IAN ARNOLD SCHAEFER
Ian passed away peacefully on the morning of July 5, 2023 at Health Sciences Centre at the age of 73, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was predeceased by his parents, Doreen and Arnold, stepmom Joan and his brother Lloyd.
Ian is lovingly remembered by his wife, Julie (nee Osachuk), his daughter, Ryanne (Sean), his grandchildren, Declan and Emmett and sister-in-law Gina. He will be missed by numerous extended family members and friends.
Ian was born in Gilbert Plains and early in life, he and his family moved to Winnipeg. He graduated from St John’s Highschool, where his yearbook describes him as “THE St. John’s Tiger celebrity. OUR HERO”; possibly due to being Sophomore King in 1967, being awarded the St John’s Goldstein trophy for contributing the most to his football team in respect of leadership and sportsmanship, being chosen as a city-all-star in football and receiving a scholarship to play football at Simon Fraser University in BC. However, after only a week of being at Simon Fraser, homesickness brought him home to Winnipeg where he then attended the University of Manitoba and received a computer science degree in 1972. After graduation, Ian worked for several companies, including Linet Geomatics, before deciding to become self employed in 1996. Self-employment allowed him the flexibility to work on the projects he enjoyed and led him to work in the US and England.
Ian met the love of his life, Julie in 1977, and they were wed on September 2, 1978, after less than a year of dating. Ian was the yin to Julie’s yang, evident by their first introduction by friends. He spent the night talking about skiing and his love of all things winter and snow and when the conversation turned to her, she let him know she hated snow and preferred travelling to somewhere warm to escape it. However, their lives were meant to be interconnected, which their 45 years together demonstrates. If asked, Julie would tell you it was Ian’s eyes and kind and gentle nature that sealed the deal for her.
Ian’s daughter, Ryanne, was born in 1981. Ian doted on her and would do anything for her. He was always there to support and lend an ear to her and he took great pride in all that she did. He was also sure to wake her up nice and early most weekend mornings, blaring The Wall by Pink Floyd on the stereo. It was only at the end of his life, when played softly in the hospital, that Ryanne realized Pink Floyd’s music could be soothing and calming.
Ian was an avid sportsman and was active in sport through most of his life. In January 1965, he began taking judo classes, a Christmas gift from his parents, and he continued in the sport until the very end. He participated as an athlete, referee and coach and in 2012, he obtained his 5th degree (godan) black belt. Up until the day he went into the hospital, he was coaching judo, something he took great pride and enjoyment in. He also excelled at football and played with the Hawkeyes football club, who won the national junior championships in 1968 and were later inducted into the Manitoba football hall of fame for their victory. However, despite his success in football, Ian chose to pursue Rugby, joining the Saracens rugby club. He took great pleasure in playing and coaching rugby and was a lifelong member of the Saracens, always up for supporting them, even when his playing days were done.
Ian was also a fixture in his neighborhood. He would often take the dog for a “quick “walk and return hours later; not because they were going on lengthy treks, but because he would frequently stop and talk with everyone he met along the way. He loved catching up and visiting with his friends and took joy in the conversations and stories they shared.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at the Health Sciences Centre for their compassionate care and support and ensuring Ian’s comfort the 5½ weeks that he was there.
Cremation has already taken place and a celebration of life will take place at a later date.