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Born: Aug 25, 1939

Date of Passing: Jul 03, 2021

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Zennon Julian Smilski unexpectedly but peacefully passed on Saturday, July 3, 2021 at the Brandon Regional Health Centre. He was in his 82 year.
Zennon is predeceased by his parents, Michael and Anne Smilski; infant brother Albert Robert; sister Adeline Dane; and brothers-in-laws, Gerald Frederick Dane and Dennis M. White; niece Shyrel Calhoun, and grandnephew, James McKie.
He is survived by three sisters, Isabelle H. White (Brandon), Elizabeth E. Smilski (Vancouver) and Livia G. McGregor (Charles) (Okotoks), as well as numerous nieces, nephews and grandnieces and nephews, and lifelong friend Kathy Adolph.
He was born on August 25, 1939 at Mink Creek, Manitoba to parents, Michael A. and Anne M. Smilski. In 1943, the family moved to Grandview where they farmed. Zennon completed his early education in Grandview. In his high school years, Zennon was an accomplished marathon runner holding provincial records for many years.
Upon graduation from high school Zennon worked with the signals division of CNR for a number of years. He then elected to continue his education studying meat cutting and veterinary studies in Toledo, Ohio. Following this activity he worked with the Hudson Bay Company in the meat department in Hudson Bay, Manitoba and La Ronge, Saskatchewan. Next, back to school in Chicago, Illinois where he became a professional chef and baker - then back to work with Crawley McCracken where he worked in numerous geological sites and northern mining camps setting up kitchens and managing catering for these facilities. He also worked with drilling rigs off Sable Island and abroad with Crawley McCracken.
Later in his career, he taught culinary skills at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. During this time he was chosen to bake and decorate a fruit cake for HR Queen Elizabeth II when she attended the Calgary Stampede. During his time in Calgary he became an active outdoor enthusiast and naturalist devoted to hiking and cross county skiing in the mountains. In the early 1980s, he returned to the family farm at Grandview to take over from his parents. After he returned to the farm he kept busy as an arborist, a baker, and a market gardener in addition to the farm activities. He also found time to attend numerous auctions sales and fiddling contests. He remained an active cross country skier until 2017, when he became ill and moved to Brandon to reside with his sister Isabelle.
A private Celebration of Zennon's Life will be held at the Brockie Donovan Chapel. Interment will follow at Grandview Cemetery on Thursday, July 8, 2021. The family invites you to watch the livestream of the Celebration of Life for Zennon on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. (CDT) by visiting Zennon's tribute page on Brockie Donovan's website at
Donations in memory of Zennon may be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are in care of
Brockie Donovan Funeral & Cremation
Services, (204)-727-0694

Messages of condolence may be placed at

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 07, 2021

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • Condolences to the family, it appears he had an interesting life. I did not know Zennon well as he was older and away working when I was young on the farm, but I do remember the family. I moved away before he returned to Grandview. But I do remember Mike and later Zennon on the farm with the old John Deere D tractor I believe it was. Once again, condolences to all. - Posted by: Vern Wilson (Farm neighbour as a youngster) on: Jul 07, 2021

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