After spending their long and fruitful lives as active members of our Saskatoon community, Phyllis and Rnold Smith wanted to give something back to the community that was so good to them and to their family. The Phyllis and Rnold Smith Family Fund was created through the Smiths’ gift of life insurance.
Rnold Smith, the son of Lillian Rowat and Frederick Smith, grew up on the family farm in Allan. Phyllis Gooding, the daughter of Mabel Hannaford and Claud (C.T.) Gooding grew up on the family farm in Warman. One could say that milk brought them together – Frederick added dairy to his farming operations and C.T. became the President and General Manager of the Saskatoon Dairy Pool. Their families became fast friends. At the age of 15, Rnold graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate. With help from his father, and in partnership with brother Don, the first Smiths Stores was established. Rnold was called into the army in 1941 where he served in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. He was discharged in 1945.
Phyllis, during this time, graduated in Household Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan then proceeded to eastern Canada, serving first in the ammunitions factory and then as a dietician at the Sick Children’s Hospital. While stationed in Toronto, on New Year’s Eve 1944, Rnold invited Phyllis to the Roya York Hotel dinner and dance. Letters abounded. In November 1945, upon Rnold’s discharge from the army, he stopped in Toronto to propose – again – to Phyllis. They were married on June 22, 1946. They raised seven children: Kenneth, Fred, Carol, Maureen, Margaret, and the twins, Phillip and Phyllis.
Career wise, Rnold farmed briefly, sold real estate, partnered in a construction firm, operated a furniture business with a partner (Buy-Rite Furniture), and made investments. Locally, he was active in the Saskatoon United Way, the Saskatoon Board of Trade, and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. He was also on the Board of Jubilee Residences Limited, the Saskatoon Club and was the founding President of Kinsmen Elmwood Lodge. He chaired Saskatoon City Hospital’s 1987 Capital Campaign. In 2000, he was awarded the SABEX Hall of Fame trophy for his community service. Both Phyllis and Rnold were active in the Cosmopolitan Club, having been members for over 50 years. Rnold served as President of Cosmopolitan International in 1985.
The Smiths found it important to continue to give back to Saskatoon ‘forever’. By creating an unrestricted fund through their gift, the Smiths have trusted in the wisdom and insight of the Saskatoon Community Foundation’s Board of Directors to determine Saskatoon’s future needs. Their fund’s income will be pooled to support grants to more than 100 Saskatoon charities each year, so that the Smiths can continue supporting Saskatoon forever.
Rnold Smith passed away August 22, 2008 and Phyllis Smith passed away September 29, 2009.