© 2023 Wall Custance Funeral Home
Providing Cremation and Funeral Services to Guelph and Area since 1941.
Smith, Donald Kay – We are saddened to announce the passing of Donald Kay Smith, who died peacefully on February 23, 2023, at the Village of Riverside Glen in Guelph, Ontario, at the age of 97.
Don was born on September 24, 1925 to Arthur G. and Edith Smith in Rossburn, Manitoba. Tragically, he lost his mother soon after birth and was raised by his adoring aunt Margaret “Peg” Smith until his father married Eleanor Scott, who was the loving mother of Don and his 3 siblings Ken, Jean and Tom. He was raised in Birtle where he raised bees, played the trombone and developed a passion for golf working at the Birtle Riverside Golf Course.
After graduating from high school in 1944, he joined the Air Force and then was transferred to the Army for infantry training. After the war, he received a Bachelors of Science from the University of Manitoba, where he met and married Marjorie Bernice Hacking on November 10, 1949. Together they raised 4 children, while Don worked at Air Force weather stations across Canada. He continued his education, earning a Masters degree in meteorology from University of Toronto in 1960 and ultimately held the title Director General of Field Services in the Canada Atmospheric Environment Service.
Don was deeply saddened when he lost his wife Marjorie to breast cancer in 1980 but was fortunate to find love again with his second wife, Maria Theresia “Kit” Loogman, whom he married in 1982. Together, they spent a happy 31 years until her passing in 2013.
Don’s professional accomplishments include his appointment as Deputy Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization in 1984, where he planned one of the first international meetings to raise alarm about global climate change. He and Kit spent three enriching years in Geneva before retiring to Grimsby, Ontario. In retirement, he devoted himself to his passions for golf, gardening, bridge and reading. He read widely, covering diverse topics including philosophy, history, political theory, and fiction. He kept detailed notes on his readings that reflect his deep intellectual curiosity and keen analytic ability and which he often shared in his letters to family. He also collected the Smith family history into a well-written chronicle which will be an important legacy for the generations that follow him. In his final years, Don found comfort in visits from family, meals in the dining room, and his love of reading, which continued voraciously until his eyesight began to fail.
He was a loving brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his brother Tom and wife Midge Smith; his son Arthur William Smith and fiancée Cheryl Mitchell; his daughter Karen Kaye Smith-McCune, husband Joseph “Mike” McCune, granddaughter Louise McCune and partner Vincent Hiscock, and granddaughter Emma McCune Handel and husband Nicholas Handel; his daughter Linda Merle Craig, granddaughter Sandy Smith and partner Aaron Streeton, and granddaughter Kyla and husband Nathan Crowe; his son David Brian Kenneth Smith, granddaughter Sara and husband Jamie Scholtes and great-grandchildren Honor and Petrie, granddaughter Andrea Smith and partner Thomas Burden, grandson Kevin Smith and wife Whitney Swan and great-grandsons Desmond and Donovan Smith, and granddaughter Elyse Smith.
Don’s gracious and friendly manner was evident to everyone who met him. He was a gifted conversationalist with a broad fund of knowledge and a keen sense of humor. He loved nature and being outdoors, as manifest in his love of golf, gardening, canoeing, and camping, and later in life, his outings to Lake Eerie with Kit. All his life, he was keenly interested in the birds that would visit his yard. He also loved music and he had an uncanny ability to find the right song for the occasion.
The family plans to hold a memorial in Birtle, Manitoba at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL (519-822-0051 / www.wallcustance.com).
Don will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and his legacy will live on through the memories of his friends, family and colleagues.
A tree will be planted in memory of Donald K. Smith in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest.
Serving Guelph and area since 1941, with a tradition of excellence. Providing personalized and compassionate services, including Simple Cremations, Celebrations of Life, Traditional Funerals (including Natural/Green Burials) and more. Wall-Custance Funeral Home & Chapel is locally and independently owned by Scott and Betty Ann Young.
Licensed Funeral Establishment Operator – Class 1 – FE-184
© 2023 Wall Custance Funeral Home