I had to pass along this comment from Dick Smyth. Dick did radio and TV
commentaries for years in Toronto (“Here’s How Things Look to Dick Smyth”),
and we camped with them for years. They live in Bracebridge now, and he
still writes his commentaries for local media. That great photo of Grant
that we placed by the coffin was taken, developed and printed by Dick as a
gift to Grant and I in 1978!.
Dick Smyth writes:
I was at a fun funeral last week. It was for an old friend who died peacefully in his sleep at 85. No pain. No dementia. No hospitalization. In fact, Grant had been shovelling snow one week before his funeral. His widow vowed that the funeral would be a happy occasion. And it was. A framed picture of Grant beside the coffin was topped with a Mickey Mouse hat…there was a plate of cookies on the coffin, testament to his legendary appetite. The widow herself spoke at the service, a brave and even daring thing to do, but there were laughs not tears. And enthusiastic applause when she finished. I usually hate funerals. They so often are dreary and depressing, even when billed as “a celebration of life.” I enjoyed this one, as did the other 100 some people who turned out on a wretched winter day. No sanctimonious eulogies, no phony prayers, no organ and no hymns but a wonderful performance by Grant’s fellow barbershoppers. The idea of a funeral is to remember someone who has died. I’ll remember Grant — and his funeral — long after the memory of others has faded.
Dick Smyth’s booming voice can still a crowd. The legendary broadcaster has been described as a true original. A native of Montreal, he got his first radio job at a station in Cornwall where he picked up more than experience, it’s where he met his wife Marilyn.
Smyth went on to build his career at CKLW Windsor then spent another 30 years broadcasting in Toronto at CHUM, CITY-TV, 680 News, CHFI, CFMT-TV and CFRB and AM640. Smyth anchored the first national radio broadcast for CHUM. After retiring, Smyth continued producing commentaries for The Moose in Bracebridge, ON. Smyth won many awards throughout his illustrious career including the first International RTNDA awarded to a Canadian for his coverage of the Detroit Riots in 1967. His commentaries won six consecutive RTNDA Canada regional awards for Best Editorial. Smyth was also awarded the coveted President’s Award in 1992 for outstanding contribution to Canadian broadcasting. In addition, Smyth was a strong believer in giving back. He is a past president of the Windsor Press Club and served as the President of RTNDA Canada in 1979. He continues to be a regular attendee and contributor to the RTDNA conferences.