Sylvia Gudrun Smelts (nee Heidman)

Sylvia Gudrun Smelts (nee Heidman)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother, Sylvia Gudrun Smelts. Sylvia was predeceased by her parents Adalgrimur (Harry) and Mabel Heidman, her many siblings, her husband David Kenneth Sr., only son David Kenneth Jr., three grandsons Christopher, Craig and Nathan Petley-Jones and son-in-law Rob Schwab.

She is survived by her daughters Dianne Schwab, Laureen Petley-Jones (Gordon), Maureen Munro (Brian) and Dorryce Smelts (Bruno LeGal). Sylvia was very proud of her grandchildren, Lindsay Ennis (Mark), Geoffrey Munro (Laura), Brendan Munro (Sheena), Laura Zacher (Nathan), Charity LeGal and great-granddaughter Frances Munro.

Sylvia spent her childhood on the Heidman farm near Glenboro, Manitoba. She became a telephone operator in Glenboro and was soon promoted to the position of Chief, responsible for the district’s operations, finances and staffing. One day our father David stopped by to use the telephone at the Glenboro station. Sylvia always maintained that, when she accepted the nickel for the call he made, they both knew they were destined to be together. After marrying, Sylvia and David began their life journey together, starting our family in Brandon and raising all of us along the way in Edmonton, Red Deer, Hinton, and Prince George. In later years, they retired to Summerland and, eventually, Nanaimo.

In every place we made home, Sylvia maintained her Icelandic traditions by baking the most wonderful vinartertas and stollen, preparing rullupylsas, perogies and cabbage rolls, and making skyr. She not only loved baking, she excelled at it. When we were all old enough to fend for ourselves, she worked as a short-order cook at Woodward’s Restaurant in Prince George. You only had to tell the server you knew Sylvia, and you got the best lunch. After retiring, Sylvia continued baking and providing magnificent parcels of pies, cakes and cookies to her family, even in other provinces.

Always sociable and outgoing, Sylvia made friends easily. She was keen to discuss topics such as current events and politics, and her love of sports, especially football, was well known. She was a champion Scrabble player and a veteran at crossword puzzles. When Sylvia and David joined St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Nanaimo, she became actively involved in preparing lunches to feed the hungry, a tradition which she maintained until a few months before her passing. The skill, energy and passion that she devoted to sharing her cooking and baking were among the best expressions of her love. Her hugs, generosity and caring devotion to her family are her legacy.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4235 Departure Bay Road on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. 

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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