It is with great sadness that the family of Joe Schandelle of Malakwa, B.C. announces his sudden and unexpected passing while on holiday in Strathmore, Alberta, 3 days shy of his 61st birthday. Joe was a wonderful husband of 36 years to Shirley and a loving and proud father to Tricia (Kyle) Green, Strathmore, Alberta and Alex Schandelle, Malakwa. He was a great brother to Waldy Schandelle, Malakwa and Maria Shephard, McCleese Lake, BC, He has numerous nieces and nephews in Canada and multiple relatives living in Germany to honor his memory.
He immigrated to Canada from Germany with his family when he was 2 years old, grew up on Barnston Island on the Fraser River around Langley, BC and arrived in Malakwa at age 15. Even though he had to move out of the area on two occasions for work, Malakwa was always home and where Shirley and Joe decided they wanted to raise their family. Joe had been a t-ball, soccer and baseball coach as his children grew up but he found great satisfaction in passing on his love of camping, outdoor skills, carpentry and fishing to his Troop when he became a Cub Scout Leader.
After a 10 year stint in the Alberta oil patch, working at numerous saw mills in B.C. and finally the plywood plant in Canoe, Joe earned early retirement at age 57. He now had time for travel, discovered a love of gardening, reading, cooking and especially spoiling his wife Shirley! He loved to go fishing and always said his goal was to dip his net in water as often as time allowed. He met that goal yearly whether it was in a boat, over a bridge, on the ocean, through the ice or portaging into a mountain lake with a canoe. He joined the Malakwa Fire Department in 2013 and when he passed away was the Deputy Chief.
A Celebration of Life was held in Malakwa on December 31, 2016 and we would like to thank the community of Malakwa for its outstanding support during this tragic time. Especially thank you Cheryl Taylor, who spoke about Joe on that day, always a difficult and overwhelming task. We are privileged to have you as part of our family! A special tribute was conducted by Malakwa Fire Department Chief Joanne Held who did an outstanding job. A huge thank you to the Fire Department members that attended from Malakwa, Sicamous, Swansea Point, Silver Creek, Ranchero, Scotch Creek; to Dan Sculnick who set Joe on the path of trainer in the Fire Department, the Regional District Chiefs, the Golden Fire Chief, Eagle Valley Rescue and the Sicamous Ambulance members. It was a very beautiful and respectful ceremony and our family and all attending will never forget when the bell was rung on behalf of one of their own going to his rest. Joe, a guy that didn’t like to be in the limelight, would have been honored. Retiring his number and the silent salute for the family was very touching.
We appreciated all the flowers, food, phone calls, emails, and neighbors looking after our home and critters while we were in Alberta. Joe’s big heart, sense of humor, candid nature and helpful manner will be sorely missed by all that knew him but a life well lived leaves its gentle pattern on the hearts of all so remember the good stuff. A man’s most lasting influence is seen in the faces of all our family, in the light in all our eyes when we talk about him and in the love we all will hold on to forever.