Editor, The Times:
In the next few days a “For Sale” sign will appear outside the funeral home in Clearwater. My wife Avril and I have decided to downsize if we can.
There are two reasons for this. First, I am spending most of my time in Kamloops these days, as we establish our third funeral home location. Secondly, it has become clear over the past few years that we no longer require a building as large as the one at 73 Taren Drive.
We would like to emphasize, however, that we have already begun to look for a smaller building in Clearwater, and will move our funeral home operations to that new location in Clearwater once our current building sells.
I am writing this letter to the newspaper because it is very important to us to reassure the Valley that we will not be shutting down funeral home operations here. We plan to continue in Clearwater but on a smaller scale.
We owe so much to this Valley. When we moved here in 2005 the only people we even vaguely knew were Earl and Fay Jones of Vavenby. In 2004, Earl had come to our home in Summerland to prepare our furnace for the winter. When he heard we were planning to move somewhere in BC to open a funeral home, he suggested Clearwater!
Ever since Avril and I arrived in Clearwater in 2005, people have been so kind and supportive to us. It began with the incredible hospitality of realtors Earl and TJ Hain. These total strangers not only helped us find the property we purchased, but they took us in and fed us for a whole month (free!) before we even purchased anything!
Once we moved here, we began to experience an incredible warmth and kindness from hundreds of members of the Valley. Valley residents supported Avril’s Garden for many years and continue to support the funeral home. We are so grateful for this support and loyalty.
We are also very grateful to the Times, not only for printing this letter, but also for the numerous articles about our funeral home that the Times has published over the years, including our grand opening in November 2005, numerous Christmastime Gatherings for bereaved people, information about the grief support group, as well as assistance with the preparation of obituaries. We look forward to a continuing that relationship for many years to come, and we look forward to serving this community as well.
Thank you to you all.
Drake Smith, MSW
Owner, North Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.