Carolyn Elizabeth Smith (nee Porteous)

September 14, 1939 - September 3, 2020



September 14, 1939 – September 3, 2020


A dynamic, loving spirit, beautiful inside and out, our dear Carolyn passed away peacefully at the age of 80, in Winnipeg.

Carolyn will be very sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her children Leanne, Todd (Bev), Louise (Steve) and Michelle (Aras); seven grandchildren Jenna (James), Colin (Christine), Lindsey, Courtney, Riley, Taya, and Jonas; great grandchild Adelaide; brothers Ryan (Irene), and Ken (Roberta), cousin Mardena Porteous, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 59 years, Gerald.

Carolyn was born and raised in St. James, daughter to Eileen and Gerry Porteous. She was always into the new and innovative, from music to fashion, but she also loved nature and history and was closely connected to her family and community. Carolyn attended St. James Collegiate, earning a reputation as a rebel rouser when she wore pants to school, defying the ‘skirts only’ rule for girls. In October 1958 she married Gerald, and they embarked on a lifetime of adventures together.

Carolyn and ‘Gerry’ moved to Berkeley, California in 1965 with their young children while Gerry completed his Master of Engineering degree. They returned to Winnipeg with a sixties California vibe and settled in Woodhaven. They were active in the Community Club and the children’s school. Carolyn attended every play, parent-teacher meeting, figure skating practice, band concert, art show and hockey game and always made every holiday special, including sewing elaborate Halloween costumes for the kids and dressing up herself.

Carolyn was an active artist for most of her life and very involved in the arts community including the Forum Art Institute as a Board Member and St. James Art Club where she served as Treasurer, Vice-President and President. She won several awards and accolades for her outstanding paintings and pottery and taught art in her home studio and in the community. She especially enjoyed teaching children, and patiently brought out creative abilities in even the least likely young artists.

Carolyn and Gerry and the family spent summers at Grand Beach where they built their own cottage and made cherished memories during card games, parties, birthdays, beach days and numerous creative projects. They travelled extensively throughout North America and visited many countries in Europe and Central America. In 1987 they moved to Laguna Beach, California, welcoming many family members and friends during their eight years there. The talented Carolyn completed a degree in Visual Arts and met many like-minded souls in the art world of Orange County. She had a unique eye for color and design and generously shared her skills and techniques with others.

Carolyn loved all types of music, dancing, socializing, going to concerts and a good party, many of which she hosted. She was a big hockey fan, following the Winnipeg Jets and often attending her grandkids’ games. She was so incredibly proud of her grandchildren and was very invested in their lives. She was always encouraging and saw the best in everyone, adults, and children alike. Carolyn was a fun-loving, generous, creative, and classy mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, friend, and dedicated partner to Gerry. We will miss you.

Special thanks to Jane Peters who helped support Carolyn over the last year and for the exceptional care at Victoria General Hospital in Carolyn’s last weeks.

The family will be hosting a private celebration of Carolyn’s life at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

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