GMC Logo

WPCA Mourns The Passing Of Active Supporter Merle “Mert” Smith

Posted By Billy Melville on March 29, 2024

Merle “Mert” Smith
April 8, 1934 – March 4, 2024
Enjoying the chuckwagon races at the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino World Chuckwagon Finals

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association is mourning the passing of longtime active supporter Merle “Mert” Smith on Monday, March 4, 2024 at the age of 89 years.

Mert lived most of his life in Albert Park, which is now located in the Southeast part of the City of Calgary. It was here that he befriended the famous David chuckwagon family, and through the David family Mert got an inside look at the world of professional chuckwagon racing and became one of the sport’s “superfans” and active supporters. Mert hung his hat mostly in former driver Roy David’s barn, but he could often be seen socializing with many of the other drivers, outriders and their families. His personable nature and good humour were always welcome in all the camps along the WPCA Pro Tour.

For many years Mert travelled to many of the stops along the WPCA Pro Tour – from the Grande Prairie Stompede to the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo in Kennewick, Washington and every stop in between. For many years during the Calgary Stampede, when trailer space was limited on the Stampede grounds, Mert would open up his home lot that was famous for the Christmas Trees he sold out of there for 67 years, to many of the chuckwagon driver’s support staff that had come in from out of town so they could park their travel trailers and be close to the chuckwagon barns during the Calgary Stampede. In his later years when he was unable to attend all the chuckwagon races, Mert would always listen to the races on the radio and write down the running times as he always did when he attended the races in person. Mert was a very knowledgeable and passionate fan of chuckwagon racing for most of his life, and was a fixture around the chuckwagon barns for more than a half century. In 1987 he was honoured by the World Professional Chuckwagon Association with an WPCA Active Supporter Award.

Mert is survived by his partner Maggie, two daughters, his son, nine grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, two sister, many nephews and nieces and their families. Mert was predeceased by his parents, two sisters, one brother and two of his sons.

Merle was cremated and a private family gathering will be planned at a future date.

To view and share photos, condolences and memories of Mert with the family, please visit www.choicememorial.com.

Mert will be missed by all in the WPCA, the chuckwagon community in general, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Smith family.

Billy Melville

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet