Al (Alois) Schmid, June 21, 1937 - March 23, 2023.
Al passed quietly and without suffering in the early morning of March 23, in his home under the care of his son, Rain, his daughter-in-law Vangie Nitsopoulos, his devoted caregiver Priscilla Pandian and his faithful feline, Mitzi.
Al was born on June 21, 1937, a few minutes after his twin brother Ludwig Jr., in the tumultuous era of pre-World War II Germany to Emilie and Ludwig Schmid, Sr.. During the first few years of his life, he and his brother suffered from severe malnutrition and spent close to seven months in a sanitarium. At the moment of his birth, Al was not expected to survive. The attending nurse, suggested an angelic name would ease a quick journey into the afterlife. She suggested the name Alois, after the name of Saint Aloysius, whose day it was. Dad’s early years consisted of begging for food from local farmers and avoiding routine aircraft bombings that targeted a bridge near his home in Rosenheim. He and his brother were not allowed into the bomb shelters at the school because their father had been arrested and placed into Dachau as a political prisoner for publicly criticizing the war effort in Stalingrad.
Al’s memories of this time were never completely communicated but the horrors he did mention certainly left permanent scars.
Despite these hardships he became an apprentice baker and decided to leave Germany to pursue that career in Canada .
In 1958, he arrived in Toronto and joined his childhood friend, Hansi (John) and his wife Ellen, renewing their friendship which would last the rest of his life.
Shortly after he met my mother in the Huntz bakery and the two of them married in 1963. My mother, who was much more social, introduced Al to more friends and family, and cemented life-long bonds with the “gang from the apartment”.
Due to the long, early-morning hours required at the bakery, Al realized that he would not be able to have a normal relationship with a family he hoped to one day have. With Beverly’s help, he completed high school english and switched his career from baking to education. He trained to become a bakeshop teacher while my mother figured out how to give birth to a human.
He spent the remainder of his working years teaching valuable workplace skills to trades-oriented students, many of which continued to this day to thank him for his strict, but fair guidance. Upon retirement, he facilitated a practicum placement for his son, Rain, at his school’s academic neighbour building, thus passing the professional baton to the next generation.
Traveling with Bev consumed much of his time, as did various construction projects and repair projects performed for friends and family. A phone call was often all that was needed to get Al to come over and fix anything from a leaky faucet to a full-fledged fireplace installation. He was eager to help anyone who asked.
During his wife’s terminal battle with cancer, Al found comfort in all his wife’s friends who extended their love to him. His family doctor, Dr. Collins, provided him with exceptional care both from that experience and his own end-of-life process.
In his final days Al was blessed with visits, both virtual and in-person, from friends and family.
Although he claimed that he didn’t need anyone to care for him, Al and his family greatly benefited from the constant, attentive care of Priscilla Pandian. Because of her, and the caregivers from Spectrum, Brameast Family physicians and Care Partners, Al was able to pass away in his home without suffering.
A celebration of life will occur on Saturday, June 24th - the weekend after what would be his 86th birthday on June 21. Details will follow.