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Giovannina “Anna” Schnitzler
July 26 1932 – June 29, 2023
It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to Anna Schnitzler (nee Di Fiore), beloved wife of the late Herbert Schnitzler, mother of Herbert “Sonny” Schnitzler, grandmother of Jesse Colin Akapunya, and much loved Aunt and Great Aunt to many nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Anna passed away peacefully at Amica Peel Village in Brampton, Ontario on Thursday, June 29th, 2023, weeks shy of her 91st birthday. Anna was born in Castelnuovo Della Daunia, Foggia, Italy, and came to Canada in late 1951 with her parents, the late Carmine Di Fiore, her father, and the late Domenica Vascello, her mother, accompanied by her brothers, the late Paolo and the late Bernardino Di Fiore. She was predeceased in Italy by her older sister Nina.
Anna met the love of her life Herbert Schnitzler in Toronto Ontario and they married in 1955, welcoming their only child in 1956, Herbert Jr., (known lovingly to the immediate family as Sonny).
After buying a farm near Grand Valley, Ontario in the mid 1960s, Anna and Herbert began to pursue their passion of thoroughbred horse racing. Together they had an amazing career spanning several decades as thoroughbred horse trainers and owners until Herbert’s death in 1991.
From humble beginnings as a new immigrant, Anna mastered English and was a true professional in her field. She was friends with the former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Conn Smythe and knew the industrialist and builder of Woodbine Racetrack, owner of Kinghaven Farms, E.P. Taylor.
After Herbert’s death, Anna retired from horse racing and spent the next three decades on her beloved farm in East Garafraxa, her paradise on earth, tending her vegetable and flower gardens which was a passion and brought her tremendous joy.
She continued to stay active, working industriously on farm projects throughout the year, in the company of her feline and canine companions. In winter she enjoyed cross country skiing and skied until the age of 85. Nothing made her happier than to recount all the wonderful years she and Herbert spent in the horse racing industry and all the lasting friendships that were formed.
Anna will be remembered for her love of nature and animals, her proud Italian roots, and her lasting friendships and love of family. She will be missed dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Anna's name to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
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