WPCA Saddened By The Passing Of Active Supporter Rick Smith

Rick Smith
August 30, 1947 – July 4, 2019
Inset and 
with Chuckwagon Driver Luke Tournier (R) 

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was saddened by passing of former chuckwagon Active Supporter Rick Smith on Thursday, July 4, 2019 at the age of 71 years.

Rick was born in Calgary but spent his childhood in Longview, Alberta. His family then moved to Calgary where he spent the majority of his life. After graduating from university, Rick eventually joined Heritage Park where he worked for thirty three years, twenty five of which as General Manager. Rick was a huge chuckwagon racing fan. He loved the sport and the people connected with it and would promote it wherever he could. He first became involved in sponsoring a chuckwagon in 1984 with driver Roy David, both at the Stampede and the chuckwagon circuit. He could be found, for ten nights each year, standing on the tarmac at the Stampede, cheering on the chucks. In celebration of the Calgary Stampede's Centennial Celebration, Rick started the "Ten Day Tarmac Babies" - a group that sponsored driver Luke Tournier.

Rick was part of three Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby winning outfits with Heritage Park in 2000 with driver Hugh Sinclair, 2005 with driver Luke Tournier, and again in 2007 with driver Luke Tournier, the final time as a member of the Cowboy's Posse. He received a WPCA Active Supporter Award in 1988, and in 1992 he received the WPCA's highest annual honor - the WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year.

Rick was on the Calgary Stampede Historical Committee for twenty five years, and in 2016, was honoured to be made a Stampede Life Member. Rick was a great promoter of Chuckwagon Racing, Heritage Park, the Calgary Stampede, and Calgary in general. He was a key contributor to the “western heritage” that Calgary is so proud of and can be credited with having a major role in growing tourism in both Calgary and all of Alberta.

Rick will be lovingly remembered by his wife of forty years Erika, son Michael (Deanne); daughter Christine (Rob Young); granddaughters, Conlee and Whitley Smith, and Ella Young. He is also survived by his sisters, Judy (Don Eaglesham) and Sandi Smith; mother-in-law Frieda Schlunzen, as well as a large extended family and many friends. Rick was predeceased by his parents, Ralph and Thelma Smith; and father-in-law Rolf Schlunzen.

At Rick’s request, no formal service will be held. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to STARS Air Ambulance, 1441 Aviation Park N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 8M7, Tel: 403-295-1811;, or to the Lung Association, 208, 17420 Stony Plain Road NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5S 1K6, Tel: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864); The family would like to thank Dr. Stephen Field and his team at the Foothills Hospital, Dr. Matt Schuck and the caring staff at Oilfields Hospital in Black Diamond.

In living memory of Rick Smith, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

Rick will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Smith family.

Billy Melville