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Shelia SMITH
Saturday May 18, 2024

SMITH, Shelia Leone (nee Brantlinger) – has gracefully completed her final earthly journey.  She will be missed by the Urban family – daughter Erin & Eric, Kate & Reuben, Sarah & Jadon, Jacqueline & Rebecca.  The Vannatter-Murphy family – daughter Stacey & Paul, Cassia & Cory with great grand daughter Elena, Quinlan & Masha, Coleton & Maddie. The Smith family – son Scott & Cindy, Emma & Doug with great grand daughter Leona, and Nicolas.  The Smith-Purdy family – son Kim & Kathleen and Brendon.  She was predeceased by her husband Dr. Robert Smith DVM (2009). She is survived by her brother Patrick Brantlinger of Bloomington, Indiana.  Shelia was born in Indianapolis and enjoyed a life of exploration and discovery.  She was destined to be an outdoorsman and naturalist.  Her aunt Leone took her camping and she attended the Audubon camp in Maine.  By the time she was in public school, she could identify bird by sound better than most people.  Her life with birds was formalized when she was granted a scholarship to attend Earlham to study Ornithology.  Her destiny changed when she met a dashing Canadian Veterinary student.  Four children and immigration to Canada, saw her life change yet again.  She gravitated towards Bird Studies and the good people there.  She & Robert briefly established a banding station at their farm, Oldfields at Newport.  She was a talented writer and illustrator.  She established “Counrtyside”, a weekly column in the Brantford Expositor and briefly the Hamilton Spectator.  She was responsible for educating the wide readership about birds, the natural world, and life on a farm with a Veterinarian.  Readers followed her life and her extensive travels around the world.  She ventured from the Arctic to Antarctic, Africa to Europe, South America and all over North America.  Her photographic record of her trips fills countless albums and inspires all who see them.  When her grandchildren reached age 13, “Grandma Farm” took each on their own trip of exploration…continuing the tradition she had with her aunt Leone.  After she sold Oldfields, she joined Stacey and Paul at Rowanwood Farm.  Surrounded by the flora and fauna, she still marveled at the birds at her feeders, even compiling lists to the end.  Her encouragement saw the successful establishment of a purple martin colony, blue birds and tree swallows to Rowanwood.  Mom & Dad always had room for a menagerie of dogs and cats in their lives.  Her beloved cat Lynx has travelled the last 22 years by her side.  Lynx will continue life at Rowanwood.  Mom hopes everyone will establish a bird feeder, pat their dogs, snuggle their cats, and think about how we are all connected with the world around us.  Tell one another you love them.  Friends are invited to share their memories of Shelia with her family at the JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe for visitation of Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m.  A private family funeral will be held with interment at Culver-Colver Cemetery.  Those wishing to donate in Shelia’s memory are asked to consider Bird Studies Canada.  Personal online condolences at (519) 426-0199  “Where there is bird song, there is peace.  Let the notes remind you that life is beautiful.”

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