke highly of the staff, the care he received, the food he was provided, and the friends that he grew to love through conversations + card playing.

Cliff lived life to the fullest. He was a man of faith, with great love for his family, farming, the community + his church. He was the happiest around people + will be greatly missed.

 

 

 

Left to cherish his memory:

DOREEN’S FAMILY: Her partner, Tim Crawshaw of Okotoks, AB; her ex-husband, Larry Kohls of Redcliff, AB; Doreen’s children: Scott (Shelby) Kohls, Jack and Luke of Calgary, AB, Brent (Tonia) Kohls, Seth and Neila of Okotoks, AB.

DON’S FAMILY:  Don (Kathy) Smith of Consul and their 3 children: Heather (Geoff) Fisher, Evan, Payton and JJ of Consul, SK, Marcy (Dwight) Cameron, Gabriella, Amara, Olivia and Hunter of Moose Jaw, SK and Shari (Mike) Vallely, daughter August of Vancouver, BC.

DEBRA’S FAMILY: Debra (Garth) Reesor of Calgary, AB and their 3 children: Erin (Pete) Lewis, Maren and Lauren of Airdrie, AB, Alison (Michael) Dueck, Kailee and Raya of Calgary, AB, Brian (Meryl) Reesor, Jaxson and Hudson of Calgary, AB.

BROTHERS: Ernie (Irene) of Calgary, AB, and Gerald of Kitchener, ON.,

BROTHERS-IN-LAW: Paul (Betty) Swihart of Eastend, SK, Walt (Ella) Manley of Medicine Hat, AB.

NIECES & NEPHEWS: numerous

Predeceased by his loving wife, Mary; daughter, Doreen Kohls; son in law, Garth Reesor; his parents, Lee and Edna Smith; sisters, Flora (Peter) Retterath and Hazel (Grant) Brown; brother, Harvel (Phyllis) Smith; sisters-in-law, Verneda and Donna; in-laws, Howard and Inez Swihart; bother in law, Wilson Swihart, Ted (Jean) Swihart; sister-in-law, Grace Manley; nephews, David Brown & Tom Smith; niece, Janice Brown.

Funeral Service will be held on Monday, April 8th, 2024, at 1:00pm at Consul Hall, SK.

"Any donations you would like to make in memory of Cliff can be given to the Consul Curling Club or a Mission of your choice."

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