In memory of Michael Purves-Smith

Dear CSSR / RhetCanada members and associates, it is with sadness that I share news that one of our long-term and most cherished members, Michael Purves-Smith, passed away this week.

[Photo uploaded to the obituary website by the family] 

See his online obituary at

Michael and his wife Shannon Purves-Smith have contributed to the society for decades both separately and in partnership, playing many roles in the executive and committees and faithfully attending yearly CSSR conferences.

Michael’s gentlemanly kindness, organizational wisdom and deep intellect will be missed. He has left a strong legacy on our scholarly organization, and more importantly, he will be kindly remembered and respected in the hearts and minds of those who have worked together with him on committees, heard his presentations, shared meals or adventures with him, or discussed ideas with him. Michael has also left behind his writings for us to enjoy and ponder. He was not only a strong rhetorician and rhetorical critic, but he also used his eloquence as an active participant in Canadian and global society and culture, doing his best to leave an ethical, creative, and powerful impact on his audiences.

We thank you, Michael, for a life lived so well.

Dear Shannon, we send out our thoughts to you at this time and sincerely wish you and your family and friends comfort in your time of mourning.

Tania S. Smith
Current President, CSSR

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