SMINK, Yvonne

April 27, 1951 – May 24, 2019

It is with deep sorrow that the family of Yvonne Smink announce her passing on May 24, 2019. After three years of living with cancer, she died peacefully in Dulcina Hospice in Calgary, surrounded by her loving family. Yvonne is predeceased by her parents Nora Carter (nee Clark) and Victor Carter. She is survived by husband Willem, son Laurence Smink (Lesley Cooke), daughter Erica Lang (Jason) and grandson Jacob, and sisters Gillian Parker and Bernice Sargent.

Yvonne was born in Bristol, England on April 27, 1951, the youngest of three sisters. In her youth there she rode horses and began to develop a love of animals and nature that would shape her life. She emigrated to Canada in 1970, working as a lab technician in electron microscopy at the University of Calgary Medical School. She would eventually earn certification as a registered technologist. It was there she met Willem, her husband of 43 years, and they were married in August 1976.

Deeply faithful, Yvonne devoted much of her time to the Anglican church in congregation, volunteering and through bible study. She also spent many years as a volunteer, where she made a significant impact through her decades of effort. First, with the Nose Hill Park Communities Board where she was influential in preserving the natural park space we know today. Later she volunteered at the Calgary Zoo as a docent, working with animals and educating the public. There she found great fulfillment through her work and made lasting friendships.

Her volunteerism continued throughout her life, including the years she lived in Jakarta Indonesia, freely giving her time to the Kibun Binatang Raguna Zoo, which she recognized as a unique opportunity to experience and learn from. Later, while in St Johns, NL, she volunteered with St Johns Anglican Cathedral tea room, and helped organize the Trailblazers hiking group. In her spare time she rescued many animals, mostly cats and dogs, finding them homes or taking them in herself. She was so dedicated to this cause that she even returned from Indonesia with two rescued stray cats in tow. On retiring to Bragg Creek Yvonne volunteered with the Cochrane Humane Society, again helping rescue unwanted animals around the region.

Yvonne was an avid gardener and crafter who found great satisfaction in sewing and needlework and making cards and other crafts. Her love of animals led her to adopt for 4 miniature donkeys that she had cared for, for the last several years. Over the years she rescued hundreds of animals and personally adopted dozens.

Yvonne’s life was defined by a deep faith and love for God, her devotion to the care of her family, her love of animals and nature, all of which were bound by a generous, giving spirit that allowed her to devote her time and energy to those things. She acknowledged that she was blessed by and thankful for the generous support freely given by her family and friends during her illness.

A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 10:30 am at St. James Anglican Church (6351 Ranchview Dr NW, Calgary, AB). Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cochrane Humane Society  or to Ovarian Cancer Canada

Arrangements entrusted to Cochrane Country Funeral Home, Florence (Flo) Simpson, Funeral Director. Ph: 403-932-1039.

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  1. On May 28, 2019 at 7:46 am Kathy Newell Said:

    So sorry for the loss of your sister Gill, my thoughts are with you xx

  2. On May 28, 2019 at 8:28 am Graham & Jean Walters Said:

    Hi Gill, although I didn’t know your sister personally,Jean has met her so we send our condolences to you and your family at this extremely sad time.
    Graham & Jean Walters

  3. On June 1, 2019 at 10:36 am Lulu Crespo Said:

    Dear Willem and family..
    There are no words to express on the loss of a loved one, but to share your sorrow and know I am thinking of you. To you and your family, my deepest sympathies and may God grant you peace during this difficult time. With love and prayers…..Lulu

  4. On June 1, 2019 at 10:40 am Husky Retirement Club Said:

    Dear Willem and Family..
    The loss of a loved one is never easy but you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Sending you our sincerest and deepest condolences at this very difficult time. Thinking of you…
    Executive and Members of the Husky Retirement Club