Rita Smiley

April 18, 1932 – January 8, 2023
In loving memory ~
With sadness, the family of Mrs. Rita Anne Smiley reports her peaceful passing, at home, on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at the age of 90 years. In the end, her heart likely failed her, but it never once failed any of those who were lucky to be her family or friend. Rita was born on April 18, 1932, in Lebret, Saskatchewan, to parents Angus and Marguerite McDougald. She was raised as a rural, prairie girl in the wartime period, which provided her with lifelong habits of frugality and prudence.
No one could describe her as wasteful or extravagant. She has said that she was never, under any circumstance, without a dime in her wallet. At least, that was true when a dime meant something. She later moved to the bright lights-big city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she met the man who would become her husband–the disc jockey at the Sunday night CYL dance, Ted Smiley. She and Ted married on July 17, 1954.
Our mother was beloved by those who knew her. In recent years, she had daily home care to assist her so that she could remain independent in her own home. Since being advised of her passing, we have heard from her helpers how visiting her home was a highlight of their day. She was funny, kind, and oh-so-curious about people’s histories and stories, which naturally inspired their strong affinity for her. A talker herself–oh, how she could talk–there was rarely a moment of silence when she was with another person, and sometimes even when she was by herself.
Mom’s ability to keep track of her countless conversations with all of us, including details we ourselves had forgotten, was nothing short of remarkable. One didn’t need to be a living member of the family to warrant Rita’s interest. She keenly studied genealogy over the years with her son, John, and stayed in close touch with extended family members. A cousin, upon learning of Mom’s death said, “We had enjoyed several phone calls over the past year, and I was always amazed at how bright and sharp she was, and equally amazed at how she spit in the eye of her infirmities and refused to be held hostage. What a woman!”.
Rita will be terribly missed by her children, Patrick (Marian), Jennifer, Bernie (Dave), Kas (Mark), and John, along with eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Rita was predeceased by her loving husband, Ted, her parents, and her siblings, Cathy and Donald.
A private family funeral service will be held at a later date. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at www.parklandfuneralhome.com. Arrangements in care of Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer, 403.340.4040.

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