Stephen Henry SMELE

Stephen Henry SMELE

Passed away peacefully February 21, 2010 in Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver, aged 95. Sadly missed by his beloved wife of 63 years, Gwyneth; his daughter Susan (Lory); his son Stephen (Marea); his grandson Stephen, and many, many relatives and friends worldwide.

Steve was born in Kadhar, India, in 1914, to missionary parents. One of 5 children (Emily, John, Amy and David), he grew up in India, where he mastered seven languages, and a sense of adventure. In his twenties, he lived and worked in England. Just prior to the outbreak of WWII, Steve signed up with the Middlesex Yeomanry, eventually serving all over the Middle East. In 1943, he returned to India and joined the legendary 3/9 Gurkha Rifles, fighting with distinction in Burma, both as a major with the Gurkhas and as a Chindit.

Shortly after the war, he married Gwyneth in London, and they moved to Canada. Steve worked on Vancouver Island as a telegraph operator before moving to 100 Mile House in 1954. There, while still a telegraph operator, he started a stationery store, the first newspaper, a print shop, and he owned and ran the local Greyhound bus station. Between all this, he was the local magistrate (later judge), and coroner, for more than 15 years.

In 2001, Steve and Gwyneth moved to Sechelt for more adventures. After he had a stroke in 2004, they moved to North Vancouver.

Steve was one of those very rare individuals who come along so infrequently. His big heart was made of pure gold. He lived life fully, and loved his family more than life itself. His decency, generosity, humour, and wisdom touched many people. His passing has created a great void.

Many thanks to the staff of both Cedar Gardens and Kiwanis Care Centre. As per his request, no service will be held.

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