June passed away on October 22, 2022 at the age of 87 in the palliative care ward at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital.
Born in Winnipeg, MB, on December 14, 1934, June was the second of four children of Camille and Jack Smith. When she was in grade four, the family moved to Vancouver, where she spent the rest of her youth, graduated from Britannia High School, and then completed a secretarial and shorthand course. She married the love of her life Arnie Lind in 1957 and moved to Sudbury (where John and Howie were born); then Calgary (where Martin and Brita were born); and ultimately to Regina in 1970, where she spent the rest of her life until her passing.
June was predeceased by her husband, Arnie; her sister, Camille; her brother, Howie; her brother-in-law, Ernie; and her sister-in-law Jo-Ann. June is survived by her younger brother, Curt; her sister-in-law Anne; her children John (Karen); Howie (Alicia); Martin (Yvonka); and Brita (TBD); as well as her grandchildren, Sarah (Travis); Sean (Jana); Jacob; Amelia; Rebecca; Simon; Kamilla; and Kate – and a beautiful host of cousins, nieces, and nephews, whom she loved as deeply as her own children and grandchildren.
There aren’t many people left like our Mom, full of grace and true manners. One time she came to the door carrying flowers for the host of a dinner (never come empty-handed) and someone arrived just on her heels and said with all seriousness, “Are those for me?” And without a moment’s hesitation Mom said, “Of course they are” and handed the flowers over to them. She knew that manners weren’t about being right; they were about giving others grace. And that manners don’t come for free; they sometimes have a cost and that cost is worth it.
Our mom had a brilliant mind. She was a precise writer and editor, and a Gold Life Master in contract duplicate bridge. (She and her partner once beat the legendary Barry Crane, who is considered to be the top player of all time.) The people at the Regina Duplicate Bridge Club were her community. And the family thanks them for all the rides you gave her, all the bids you made, all the games you talked over with her, and all the care and respect you gave her towards the end.
Mom was a top-notch secretary and paralegal, and she took pride in her days at BA Oil, MacMillan Bloedel (where it was trial by fire), and ultimately finishing her career at Regina law firm Olive Waller Zinkham & Waller. She was crackerjack smart. If she had been born later in the century, instead of a time when women didn’t go to college (or couldn’t afford it), what would she have been? A lawyer? A professor? A psychologist? Who knows? She never wondered herself. She was happy with her career and being a great mom and grandmother.
Our mom conquered the Globe & Mail cryptic crossword every day almost right up to her death. And she scoured the obituaries daily, scanning the oblique phrasings like an Egyptian scholar interpreting hieroglyphics, to work out how each person passed away. She had a code-breaker mind.
She was a fierce grammarian – and she would be pleased if we used this space to remind people of the following grammatical rules:
1) Never say “Please find enclosed…” in a letter or email. It was a pet peeve of hers that people fell into that redundancy trap. (Instead say, “Enclosed is…”)
2) Always use “I” and “me” properly. She would always say to us kids: “You throw the ball to me.” You don’t “Throw the ball to I.” We all groaned about it at the time but we are grateful for her zealousness now.
Mom couldn’t tell a joke to save her life (she had to write them down in shorthand to make sure she got them right) and yet she was the funniest person in the family, at least unintentionally. (It’s not easy being the ‘straight man” in a family of funny people.) Her stories are the most memorable. And when you got her laughing, it was like you hit gold.
She was a great cook, but she didn’t start out that way. A few months into their marriage, Arnie came home with Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking'' and left it on the table. She got the hint, worked at it, and eventually became an amazing cook. (Her favourite recipe was Boeuf Bourguignon.) We'll never forget her home-made pies. She taught her grandson how to make lemon pies from scratch and helped him bake 55 pies in 30 days so he could raise money to go to a swim meet in the States.
June always said she “wasn’t a hugger” but her love, her warmth, and her profound belief in her children and family was always clearly evident and will be deeply missed.
A celebration of life will be held in Regina in the spring of 2023 for family and friends to remember her by, to tell stories (that she would have laughed at just as hard as we will), and to discuss her best bridge moves. No flowers or donations necessary. A genuine thank-you from the family goes out to the hard-working, caring staff and nurses at the SHA palliative care program who treated her with kindness, patience, caring, and respect. Thank you to all who adored her as much as we did.
Mom, you are missed and will be missed. Love, from all of us.