Howard Smith

Began as a Radio Operator for the Department of Transport

Worked in the Arctic, including Resolute and Coral Harbour

Worked as Radio Inspector at Brandon, Melville Monitoring Station and Winnipeg

Had a 32-year career with the Federal Government

Was a Director at the Department of Communications when he retired



Passed Away in 2005 - Scroll Down for Obituary  

Décès en 2005 - Avis de décès au bas de la page  



Howard Smith passed away on Dec.10, 2005, at Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg.  Some friends sent the following remembrances, edited for the web by Laval Desbiens on January 30, 2008.



John Gilbert wrote:

'' It was sad to read of the death of Howard Smith. Curiously I never knew until recently that he had been in the North. He was at Resolute around 1963 (RO). Howard worked with me in Winnipeg . I knew him well as he was head of the Central Region Office of the Government Telecommunications Agency in Winnipeg. In that capacity I worked with him both when I was in Ottawa and when I was in Winnipeg in 1985-86. In those years his illness had just begun and he was fighting it every day. ''


Bill Stadnyk in Brandon wrote:

''  Did I know Howard!! Yes John one of my main memories is both of us being transferred from the DOT school in Ottawa (March 1963) to a place called 'Resolute Bay'....where the hell was that???.  We both got on a boxcar in Namao and headed North arriving at YRB in a hell of a snowstorm/blizzard.  We were pushed off the back of the C119 and thats the last I saw of Howard for about 2 weeks.  I wasnt sure what had happened to him!! I then found out he had been taken to South Camp for .....(Ionosphere work I think)...and I had been taken to  the Aeradio station at the North camp.  Quite a shock!


Another thing I remember is when Howard began working with me at the Aeradio morning in summer I awoke and looked at my watch and saw it was about 5 to 4.  I woke Howard up and said "Lets get going, we have to be at work in 5 minutes."  So he got up and we were showering when someone shouted "What the hell are you guys doing??"  Of course it was 4 AM not PM but still bright as day.  Howard, (Smitty) wasnt too pleased!!


I kind of lost track of him when he went into DOC, but went for coffee with him a few years back.  A good guy, very intelligent and ready to rumble if need be!! He has had so much trouble for so long, that in some ways his passing is a blessing.  Amen Howard, ''


Maurice Drew wrote:

Howard was one of a kind and very special to most of us in the Radio Regulations Branch in Ottawa. He had an office adjacent to mine when he moved to Ottawa for a few years, way back. Howard had more progressive imagination than ten of us put together and much of what he recommended was put into force. Howard was instrumental in the development of computer-based technical programs (EMCANAL) before Ottawa developed them.

But Howard and I first met when I was in Signals Intelligence during the cold war way back in the 1960's and on my way much further north than Resolute where he was stationed with DOT. My aircraft had engine trouble and was stranded in Resolute for about eight days before I could continue on to the U.S. Strategic Air Command base in Thule, Greenland. Howard sat with me at meal times in the Resolute mess and we chatted amicably. Eleven years later I joined the Department of Communications but didn't get to re-know Howard until about 1980. It wasn't until I went to Winnipeg to represent the Department at his retirement dinner, when he showed me photographs of his days in Resolute, that we realized who each of us were!

At Howard's retirement, I presented him with a framed photograph of the Ottawa Parliament Buildings in winter Ottawa purchased by funds collected by Howard's friends here in Ottawa. The photograph was taken by Malak Karsh, brother of the famous portrait photographer.


Howard Smith

May 23, 1943 - December 10, 2005



HOWARD DOUGLAS SMITH (MIFF) May 23, 1943 - December 10, 2005


It is with great sadness that the family of Howard Smith announces his passing at Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg. Howard will be missed by his son Kenneth and daughter Donna; three grandchildren, Blaine, Samantha and Benjamin; his mother June; and his brother Alan; along with many childhood friends.


Howard was born and raised in Winnipeg and always loved this city. Although his travels took him all over the world, he always came back to the place he considered his home.


Howard spent over 32 years working for the government. He began with the Department of Transport as a Radio Operator and worked his way up. By the end of his career, through his hard work and dedication, he was a Director for Communications Canada. Due to the onset of his MS, Howard had to retire early. He spoke fondly of his experiences, but his greatest memories of his work were of the people he worked with and the friendships he made.


Before his illness Howard loved to golf and curl and did both on a regular basis with the same group of friends. He loved to read and did so until he was unable due to the MS. Howard always loved classical music, Inuit art and the history of the prairies and surrounded himself with all three.


Howard's family wishes to express their gratitude to all the home care workers who were a part of his life for so many years. Without their caring and compassion Howard would not have been able to remain in his home throughout his illness. Thank you for allowing Howard his wish to remain at home until his short hospital stay and passing.


A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB. Interment to follow. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the MS Society of Manitoba in Howard's name at 400-141 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3B 0R3.


Forever in our hearts, Donna, Kenneth, your family, and all those blessed to have known you.


As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 14, 2005


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