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Neil Naismith

April 17, 1938 - May 10, 2020

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Hugh "Neil" Naismith

With sadness and celebration, the family of Hugh “Neil” Naismith announces his passing.

Neil will be deeply missed by his partner Yvonne, son Scott, daughter in law Erin, grandson Liam, brother Archie and sister in law Avril. Preceded by daughter Nancy, brothers Dave, Bob and sister Helen.

Neil was born and raised in Medicine Hat AB. Like many young boys growing up in a small town, Neil enjoyed playing hockey (junior B), camping with the Boy Scouts, swimming, hunting scorpions and tipping over out houses. Sometimes with their occupants still in them! Or so, the story goes. Memories of trips and adventures to Aunt B’s farm and the Amos family dairy farm made for some interesting stories (real or imagined) for the rest of the family.

Neil attended Medicine Hat High School, graduated in 1957 and enjoyed catching up with friends at the reunions. After graduation from high school, Neil studied Meteorology in Edmonton and was assigned to the weather station in Port Hardy.  Dad said it was, “Trees, no roads and rain!”. That was enough for Dad. He then took off for Europe, traveled to Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy all on a tiny Vespa Scooter. He ended up in London working in the Men’s Department of Harrods, folding socks. Often scolded for referring to men’s briefs as “underwear” and not “WIDE FRONTS”.

On his returned to Medicine Hat Neil started his journalism career at the Medicine Hat News. Dad’s claim to fame, while still a junior reporter, was interviewing famed oil well firefighter Paul “Red” Adair. Neil’s career included time at the Sudbury Star, Ottawa Journal and over 20 years at the Winnipeg Free Press.

An invitation from a Sudbury colleague to spend Thanksgiving in Montreal lead to a blind date. My folks married and had a million-dollar family - first Scott, then Nancy.

Dad’s life centred around his family. Camping trips that took us across Canada and the USA more often than not in leaky tents, or in June when the black flies were out. Many weekends cross country skiing in the Gatineau Hills and Bird’s Hill Park. Dad encouraged us to be active. Taking us to swimming lessons, cross country running events, gymnastics and all the other stuff that parents do for their kids. Dad was delighted at the arrival of Liam, always a proud Granpa. Proud of Liam’s accomplishments in Taekwondo, trumpet and making the Manitoba Honour Band.

Neil was a talented amateur artist, a long-time active member of Local Colour Art Group. Dad was active with others in founding Art from the Heart – an opportunity for low income artist to display and sell their work. After his retirement, Neil shared his talent with the Artists Circle at St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry. Neil was happy to see the participants develop their creativity, skills and confidence.

Dad was generous, humble, gentle, slow to anger, a compassionate, loving person who we will miss every moment.

Sorry Dad, for any spelling and grammar errors. We will leave this for you to edit.

Neil would be please if you considered a donation in his memory to St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry, 365 McGee St. Winnipeg MB R3G 3M5 or online at, please select “General” from the drop down Fund menu.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date, when we are safely able to come together.

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