Alice Viola Smith
March 20, 1924 – July 19, 2020
Alice Viola (Vi) Hill Smith (nee Watters) March 20, 1924 - July19, 2020
Vi, our venerable matriarch, passed away peacefully at Kamloops Hospice at age 96. She was born the second of 7 children to Alexander and Cora (nee Joudrey) Watters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Vi’s long life heralded many joys and adversities including growing up during the Depression witnessing her father returning home from underground mining covered in coal dust. After graduating from high school and attending stenography school, Vi moved to Montreal during the war years to live with and work for her Aunt Rhoda Wood in Rhoda’s nursing home. Eventually Vi moved on to begin a secretarial career at CBC and later Sun Life Insurance while also dabbling in the fashion world as a model. Her beauty did not escape the eye of a handsome young returning soldier at the end of WWII and John (Jack) Hill and Vi were married on June 28, 1947. The adventurous couple left Montreal immediately and traveled cross country to start their new life on the west coast. After a short time in Vancouver where their first child, Byron, was born, Jack found work in Kamloops as a CPR fireman. He switched companies a few months later and spent the next 35 years with CNR before retiring as an engineer. Vi meanwhile balanced the births of their next 3 children, Brenda, Robert (Bob), and Barrie with a career as a bookkeeper at Barton & Black Insurance, the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association, the Annual Bull Sale, and B.C. Livestock Co-op. She finished her working career by returning to the fashion world as a bookkeeper at Joyce’s Ladies Wear. Vi and Jack loved Kamloops and in the early 1950’s invited 4 of Vi’s brothers from Nova Scotia to join them in Kamloops. Three brothers, A.B. (Tin) Watters, Donald Watters, and Ben Watters made the move, establishing their families’ roots in Kamloops. Vi and Jack were actively involved in the Kamloops skiing and golf scene and became charter members of the fledgling Kamloops Golf Club. Vi was also active in Kamloops United Church and the Ladies Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. After the kids left home, and especially after Jack’s retirement in 1983, Jack and Vi loved to take golf vacations all over BC, the US, and ultimately Mexico. At 71 years of age and after 46 years of marriage, Jack passed away suddenly in 1993. In 1997, Vi married Harold (Hal) Smith and they shared 13 happy years of travel, golf, family, and friends before his passing in 2010. Vi’s last 10 years were spent enjoying family, traveling to Mexico and Victoria, and ultimately moving into Berwick on the Park for the last 6 years of her life. In tallying her life, bookkeeper Vi would be content with the numbers: 96 years, 2 happy marriages, 4 children, 2 step-children, 11 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 9 step great-grandchildren and countless friends. Left to mourn her loss are brothers A. B. Watters, Donald (Doreen) Watters, Ben (Shirley) Watters, Edward (Sandra) Watters and sister-in-law Elizabeth (nee Hill) Kovacs; daughter Brenda (Juha Kattilakoski) Hill; sons Byron (Pat) Hill, Robert (Sandy Vollo) Hill, and Barrie (Cheryl) Hill; step-children Barb (Lyle) Linney, Brad (Sharon) Smith; grandchildren Shelbie Rule, Marti Miller, Sara Spears, Graham (Rachelle) Hill, Burton (Heather) Hill, Michael (Jennifer) Heninger, Tawnie (Colin) Hill Fritz, Julie (Brian) Meiklem, Brandon Hill, Daniel (Alicia) Hill, Kerry (Kyle) Walker; step-grandchildren Krista (Corey) Mungetto, Craig (Morgen) Smith, Lynda (Chris Gieno) Shearer, Lesley DeRose; numerous nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren. Vi was predeceased by her husband Jack, husband Hal, brother Herbert Watters, sister Helen Rodgers, brother-in-law Carl Rodgers, sister-in-law Dorothy (Tin) Watters, brother-in-law Edward Hill, sister-in-law Joan (nee Hill) Bray. The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Dr. de Kock, the staffs of Berwick on the Park and Kamloops Hospice, and Vi’s good friends Anita Clarke and Betty Bargar. Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation in Vi’s name may do so to either of these charities: The Jack Hill Memorial Bursary at TRU for students learning a trade: tru.ca/makeagift Kamloops Hospice Association: kamloopshospice.com Due to COVID19 restrictions, there are no plans for a Celebration of Life at this time but the family will review the situation as soon as restrictions are lifted.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Alice Viola Smith
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Donna Grubb (nee Preece)
July 31, 2020
So sorry to hear of Vi’s passing. She was a wonderful person and I have so many great memories of her in our lives over the years. She was a great friend to my mom, and when my Mom passed in Feb of 2009 she phoned me often to check on me and when my birthday came 2 months later, I received a birthday card from Vi (I was surprised she remembered the date) with a note saying that since this was the first year I would not be getting a card from my Mom, she thought I should get one from someone else’s Mom. I was so touched at how thoughtful she was, and will always remember her fondly. My condolences to all her family and friends. I know your loss is great. Hoping the sadness you are feeling now, will soon be replaced by many wonderful memories.