Dr. Marion (Meg) Smart passed away peacefully on September 1st, 2023 at St. Paul’s Hospital. Mom was a daughter, sister, wife, grandma, great grandma, doctor, Professor Emeritus and so much more. Mom had a life that was filled with many firsts and accomplishments. In 1968, when it wasn’t appropriate for a woman to study veterinary medicine, she became the first female graduate in the 125-year history of the Ontario Veterinary College to win the Andrew Smith Memorial Medal for Academic Proficiency. In the same year she also received the Upjohn Award for Large Animal Medicine. In 1984, Mom earned her PhD in Small Animal Nutrition and in 1994 she developed an elective in small animal nutrition (the first of its kind in North America) that was taught to 4th year students of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for nearly 20 years. Highly respected in her field, Mom also served as an expert for Western Canadian livestock producers and North American pet food manufacturers long past her retirement from teaching. Her work and expertise is appreciated globally; her Goat Production Manual is presented to African students who graduate from the Goat Management Program organised by Veterinarians Without Borders and has also been translated into Mandarin. Mom encouraged public access to her knowledge and made her work available through her blogs on small animal nutrition and was always available to answer questions for friends (and friends of friends). When Mom retired from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014, she had reached the distinguished status of Professor Emeritus.
In addition to being an accomplished veterinarian, Mom was an artist. An award-winning carver and painter, she loved sharing her art with others. During her time in Parkridge, she enjoyed painting portraits of the residents, staff, and their families, capturing a perspective on long-term care that many have not seen. Her creativity was not limited to the paint brush, she was also in the final stages of publishing a book on her experiences in long-term care shared through poems and prose; we will now be publishing the book in her memory.
Mom is survived by her husband, Dr. Jim Smart, her children Kerry (Linda), Ken (Kathryn), and Jennifer (Connor); her sister Susan (Tony) and brother Bill (Pam); as well as four grandchildren (Chris, Julie, Ellery, and Adeline), fourteen great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Mom lived with Parkinson’s Disease for close to 40 years, and while it affected her physically, she never let it slow down her mind or sharp sense of humour. We could all take a lesson from Mom on perseverance in the face of adversity.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Parkridge Centre for taking care of Mom for the last four years, as well as the nursing staff and doctors of the 7th floor at St. Paul’s Hospital for making Mom as comfortable as possible over her last few weeks.
Mom’s wish was to be cremated and no funeral service is planned. A celebration of life will be planned in Saskatoon, SK and Lowville, ON at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation in Mom’s name.