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Thompson Funeral Home

530 Industrial Parkway South, Aurora, ON

OBITUARY

Michael Bartholomew Smart

March 4, 1931May 3, 2020

Michael Bartholomew Smart passed away suddenly at his home in Aurora on May 3rd 2020 at the age of 89. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Elke Smart, his two adoring children, Christopher and Brigitta, and his grandchildren, Olivia and Rebekah Smart.

Michael was born on March 4th 1931 in Montreal, Quebec. He was the the eldest of six children to Stan and Carrie Smart: Kevin, Stan (Buster), Caroline, Margaret and Joan.

Michael was much loved by all who knew him. He was an old-world eccentric who loved to travel and meet people from all walks of life. He was known for his warmth, charm and his endless array of fascinating stories. He was a true gentleman and his wit and boundless enthusiasm for life was noted by all who knew him. His passion for language, history and culture kept a sparkle in his eye till the very end. He will be deeply missed by all and will live on forever in his stories and in the hearts of his close family and friends.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Michael Bartholomew Smart

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Stephen Clare

May 29, 2020

My favourite memory of Uncle Michael (amongst so many) took place at the Beaconsfield Yacht Club at a spirited reception and family reunion following the passing of Nanny (Carrie) Smart. Cousin Mike Emblem, whom I had not seen nor spoken to in many years, approached me and whispered into my ear "Check out Uncle Michael's shoes..." Sure enough, there was Uncle Michael sporting a fine pair of white penny loafers, the perfect accompaniment for his ever-present ascot. Style and substance ~ a true gentleman who will be missed dearly...

Lorne Clarke

May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020
My sympathy to the Smart family on the sudden passing of Michael. Michael and I made contact about 20 years ago when our paths crossed in our genealogy search into our family's histories. Over the years we had many phone conversations about our ancestors , and we shared much information relative to both families. I always found Michael to be a gentleman and a very interesting person to talk to. My only regret is that we did not meet in person, but that was not for want of trying. A couple of times on his visits to Newfoundland we missed each other due to unforeseen circumstances. I am so glad this man came into my life and I feel very sorry for your family's lost. May God bless you all at this time.
Sincerely,
Lorne Clarke

julia berman

May 17, 2020

Sending our deepest condolnences to the Smart family. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Michael at Brigsy's wedding. He was so charming and a true gentleman.

I can't imagine how hard this time is for everyone, especially as you cant all be together. Wishing beautiful memories of Michael wrap your hearts and fill them with peace.

X lee and julia berman

John Warkentin

May 16, 2020

For many years Michael was executive secretary of the Ontario Geographic Names Board. That is where I met him when I served on the Board. Place names are just as sensitive as a person's name, especially in a multicultural society changing rapidly. Michael was the ideal secretary of a Board reviewing and approving proposals for new names, or revising names (a rare occurrence). He had a profound respect for all cultures, Indigenous, European, Asian and other parts of the world. From a deep knowledge of many regions of Canada, he gave wise counsel, as diverse views were expressed by members of the Board. Meetings with Michael were a joy. A courtly man, always courteous, he brought good humour to every meeting, while seeing that the work got done. We kept in touch after his retirement, and I could never understand how his house could hold all the material related to toponymy, and the many other things that interested him, which he had collected through the years. A dear friend, I valued his views on what was happening in the world. My deep condolences to his immediate family, and his wider kinfolk.

John Warkentin

Norm Emblem

May 14, 2020

The accompanying photo is being in on behalf of my mother Caroline of a recent gathering of the Smart siblings in Witless Bay, Newfoundland.

Caroline sends her love and prayers to Elke, Brigitta and Christopher.

