Nyhla May Smith (nee Magee)

May 2, 1942 – October 16, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Nyhla May Smith died peacefully in her 80th year on October 16, 2022 after a long siege by a relentless cancer, which she bore with her characteristic courage, stoicism, and good humour.
She is survived by Ken, her devoted husband of 60 years, and by her son Barry (Aila) and grandson Hatau, her daughter Lorrie Maude and grandsons Angus and Graham, and her sister Faye Pryce (Henning Mogensen).
She was predeceased by her parents Bob and Florence Magee, her brothers Wayne and Darryl, and her son David.
Nyhla was born in Trail, BC, the second of four children. She lived the first years of her happy childhood in Robson until the family moved in 1948 to their newly built home in Trail. Her remaining formative years were spent there in what was for Nyhla a wonderful time and place. Her Trail roots always remained close to her heart and her friendships from those times endured.
After graduating high school Nyhla worked for a time in the general office of the Cominco smelter. Then she followed her future husband to Vancouver where she was employed as an executive secretary at MacMillan Bloedel, helping to support their young family while he completed his UBC education and became established in his career.
She left the workforce after the birth of David, their second child, to devote herself to raising their children. She returned to work in the mid-1980s when a good friend asked for assistance in running her lingerie shop. For several years, this job provided much fun for her and many funny stories.
Nyhla was athletic. She particularly enjoyed badminton which until recently she played regularly for many years at the Vancouver Racquets Club with a group of friends. Her other interests included part ownership of several thoroughbred racehorses that thrilled her with their occasional wins and entertained her and her partners with many good times.
She was a baseball and hockey fan. She travelled with her husband to several major league and minor league baseball games in Canada and the U.S. and accompanied him on many oldtimers’ hockey trips around the province and to other countries.
Nyhla made everyone welcome in her home. There was often an extra seat at the dinner table for someone who needed to feel the warmth of the family she had created and dinners for twenty or more were not uncommon. She was an exemplary homemaker, wife, mother, and grandmother and a confidante, role model, and steadfast friend to many. She was like a second mother to many of the children’s friends and earned their undying love. She was wise, compassionate, generous, trustworthy, intelligent, kind, loving, loyal. She was funny and laughter surrounded her wherever she was.
She loved a party, she loved Elvis, she loved Christina Lake, she loved her friends, she loved country music and rock ‘n’ roll, she loved to dance, she loved the penny slots, she loved to have fun. Above all, she loved her family. One of her friends recently captured her perfectly in these words: “Simply put, Nyhla was the best of the best.”
With her death, a bright light went out in the lives of her family and friends.
The family would like to thank Just Like Family Home Care and in particular Rashida, Emelita, and Ashley who began several months ago as Nyhla’s care aides and quickly became her friends. They would also like to thank the doctors and staff at the BC Cancer Agency and the Vancouver General Hospital and her family physician Dr. Jaber Hayaty for their compassionate care of Nyhla.
There will be a celebration of Nyhla’s life at 1:00 o’clock on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the Whistler Ballroom, River Rock Resort Hotel, 8811 River Road, Richmond, BC.
For catering purposes it would be helpful (not necessary) if you would RSVP to bookofnyhla@gmail.com if you plan to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the BC Cancer Agency, the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation, Covenant House, or a charity of your choice.


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