Walt Smart Passed Away

Walt Smart, who was born in Coalmont in 1923, passed away in the Kelowna hospital late Friday night.

Walt’s history in this area goes back to the original Granite Creek gold rush. He has left a big mark on Coalmont and his passing touches all of us. Old timers have fond memories of Walt’s store and his other community interactions. Newcomers knew him as a gentle man who was full of information and always great company. Tourists will know him from his famous signs. In fact, Walt’s sense of humour is famous.


Walton William “Walt” Smart was born in Coalmont in 1923…. His father was James Smart (1895-1950) and his mother was Ethel Margaret Holmes (1895-1965)…. Her father was Walton Hugh Holmes (1852-1940) one of the original placer miners at Granite Creek…. Walt joined the RCAF in WW2 and served as a Flying Instructor…. He met Astrid “Terry” Lambert (1918-1998) during the war, and they were married at Copper Mountain in 1950…. They had five children, Jim, Bill, Eric, Bob, and Judy…. If our records are correct, he has 9 grandchildren and at least 1great-grandchild…. Walt ran the Coalmont General Store from 1950-1972 and the Emporium from 1972-1976…. He moved five kilometres upstream on the south side of the river at that time and has lived there ever since. §

Photo Bob Sterne

2 thoughts on “Walt Smart Passed Away”

  1. “Uncle Walt” as we all called him, was my mom’s (Shirley Smith) first cousin. We all loved his humour and humility. He was a wonderful storyteller and incredible person. He will be truly missed.

  2. In my mind, Walt WAS Coalmont. This town just won’t be the same without him. He was a true gentleman with never a bad word to say about anyone. I feel blessed to have known him.

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