December 21, 1929 – July 19, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Mavis Louise Tilley Smith passed away peacefully in her home on July 19th at the age of 93.
Mavis is survived by her Husband Dick Smith and her four children, Terry, Kathy, Richard and David. Mavis has 17 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren.
She was born in her grandmother’s house on December 21, 1929, in Burnaby, B.C, and was the second of three daughters to Catherine and Hylton Tilley.
At the age of five, she and her family moved to Prince George. Shortly thereafter she tragically lost her father. At the age of seven, her mother remarried to Bill MacKinnon. Mavis was then blessed with two younger siblings, Cathy and Donny, whom she loved dearly.
Mavis graduated from high school in Prince George and because she valued school as an important aspect of her life, she graduated with academic honors.
Raised in Prince George, she eventually met and dated Richard (Dick) Smith at the age of 19. In 1952 at the age of 22 they were married and a year later, on June 5, 1953, they were blessed with their first child, Terry. On June 5, 1955, exactly two years later to the day, Kathy was born. Unfortunately, Mavis lost a third child at birth in 1958 whom she named Herbert. In 1961 her fourth child, Richard, was born and in 1965 her fifth and final child, David, was born.
Shortly thereafter she discovered a love for painting and began taking classes to improve her skills. These classes continued on for most of her life and eventually, after many years, Mavis became a credited artist.
After Dick sold his bus business in Prince George in 1970, Mavis and his family moved to Salmon Arm, where Dick entered the hotel business. Three years later they moved to Canoe onto an 8-acre hobby farm with two large vegetable gardens, fruit trees, a cow, a horse, chickens, pigs and ducks. Mavis wanted to be self-sufficient, and this farm was her way of accomplishing that.
Mavis always dreamt of becoming a teacher. While still in Prince George, she began to take night school classes to accomplish this, which she continued upon her arrival in Salmon Arm, taking courses at the local college. Mavis finally finished her education degree through Simon Fraser University (“SFU”) at the age of 55, at the time becoming one of the oldest students to graduate from the Faculty of Education from SFU.
Mavis always felt education was important and became its advocate when she became elected to the Salmon Arm School Board, first as a Board Trustee and then, ultimately, as School Board Chairman where she fought for better education for all.
Mavis always loved a challenge and in 1998 she and Dick built their dream home on the Panorama Ranch Properties in the Fly Hills, overlooking the Salmon Valley and Mavis’s beloved Mount Ida (which can be found in several of her paintings). Pursuing her love of painting, Mavis opened up an art studio in her home and continued to improve her artistic skills during the ensuing years, taking art classes from many renowned painters.
In 2017, Mavis and Dick moved from their home at Panorama Ranch to their existing home in Salmon Arm where Mavis peacefully passed away at home. She was a beloved mother and wife and will be missed by all who knew her.
A celebration of Mavis’s life will take place at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 1400 20th Street, NE, Salmon Arm on July 31st, 2023 at 10:00 am.
To leave an online message of condolence, visit www.bowersfuneralservice.com
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