L'Heureux, Audrey Smedley

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L'Heureux, Audrey Smedley

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        10 August 1925 - 12 February 2013


        Audrey Ruth Smedley L’Heureux (1925-2013) was a Northern BC author, journalist, and newspaper editor. She was born Audrey Ruth Spencer in Vanderhoof B.C. on August 10,1925 to parents Marion Lucy Auld Graham Spencer and Ernie (Bert) Spencer. Audrey had two siblings, Pat and Jim Spencer, and a pet moose named Pinto.

        Audrey served during World War II as a commercial radio wireless operator. She married her first husband, Jack Smedley, and they had three children: Albert, Georgina, and Teddy. They lived on Smedley Farm, approximately two miles south of Vanderhoof, which later became the headquarters for Custom Products and Timber Limited. In 1957, the Smedley's sold the farm and divorced.

        With more personal time, Audrey decided to pursue her love of research and decided to start the Nechako Chronicles newspaper in 1964. Although she sold the newspaper in 1971, Audrey had found her passion for journalism. Audrey later applied for the editor position at The Interior News and worked there from 1974 to 1975. Later, Audrey became the editor for the Ingot, the Alcan newsletter. During her time at the Ingot, Audrey met and married Edmond “Ed” Joseph L’Heureux (1917-2001) on August 12, 1976. Audrey left the Ingot in 1976 and pursued her passion for researching northern British Columbia history. Audrey published “Northern BC In Retrospect " in 1979, “From Trail to Rail: Surveys & Gold, 1862 to 1904” in 1987, and “Trail to Rail: Settlement Begins, 1905-1914” in 1989. Audrey also created another volume of “Trail to Rail”; however, it was never published.

        L’Heureux became a pillar in her community, winning several awards such as the 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of Canadian Confederation in 1993, Community Booster of the Year from Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce in 1998, appointment to the Senior’s Advisory Council of B.C. in 1997, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. Audrey was also a member of the Nechako Valley Historical Society, the Senior Citizen’s Counsel, and a member of the Elder Citizens Recreation Association (ECRA).

        Audrey Ruth Smedley L’Heureux died on February 12, 2013.


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