SMITH, Shirlee A.


SMITH, Shirlee Anne, died in Winnipeg on April 17, 2020.  She was born in River John, daughter of the late Wilson and Myrtle (Dwyer) Langille.  She resided in Winnipeg for most of her adult life and graduated from the University of Winnipeg. She spent almost her entire career working indirectly for the Hudson’s Bay Company.  In 1973 she was posted to London, England, to oversee the transfer of the Company’s internationally known Archives to Winnipeg.  The seven 20-ton containers of documents arrived in the fall of 1974 and the following April she opened the collection to researchers.  Mrs. Smith retired as Keeper, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, in 1990.  Mrs. Smith had held various directorships and served on a number of committees including being a Founding Director of Canada’s National History Society, Director of the National Archival Appraisal Board, Member of the City of Winnipeg Advisory Committee of the Arts, and Past President of the Manitoba Historical Society.  She was particularly active in the campaign to preserve Dalnavert, the home built in 1895 for Sir Hugh John Macdonald, son of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Today Dalnavert Museum and Vistors’ Centre specializes in interpreting the history of the house and early Winnipeg.  An active Anglican, Shirlee had an innate appreciation of Cranmer’s prayers, church liturgy, and church architecture.  Her awards and honours included Membership in the Order of Canada, the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Manitoba, the Prix Manitoba Award for Distinguished Service – Vocational, and an Honorary Doctorate in Canon Law from St. John’s College, Winnipeg.  She was predeceased by her husband, Richard A. Smith; sister, Gwendolyn Gratto; sisters and brothers-in-law, Leota and Alex MacDonald, Muriel and William ‘Bill’ Baillie; brothers and sisters-in-law, Weldon and Ruby Langille, Stanley and Betty Langille; sister-in-law, Cathy Langille; brother-in-law, Reginald Dame.  She is survived by sisters, Irene (Lorne) Harley, Gaye (Hubert) Hillier, Darrell (Gerald) Sutherland, Roline (Gordon) Brown; brothers, Melbourne Langille, Terry (Susan) Langille; and brother-in-law, Murray Gratto.  Shirlee wished to thank her family physician, Dr John Mayba; Dr Jeff W. Saranchuk; the staff at both the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and the WRHA Palliative Care Program; and her family and many friends who were so attentive during the last three years of her life.  By request there will be no Funeral/Memorial Service. Cremation has taken place and the ashes will be interred in the family plot at the Mountain Road Cemetery, River John, according to the Rites of the Anglican Church of Canada.  If desired, donations in Shirlee’s memory may be made to St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, c/o Denise White, 20 West Branch Rd, RR 1, Scotsburn, NS, B0K 1RO; Northumberland Fisheries Museum, PO Box 1489, Pictou, NS, B0K 1H0, or a charity of choice.