SMILLIE, Christine Mary June 7, 1953 - June 1, 2018 A passionate community leader, loving mother and loyal friend died on June 1, 2018 surrounded by her family. She was almost 65. Christine was a loving spouse to Glenn Dougan, a wonderful mother to her three sons Mark, James and Michael Prebble, and a source of support and love to her three daughters-in-law, Lindsay, Danielle and Caitlin, and her two grandchildren Isabelle and Henry. Born in Toronto, Christine was the daughter of Ben and Adele Smillie, the first of five children. She inherited their commitment to social justice and desire to create a better world. Christine married Peter Prebble in 1980. They were together 12 years and had three sons. They continued co-parenting their boys into their adult years and enjoyed sharing many celebrations and milestones. Christine and Glenn were together for 25 years, marrying in 2007. Glenn was central in parenting the boys and shared Christine's affection for culture and outdoor adventures. Her first jobs included stints with the Student Christian Movement and the Latin American Working Group in Toronto, where she deepened her commitment to international solidarity and cultivated many lifelong friendships. Christine's participation in Saskatchewan Working Women (SWW) was another trove of kindred spirits and remarkable friendships. Christine spent her entire career in the NGO sector, working as the executive director of the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation, the Saskatchewan Diabetes Association, the United Way of Saskatoon, and finally the Saskatchewan Craft Council, the job she enjoyed the most! Christine faced numerous challenges in her life, including two highway vehicle accidents that left her with permanent injuries, a diagnosis of cancer at the age of 50, and metastatic disease at age 60. Yet she lived a life of courage, integrity and meaning. She was a founding member of Wolf Willow Housing Co-op and the refugee settlement group Nest Saskatoon. She also was active in Hope Cancer, St. Thomas Wesley United church and Iskewwuk E-Wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), where she was a strong voice for solidarity and reconciliation. At the time of her cancer diagnosis in 2003, she was enrolled in the Master's History Program at the U of S, working on her thesis, The People Left Out of Treaty 8. Although delayed by her cancer treatment, she completed her thesis and graduated two years later, a testament to her determination and character. Relationships were central to Christine and likely one of the reasons she learned French and Spanish along with Latin: she wanted to connect with people. She also cherished her many close friendships sustained over decades. She enjoyed traditions. There was the annual trek to the Winnipeg Folk Festival each summer, Thanksgiving at Seebe, Kananaskis with the Dougan Clan, the August SWW excursion to Kay's cabin at Nemeiben Lake, and for 25 summers, Christine and Glenn joined their friends Heather and Rene on camping expeditions to Waskesiu and the Churchill River (the first 10 years with kids). Christine also embarked on many camping expeditions to Jasper and Riding Mountain with Ruth's family. And later in life enjoyed fishing! Christine felt "lucky" to live another 15 years with cancer, time that allowed her to see her sons marry and pursue their careers. She particularly enjoyed time with Isabelle and Henry. Christine loved strong and her love lives on in her husband Glenn, sons Mark (and Lindsay), James (and Danielle and children Isabelle and Henry); Michael (and Caitlin), her siblings Ruth, Beth, Andrew and Mary (and Ian McCreary), her nine nieces and nephews, her many cousins, and her step-daughter Sharon Dougan. Christine also loved her adopted Syrian family of Ola, Hicham and their four children. A celebration of Christine's life will take place Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas Wesley United Church, 808 20th Street West. In lieu of flowers, donations in Christine's memory may be made to Nest Saskatoon (nestsaskatoon.net) or Doctors Without Borders (doctorswithoutborders.ca). Hanson's Funeral Home of Davidson in care of arrangements.
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Published in Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Jun. 6 to Jun. 13, 2018.