George Basil Smith, born September 19, 1930, passed away peacefully at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2023 with his dear friend Diane Taylor by his side. George was preceded in death by his loving parents, Basil and Marjorie; his loving brother, James Harkness Smith (Ginny); and his loving sister, Shirley Joan Morrison (Smith). He leaves behind his beloved nieces, Marjorie Louise Olah, Patricia (Patti) Lorraine Morrison and Barbara Jean Morrison.
George was very close to The Gordon family in Edmonton, specifically Mrs. Gordon who predeceased him, whom he often referred to as Mrs G. He was also a great friend of the Taylor family and was often heard telling people that George Taylor was his best friend who helped him on the road to 62 years of successful sobriety. An accomplishment that George was extremely proud of in his life!
George served in the Korean War and was a valued and honoured member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry for 11 years. He was also a proud member of the Edmonton Branch PPCLI Association for 30 years, 1993 – 2023. George had a passion for maps and always encouraged people to travel the world. Mexico was one of his favourite destinations having a special place in his heart. He was an avid athlete but swimming became his true passion. When he swam in Mexico everybody stopped what they were doing and watched as he glided over the water without a ripple. He could do 50 laps like it was nothing right into his late 80’s. It was magical, hypnotic and almost therapeutic to watch him swim. He could sing, he could dance and he was a great poet, writing some thought provoking “life” poems with a twist of humour. George was a gentle, kind, sensitive and loving person who lived in the moment and lived his life in a way to feel free, competent and connected to people. He was one of the least materialistic people. George didn’t need much to survive and would have given the shirt off his back and his last dime to anyone who needed it. Children and animals alike were naturally drawn to him and that speaks volumes for the kind, gentle man he was. The world would be a better place with more people like him and everyone who was lucky enough to have known him were better because of him. George was the best friend anyone could ever wish for. He will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by all those who knew him.
Thank you to Kim Budd for her friendship and help in George’s final years. Thank you to Herb Kenny, Branch President Edmonton PPCLI Association, for his compassion and kindness he extended to George. A heartfelt thank you to ALL the staff at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans for welcoming George (Baz) into their care and showing him warmth and affection during his stay. Thank YOU for ALL that you DO to keep our Veterans safe and comfortable in their final years.
Memorial Donations to support our Veterans may be made to The Capital Care Kipnes Centre for Veterans at the following link Home | CapitalCare Foundation