Monday, November 13, 2023

Dorothea Smith of 'Sing Me a River' Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Fergus' Dorothea Smith, a member of the Folk trio, Sing Me a River. Our condolences to her family, friends and fans.

Her obituary:

SMITH, Dorothea Jakelski

On the evening of November 9th, surrounded by family in person and virtually, Dorothea Jakelski Smith was ushered into eternity. While this was unexpected, we are filled with peace knowing she is pain free, with her Heavenly Father and “dancing in the cosmos” among dear family and friends who have gone before her.

Born to Gunter and Ilse Jakelski in Sudbury, Ontario, Dorothea had a deep love for Northern Ontario. As a child, she loved enjoying the outdoors, traveling, acting, music and participating in cultural experiences with her parents, younger brother Dave (Beverley) and many treasured friends.

Dorothea met her husband Bruce in the summer of 1974 at Bark Lake, the Ontario Camp Leadership Centre. After a casual invitation from Dorothea’s father to come to Sudbury for a visit anytime, Bruce surprised everyone at the door 3 weeks later! It didn’t take long for them to decide that they wanted to share the rest of their lives together. In the summer of 1976, they were married in the backyard of Dorothea’s childhood home. For 7 years before settling down, they enjoyed adventuring together all over Ontario and parts of the USA and Central America. They have spent a deeply meaningful 47 years together in a relationship that has yielded so much fruit; 4 children, spouses, 6 grandchildren and many shared journeys through life’s ups and downs.

She was a devoted mother to her very core. Everything about her life revolved around cultivating the passions of her kids, Alison (Adrian), Michael (Robin), Emily and Zac and inspiring them to follow their unique callings. She was equally as fabulous a Nana as she was a mother. She spent so much of her time and energy pouring into Maya, Jayden, Liam, Ella, Benjamin and Huxley; lavishing love and attention on them whenever she could.

Dorothea was a beautiful woman in every definition of the word. She made everyone she spent time with feel like they were her closest friend. She was intentional and deeply kind and understanding. She constantly modeled “seeing” people and invested deeply in them. She seemed to know everyone she ran into by name and always stopped to talk and check-in. She lit up every room with her outgoing personality and genuine care. She embodied the definition of hospitality and relationship.

She deeply loved music, writing, theatre, art and all things creative. This was her pulse, her outlet and a gift she shared widely and freely with the community at large. She poured herself out constantly through her many songs and we will all reap the rewards of this for years to come.

Thank you to our family doctor, Stephen Beamish as well as all the doctors and nurses at Groves Memorial Hospital, Guelph General Hospital and the Grand River Cancer Centre for your selfless and humble care over this last season.

Visitations will be held on Friday, November 17th at Graham A. Giddy Funeral home located at 280 St. David Street South, Fergus, Ontario from 2pm until 4pm and again from 7pm until 9pm. A Celebration of Life will be held at Grace Christian Fellowship located at 35 Farley Road, Fergus, Ontario on Sunday, November 19th at 2pm.

Dorothea, Mom, Nana - you have made it and we love you beyond words.

Social Media Reaction

David Lum (Sing me a River)

My heart is broken tonight. 

My dear friend Dorothea Jakelski Smith has crossed over and I will miss her terribly. I cherished every moment with her, not just musically in #singmeariver, but her kindness, our shared sense of humour, her laughter and her joyful spirit. 

I love you, my friend, always.

Julie McCann (Hazy Maidens

I feel honoured to have known Dorothea Jakelski Smith through music but she was so much more than that. One of the kindest, warmest & up for fun people I have met. Taken too soon .. my heart goes out to her family, her friends & her bandmates, David Lum & Kathy Lepp

Video above courtesy of   Sing Me a River

Video above courtesy of Sing Me a River  

Links: Sing Me a River, More Sing Me a River StoriesVideo above courtesy of  Sing Me a River

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