SMALL, Pearl Adelaide “Bessie”

May 26, 1926 - July 15, 2021

On Thursday, July 15, 2021 she slipped away to be with Dad. Pearl Adelaide Smellie was born May 26, 1926 in Biggar, Saskatchewan. Her mother Katherine passed away three days later and on her deathbed she wished for baby Pearl to be called Bessie – and she was known as Bessie ever since. As a baby she left her father, brother and three sisters to be raised in Ontario by her aunt and uncle, Agnes and David McWaters along with their nine children. Bessie always knew that she was blessed to have two families and sadly was predeceased by them all. She met the love of her life at a dance in Conn. Ray Small was handsome, dashing, and he liked to dance. They danced together for 42 years, raised six children, and loved their six grandchildren. Over her 95 years Bessie was a seamstress and played piano in a band that played ‘gigs’ all over the Mount Forest and Arthur area. She loved music and played by ear – piano, guitar, and fiddle. Bessie also played the organ for many years at countless choirs, weddings, and at Westcott United Church. She milked guernsey cows for over 20 years, drove tractors, cooked, baked, pickled, taught, cared, loved, disciplined, played many games of cards, and laughed! Sadly, Ray passed away August 19, 1988 and her second life began. She remained active with the church, UCW, Women’s Institute, danced with the Young at Heart Club, travelled several times to Australia, New Zealand, the island of Niue and made regular trips to visit relatives in western Canada. Bus trips, plays, and musicals – she was always game for a fun day! Her humour and spark are gone but never forgotten by her children; Shirley (Milan Krnjaic) of Edmonton, Arnold (late Alyce, June 2019), Leslie (Nancy), and Marion (Ray Parker) all of Mount Forest, Teressa (Brian Scott) of Mildura, Australia, and Eva (Peter Baldasso) of Elora. Loved dearly by 6 grandchildren, 7 step-grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 15 step great grandchildren. She was also predeceased by grandson Dean Jackson in May 2019. Sincere gratitude to all the staff of Strathcona Long Term Care in Mount Forest for the incredible care provided to Bessie and support extended to our family throughout this difficult pandemic year and a half. The outdoor, vestibule and facetime visits with Bessie were truly appreciated. Cremation has taken place and per Bessie’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Interment will take place at Greenfield Cemetery, Arthur. Expressions of sympathy would be appreciated through donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Parkinson’s Society of Canada. Funeral arrangements entrusted to England Funeral Home, Mount Forest.

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