Obituary of Harry Paul Pitzel
Harry Paul Pitzel
It is with deep love and sadness that we announce the passing of Harry Paul Pitzel on Sunday, October 25 at RUH in Saskatoon, due to congestive heart failure. He leaves behind a world diminished. Without fail, everyone had a deep regard and love for Harry. He was truly one-of-a-kind.
Harry was born March 31, 1938 at Pilger, Saskatchewan to Paul and Clara Pitzel. He was raised in rural Saskatchewan, first at Chelan, and then Pre Ste.-Marie. Grandma often told the story of how he used to yodel as a five-year-old boy at all the church picnics. At one picnic, too many people were asking him to show off his talents and suddenly he refused. He never yodeled again! But that was Dad – he lived according to his own mind, conscience and set of high standards, and he would not be swayed from them. He attended St. Peter’s College at Muenster, SK, for high school and some university education. He attended the University of Saskatchewan, earning his Teacher’s Certificate, and later his Education Degree.
He only ever had eyes for one girl, the pretty dark-eyed French girl Henriette Mahussier who lived in the country on a farm close to his. She fell in love with the blonde-headed handsome German boy. She would hear his strong tenor singing “Danny Boy” across the road. He often said that as a young boy, he hoped he’d be able to sit by her on the Caboose as they were driven to school in the frozen Saskatchewan winters. She was everything to him – the love of his life. They married on August 8, 1959 in Pre Ste.-Marie Church and immediately went north to Arctic Red River, inside the Arctic Circle. He taught the Inuit children and mom helped him at the school. Dad had a strong spirit of adventure, and his time up North was one of the great adventures of his life.
The next years saw him teaching in different Saskatchewan towns – Barrierville, Star City, Bjorkdale, and Tisdale. Dad was a wonderful teacher and a favourite with his students. Just recently a student from 30 years ago phoned Harry to thank him for touching his life. That was the effect he had on his pupils. After Dad retired from teaching, they moved to Saskatoon, where he worked 20 years as an Instructor for the Corps of Commissionaires. He also worked with Census Canada as a unit organizer. Dad loved all things military, and he was a Commissioned Officer in the Saskatchewan Light Infantry. He served as a Mortar Officer. This gave him Veteran status, which he wore proudly for his entire life.
While Harry loved teaching, his greatest love was reserved for his family, and he spent his life providing for them and guiding them. Summer holidays meant road trips, camping, canoeing, and berry-picking. Family reunions and visits with extended family were happy occasions. During their 61 years together, Mom and Dad raised 5 children and had 13 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, with two little ones on the way. As his family grew, he made sure to be at his grand-kids’ ball games and concerts, and he always blessed a new grandchild with tears of wonder and joy.
He loved life in all its forms – fishing, canoeing, hunting, reading, model building, Beethoven, opera, games, computers, Kaiser, and laughter. He loved to sing and did so with gusto! He sang tenor in two choirs in Saskatoon: The German Choir and Holy Spirit Choir. He had a keen sense of humour and loved telling a good joke. He was a great storyteller – when his kids were little, they would crawl into his bed on a Saturday morning, giggling and demanding, “Tell us a story, Dad!”. He was open-minded and taught his kids and grandchildren that they should love rather than judge. He had a deep sense of justice and he could not stand cruelty in any form. During his life so many people were proud to count Harry Pitzel as a friend. He was a devoted Roman Catholic who believed that the life you lead bears out your faith.
Harry is predeceased by his beloved parents, Paul and Clara, his infant son Joseph Pitzel, his brother LaVerne Pitzel, his sister Vicki Ryder, and many other relatives and friends – all people who had been so cherished by him during his life.
Harry is survived by his loving wife Henriette, his children Mark Pitzel, Joan Loboda (Stephen Clarke), Rosemary Fenrich (Wayne Fenrich), James Pitzel (Diane Pitzel), and Paul Pitzel (Shelley Pitzel). He made sure that his children’s partners knew that he loved them as his own. Also survived by his precious grandchildren Jesse, Meagan, Jennifer, Spencer, Mari, Chloe, Benjamin, Brian, Vaughn, Hayden, Jonah, Angela, Sam, and his treasured great-grandchildren. Missing him too are his many cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends.
How to say good-bye to such a man? Perhaps, for a man who loved words, Emily Dickinson’s small poem says it best: “Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”
The Funeral Service will be held Friday October 30, 2020 at 1:30 P.M. at Holy Family Cathedral, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon SK. Please call Saskatoon Funeral Home 306-244-5577 to add your name to the guest list. Those unable to attend can watch the livestream link which will be at the top of this page at the time of the service. In lieu of flowers donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be gratefully appreciated.
Condolences may be left on Harry’s page here by clicking the “upload a memory” button below. Or click the “view all memories” button to read tributes and messages left by guests.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Harry
Pitzel 1938 2020..
Death notice for the town of: Saskatoon, Province: Saskatchewan