Age 82, passed peacefully May 10, 2019 from his Lake Minnetonka home to his eternal home with his wife of 58 years, Marlene (Stahl), and his devoted GSD, Ulla, by his side. Born on April 11, 1937 in the small northern Saskatchewan village of Glaslyn, the 3rd of 4 children of Sam & Emma Smith, both deceased as well as his older brother, George. He is survived by his sister-in-law Helena, their children Darcy, Cheryl, Colleen, Lyndel, Kendra & Denise; sister Joyce (Herman) Schmidt & their daughters Patricia & Shawna; brother Wesley (Marlene) & their children Marlais & Mark. Marlene's sisters also mourn his passing: Karen (Carl) St John, niece Mandy (Brian) Smith and Dawn Stahl, niece Chelsea & nephew Dustin and grand nieces & nephews and many dear friends.
Erwin never allowed his life to be boring. There were few idle moments in his thinking always organized, a perfectionist in every area, especially his trade of mechanics. His biggest frustration was where is the common sense?Several moves in his life: growing up in Lipton, SK; in 1960, to Medicine Hat, AB to set up his automotive business & marry Marlene, the church pianist that caught his eye; in 1968, to Minneapolis to manufacture & market a Canadian invention, Surf Skimmer. However, with difficulties that couldn't be resolved, he bounced back in to the automotive business, fell in love with Lake Minnetonka and established a thriving business in Navarre--today known as Culvers & O'Sullivans (his business partner's namesake).
He was an avid reader, his friend, Lutz, always keeping him well supplied with reading material. His favorites: the Bible, biographies, poetry, classical literature, GKChesterton, CSLewis. Erwin really loved music, especially Marlene's classics & improvisations on the Bosendorfer which was his gift to her for their 25th anniversary. He was also a fan of southern gospel music. He enjoyed private piloting his Bonanzas across Canada. He had great opportunities with Skip to sail the Adriatic, Belize, Tahiti, the Caribbean. He RV'd the entire west coast of Mexico in the 70s. As retirement neared, the purchase of a beautiful property in the W. Kootenays of BC provided great enjoyment as he and Marlene commuted from MN to spend half of their time in the mountains.
At family gatherings, two traditions always occurred: a sing-a-long of gospel music with Marlene accompanying and the reciting of the Apostle's Creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and LIFE EVERLASTING!
Those two traditions will be the order of the family memorial to be held in Wayzata at David Lee Funeral Home
Memorials to Samaritan's Purse, Grace Church Eden Prairie Missions, or own choice.
To send flowers to Erwin's family, please visit our floral section.