Memories of a community supporter
Friends and family gather to remember Smitty Muyres

by Anne-Marie Jennings
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 24/98) - Friends, family, and Yellowknifers paid their final tribute to long-time Yellowknifer Joyce (Smitty) Muyres in a memorial ceremony Wednesday evening.

A large crowd gathered in the Elks Hall to pay their respects, and listen to close friends of the avid sportswoman and community volunteer.

Affectionately known as Smitty by everyone who knew her, she was born in Moosejaw, Sask., in 1921. She attended school in a one-room schoolhouse a couple of miles from home, then finished high school by correspondence.

In 1942, Smitty left for Moosejaw and nursing school.

She first arrived in Yellowknife back in 1948 on a one-year nursing contract at the Red Cross Hospital -- and never looked back. In 1949, she married local miner Lanky Muyres.

During her 50 years in Yellowknife, Smitty was a prominent figure on the local sports scene. Both an avid curler and softball player, few sports events in town went by without the presence of Smitty on the field or in the stands.

The sport of curling was Smitty's true love. Having learned how to curl in their first year in Yellowknife, and she finally stopped at the age of 68, having represented the North in ladies' mixed, and seniors competition. Smitty was also a strong supporter of curling, travelling to the Lassie, Brier, and World Championships to sit in the stands and cheer on the home team.

Sporting achievements aside, Smitty will be remembered for much more. Friends spoke of a loving wife and mother, a dear friend, a caring neighbor, and a constantly active member of the community. Stories were told of Smitty's dedication to fund-raising events and her ability to sell raffle tickets other could not.

Friends also spoke of Smitty's activity within the artistic community, and her work with the Ladies of the Royal Purple. Smitty was one of the charter members when it began in 1952, and until her passage was the only remaining active charter member

Smitty is survived by sisters Phoebe and Beulah, brother Howard, and children Allen, Rick, Ron, and Lesley and her four grandchildren.

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