SMITH, Willard Vandine

Wil has died at the age of 85 years on Saturday, April 11, 2020. On April 6, 1971, Wil accepted a telephoned job offer at Michipicoten High School. Then he and his wife Gail read a headline in the Globe and Mail “Six inches of snow in Wawa”. They came anyway and began a happy life of 24 years teaching in Wawa and a further 25 years retired.

Wil taught geography, history and became Guidance Department head. He has served as a volunteer on a variety of committees. He also pursued astronomy, gardening, playing music, becoming a pilot, a round of golf and recreational hockey.  On retirement, he decided to do some writing and produced “Silver Creek: The Centre of the World”, a story of the traditional farming life of his boyhood. He valued the hard work, generosity, and co-operation which were prized and considered essential.

In 2009, a major stroke slowed Wil down somewhat, but he worked through rehab amazingly well. He always enjoyed being greeted by past students. Wil never stopped playing back-up guitar with his good friend Louis and the other Good-timers.

Gail continues life with two excellent cats, missing Wil.

At this time there will be no funeral services.  Cremation has taken place at River’s Edge Cremation Centre, Sault Ste. Marie.  (Arrangements entrusted to the Kerry Funeral Home, Wawa.

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  1. Rick and Darleen Dickson

    We want to send our deepest condolences to you Gail with the sad passing of Wil. May he RIP and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. So very sorry for your loss..Mr Smith was my guidance councillor..he will be missed by so many!
    We will truly miss him not only as a wonderful man but also as a valued customer at the Viking.

  3. So sorry Gail. Your Wil was such a sweet man.
    Hugs and condolences from Steve and Rochelle Brown

  4. So sorry Gail for your loss

  5. Condolences to the Smith family. Mr. Smith was kind hearted, eager to help students, fair and friendly.

  6. Very sorry for your loss. Your memories of good times and your cats may they bring some comfort at this sad time.

  7. My condolances Gail. My thoughts and prays are with you.

  8. Great teacher. RIP.

  9. So sorry for your loss Gail. Willard taught all of my children. He will be missed.