Ella Brown VanLaningham

May 11, 2020

The obituary and many memories posted are a lovely tribute to Michael. We send our deepest sympathy and caring thoughts to all the family - hope that the memories and support of friends and family help. My brother and sister, Collin and Hannah, and I have so many wonderful memories of our little "paradise" at Lake MacDonald - and, of course, the Smart family is woven among all those. The twins and I spent much of our time there together. I remember Michael, but he was 6 years older (such a big difference when you are 7-16). I wasn't there as much until our family was young when we went regularly, 1966-72 - but, of course, only for 1-2 weeks at a time, and periodically after that. The last time was when we sprinkled our son's ashes on Lake MacDonald in 1987 - he and our daughter had said to each other that's what they'd like, so just shows how much it meant to all of us. Sending hugs.

Collin Brown

May 11, 2020

Michael was 10 years older than me so he was travelling most of the time when the Smarts and the Browns were making memories at Brown's Island in Lake MacDonald. But I do remember one encounter with Michael when he joined the gang on the Hobby lawn at those well attended Saturday afternoon cocktail parties. He didn't come often but he was there, with his trusty camera, taking pictures of the many small groups of friends who had come. He patiently chatted with me telling me that he primarily took pictures of people. So somewhere there must be a trove of good pictures of us all from those fun years back then.
Shirley and I also lived in Aurora for quite a few years and we did manage to meet, unfortunately only once, with Michael after he had retired. Then we moved to Montreal.
Our sincere condolences to all of the Smart families and the many descendants, in particular Joan with whom we have kept in touch over the years.

Norm Emblem

May 11, 2020

I wanted to share a photo of Uncle Michael from Thanksgiving Weekend 2016. My brother Michael and I had the guitars out of course and Uncle Michael accompanied us on harmonica! We had a wonderful time and will cherish this memory.

Peggy McGrath

May 10, 2020

My beloved Uncle Michael taught me how to properly steer and paddle a canoe.
I remember the day so well, a lovely summer afternoon at Lake MacDonald.
I was spending a week at the White House with Uncle Michael, Auntie Elke, Gitti and Chris. I had decided to take the canoe out alone and there I was struggling to steer the boat in a straight line. In my adolescent confidence I really thought I knew what I was doing! Uncle Michael, keenly watching me from the shore with his binoculars, knew a thing or two about paddling a canoe! As I got closer to shore, he hopped in the stern and patiently taught me the intricate paddle strokes that steered the canoe straight ahead or to the left or right without ever hitting the side. I learned how to solo canoe that day and these lessons are with me always. Uncle Michael was a fascinating man, gifted artist, adventurer, lively accordion player and master storyteller, regaling us with stories of his childhood and later adventures in the north. I especially connected with him when I started University and we would spend time discussing the ancient Greeks in his sun room on Chudleigh Ave in Toronto. His love of antiquity and etymology fascinated and inspired me. As a first year teacher of history I remember a unit on the Hudson’s Bay Company that was brought alive to my students with artifacts and photos from my Uncle Michael’s time as a young man actually working up north for the Hudson’s Bay Company and living with the Indigenous people. My students loved hearing these stories and history class was never dull!
I will always treasure these memories and I am so grateful Uncle Michael was in my life. On my last visit to Aurora in early December with my mom Margaret we poured over old photos and heard new stories. Then the accordion came out and soon old Irish records were spinning. It was such a happy time. My children Thea, Sophia and Patrick join me in sending all our love and prayers to Auntie Elke, Gitti and Chris.


Susan Emblem

May 10, 2020

So sad to hear that Uncle Michael passed away. He was intelligent, pensive, and kind in the Smart family way, and while I only saw him on the rare occasion over the past years, I was always so happy to hear how he was doing after my mom had a good long phone call with him. I will cherish the memory of the dinner we had in my backyard just a couple of years ago when he was with us for a nice, long relaxing evening with most of his siblings, my kids and cousin Peggy. I was so happy he had a chance to get to know my kids a bit more. They happily pulled up chairs to sit next to him when he invited them into discussion. They really loved meeting nanna's brother Michael. I received such a nice note from him thanking me for the evening and being so happy to meet my kids. The pleasure was all ours though! My heartfelt and deep condolences to Auntie Elke, Brigitta and Christopher on the loss. He truly was one of a kind! Much love to you all - Susan, Marc, Kate, Matthew and Evan.

FROM THE FAMILY

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