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SMITH, Verna Jean (nee Burns)

March 29, 1937 – January 16, 2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Verna Smith (nee Burns) on Wednesday January 16 2013 at the age of 75 years. Verna passed away peacefully at home with her family surrounding her after a long battle with cancer and ALS.

Born in Pincher Creek Alberta, Verna was a graduate of the University of Alberta and went on to work in the field of biology in research and education. In her early years she taught abroad and, when she settled back to Calgary, with the Calgary Board of Education.

She had a passion for travel, the great outdoors and meeting new people. She was a world traveller, an avid hiker and skier as well as an active volunteer across many communities. Verna cherished the many friendships she made as a ski friend at Lake Louise, a member of the senior alpine club of Canada, the Bluebird Society and through her volunteer work for the countless organizations including the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation and the Alzheimer’s Society.

She enjoyed cowboy poetry, playing bridge, the Rosebud theatre, living in the country and watching her grandchildren grow. She passed her love for science and nature on to her children and grandchildren.

Verna is survived by her children; Craig (Libby) Smith and Lori (Trevor) Sedgwick; grandchildren Austin, Keelan, Katie and Oscar and her sister Darilyn (John) Platt. She was predeceased by her husband David Smith and her parents Jean and Vernon Burns.

At Verna’s request a private family memorial will be held. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Verna’s name may be made to The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation. Box 68, Madden, AB T0M 1L0, www.aiwc.ca.

In living memory of Verna Smith, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane Funeral Home, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE. Telephone: (403) 932-4740.

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Condolence Messages

  1. warren smistad :

    Our condolences go out to Craig and Lori and families on the passing of their mother and grandmother, Verna. Such a wonderful human being to get to know …I knew her as a science teacher while attending William Aberhart highschool back in the middle ’60’s. She was one teacher admired by all in the class and I’m sure by her teaching associates at Aberhart..my mother (Mrs. A.J.Smistad) taught at Abe during those years and always had a special place in her heart for Verna and Shirley Fraser….the days are gone when we had such dedicated and caring teachers…we were all the better for having known them….Dr.Warren Smistad and family

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  2. Marg (Gowing) Weber :

    As a co-worker of Verna’s at Ranchlands, we all have the greatest respect for Verna and enjoyed the times we had with her. She was the substitute teacher that everyone wanted when they needed a sub. The students had great respect for her, as well. We will miss her. Marg Weber

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  3. Dana Luebke and Bob Greenwood :

    Though we only knew Verna over the last several years, we loved her and enjoyed her warm heart, sense of humour and lust for life. We miss her…

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  4. Thyra McLeod & Sandy McLeod :

    Dear Lori & Craig & family,
    Our deepest sympathy on the passing of your Mom. We remember Verna as someone who always had a ready smile, laugh & a positive attitude. We are sorry for you loss.
    Thyra & Sandy McLeod

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  5. Mark & Doreen Becker :

    It is with great sadness that we have learned of Verna’s passing. As a neighbour for 10 years, our conversations were more than stimulating and of learning. I still trim the ornamental apple tree that over hangs the fence, which today houses a family of nut hatchers that chirp so beautifully and gregariously dance the tree. With every apple and leaf that drops a little thought reminder will always pass Verna and Dave’s way.
    Bless her soul.

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  6. Pat Silbernagel :

    I met Verna at Chinook Creative Arts in Water Valley and, although, I did not get to know her really well I do know that she was a very kind, caring and friendly lady. She will be missed.
    Pat Silbernagel

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  7. I want to pass on my sympathy to Verna’s family. I have such fond memories of your mother as our “super substitute” or super sub at Ranchlands Community School. We got to know Verna very well, and I enjoyed visiting in your home with both your parents. Verna worked hard and played hard, yet took the time and care to make you great kids! And the love she showed to Dave was unconditonal, especially the care shown during his difficult days. And afterwards she shared her love of the land with us all. Such a great legacy. Rest in peace Verna.

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  8. Tom and Shirley Swaddle :

    We are deeply saddened to learn of Verna’s passing. Our fond memories of Verna and Dave in many contexts – on mountain trails, on the ski slopes, and in the academic environment – will always be with us.
    Tom and Shirley

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  9. Linda Sandercock :

    Dear Craig, Lori and families,
    I am sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. She was a wonderfully generous person and her devotion to family was exemplary! I have fond memories of playing at your home growing up, camping, hiking and skiing with your family and of educational conversations with your Mom as an adult. Your Mom kindly treated us like family. I even recall her letting us use her kitchen to make a surprise birthday cake for my Dad one time!
    Sincerely, Linda Sandercock

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  10. Bob and Sheri-lyn Shaw :

    Very sad to hear of Verna’s passing. She was a special lady and we know she will be greatly missed.
    With deepest sympathy, Bob and Sheri-lyn

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  11. Lorraine Bruder :

    We at Vista Village were shocked to read of Verna’s passing. We all loved her visits when she came to see Jean. I send my prayers out to all of you & please know that she is truly missed.
    Lorraine Bruder, PCA at Vista Village

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  12. Lloyd and Trudy Wilson :

    We remember Dave, Verna and family fondly from ski patrol days. Their grace and lovely parties, to meet their children in their home. Yes fond memories and much love.
    Sincerely, Lloyd and Trudy

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  13. MR. & MRS. ELWYN J. EDDY - CALGARY :

    I, ELWYN, WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH VERNA. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

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