John Murray Smithyes, 92, died peacefully at home in Bracebridge, Ontario on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, his children Susan Benson (Mark), John (Aileen), Robert (Jennifer) and Mark (Cathy Douglas) and 10 grandchildren, Samuel, Ezra, Andrea, Fiona, Iain, Kevin, Peter, Katherine, Graydon and Piers. John was predeceased by his sister Mary Sprake.
John was born in Purley, Surrey, England on October 2, 1927. He attended Berkhamsted School for Boys and went on to attend Oaklands College focussed on agriculture followed by time spent in Denmark and Holland studying agricultural techniques. He moved to Canada in 1956 and in December of that year he met Margaret Gent. They were married a year later at St. Andrews Church in Ferring by Sea, Sussex, England.
He enjoyed a long career in the agricultural sector working at the Shur-Gain Research Farm, Niagara Chemicals, FMC and N. M. Barlett. His knowledge and experience were well known and greatly respected. In 1961, John became a charter member of the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists.
John and Margaret built a home in King Township and lived there for almost 40 years. In 1974, while still working as a full time Agrologist, he and Margaret took over Pine Farms Orchard and turned it into a vibrant pick-your own apple business. They also travelled extensively internationally and throughout Canada.
They moved to Bracebridge in 2004 and enjoyed visits from friends and family, watching their grandchildren grow in size and number, tea on the front porch and, if you caught them at the right time a day, a nice single malt scotch.
He was John Smithyes to the end; smart, funny, independent, self-reliant, grateful for an amazing life and proud of his family and of a most remarkable woman, one he adored for 63 years to his last breath.
Thank you for being such an important part of our lives. We will miss you John.
All the family will receive friends on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for a visitation, at Reynolds Funeral Home in Bracebridge, with a celebration of life in the Spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Christ Church, Windermere, https://christchurchwindermere.ca/ or to a charity of your choice, would be appreciated by the family.
To plant a tree in memory of John M. Smithyes, please visit our tribute store.