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CHIEFFO, Domenico

September 5, 1954 – Bagnoli Irpino, Italy
April 17, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta

Dom beloved husband of Heather Chieffo (nee Ballantyne) of Calgary, AB, passed away suddenly in the ICU of the Foothills Medical Center on April 17, 2014 at the age of 59 years.

Dom dedicated his life to teaching and to his students. He had an enormous passion for teaching science, especially Biology 30. He spent 28 years teaching, of which he spent his last years at Sir Winston Churchill High School where he looked forward to inspiring his students every day. He touched a lot of people with his kindness, compassion and love of learning. Dom adored his family and was an incredible father to his three daughters.

Besides his loving wife Heather, Dom is survived by his three cherished daughters, Stephanie (Dustin), Maria and Domenica; his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and David Macdonald and their daughter Vanessa; his Aunt, Maria Frasca; cousins, Raffaela (Torino) Pascheri and Domenic (Jane) Frasca; mother-in-law, Catherine (Larry) Freeborn; many nieces and nephews; and many extended family in Italy. He was predeceased by his parents, Raffaela and Aniello Chieffo and most recently his uncle Domenic Frasca.

Dom’s family wishes to extend a special thank you to the Tulle family, Claire, George, Megan and Carolyn for the love and support they have shown the family through these difficult times. We also wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr.” Sunny” and the staff of the Ultrasound Department as well as all the staff and nurses of the Day Medicine Unit at the Foothills Medical Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dom Chieffo Memorial Fund through the business office at Sir Winston Churchill High School (5220 Northland Drive N.W.).

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Crowfoot Chapel (82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.), on Monday, April 21, 2014 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Peter’s Catholic Church (541 Silvergrove Drive N.W.) on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Dom Chieffo, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Heather and family, my deepest sympathy to your family. Dom truly was one of the “good guys” in the world. There wasn’t a finer Bio teacher out there. His dedication and passion for science inspired and helped so many students over the years. He will definitely be missed. May your families sorrow and grief one day be replaced with the wonderful memories you all shared with Dom.
    My sincere condolences.

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  2. Edwina Arsenault :

    Dear Heather, and Family, I am sincerely sorry for your Loss. Dom Loved Life in general. He was always on top of technology. I’ll never forget when I first met Dom all the phones he had in the house. Dom Loved having company. His drinks were delicious. He was inspirational and encouraged everyone to study and improve their Lives. We will all miss Dom and our conversations with him. I always loved hearing about his Race horses . Edwina

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  3. My heartfelt condolences to Heather and your family. Dom was a truly amazing teacher and colleague. He was continually looking for the most effective and innovative ways to present his lessons to the students. I will always remember his humour and the stories that he shared with all of us. I feel fortunate to have worked with him and to have known him. May he rest in peace.

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  4. The Chieffo Family,

    I offer my greatest condolences for your loss. I was a student of Dom’s back in 2011, and prior to then had no certainty in my academic path. It was Mr. Chieffo who influenced me to pursue studying the brain and thanks to him I am now in my fourth year at the University of Victoria for a biology/psychology degree and into my second year of stroke research at the hospital. He was one of the main reasons I chose to continue to visit SWC high past my graduation and it is incredibly saddening to know he is gone. Though he will be missed, it is without a doubt in my mind that he has already passed on immeasurable amounts of compassion for both life and learning to many of his students including myself. I am grateful to have met Dom as he was not only a life-changing man, but also a life-changing educator.

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  5. Cynthia Wittiger :

    Dear Heather and family,
    I never saw the struggles on his face when he walked into the Day Medicine unit; always a beautiful smile and perfect teeth. I’m so sorry for your loss. As his wife, I’m sure you carried much of his burden as well. I pray for your comfort and healing. Thank you for letting me be a part of his care albeit, it was a while ago, but I certainly remember you guys.

    My condolences,
    Cynthia Wittiger, NP Hepatolgoy

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  6. Alessandro Farese (IT) :

    I have a great memory of Mengo, as we call him in Italy, he was a sun shining person, i remember him as a strong lovely man. My greatest condolences for you loss, expecially to the three girls and their mum.

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  7. My heartfelt condolences go toward Mr. Chieffo and his family. Although I have not had him as a teacher, I have talked to him on several occasions, and many of my friends talk about him being one of the best teachers there will ever have been. And I do have to agree. Walking past his classroom on the rare occasion I would glance in and see all his class having fun, and his teaching style was apparent. I will not forget those moments. May you, Mr. Chieffo, and your family, have peace.

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  8. Alfred LeBlanc :

    Heather,
    My deepest sympathy to you and your daughters on your loss. Although it’s been quite a long time since I saw Dom, I remember the smile on his face.

    My prayers are with you and the family.

    Alfred

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  9. To the Chieffo Family:
    My sincere condolences to your family. Mr. Chieffo taught me Biology 30 about 10 years ago, and to this day I will never forget what an amazing teacher he was. He helped me excel in my final year of high school, I always thank god for giving me Mr.Chieffo as a teacher because I know that without him I would not have done well. I will always remember how passionate he was about teaching, he truly loved it and it was infectious. During diploma time, he would stay late on Fridays to give his students the diploma prep for free instead of paying $50 that they charged. He really cared about his students and really cared about his students, and that is rare to find in a teacher. Mr. Chieffo was truly an amazing person and I am very sorry for your loss, but I know he has touched more lives than most of us will ever dream of. I am so very grateful for the chance to have him as a teacher. May he rest in peace.

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  10. Dear Chieffo family,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I had Mr Chieffo for bio way back in 2004 and to this day I still remember him as one of the best teachers. Always so patient and committed to all of his students. Although I didn’t pursue biology as a career post schooling, I did minor in biological sciences just for the heck of it because of the passion he gave me for bio.

    Mr Chieffo has made an immeasurable impact on the lives of those around him in the 59 years he spent on this earth. He will be greatly missed.

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  11. Christie Hull :

    Dear Chieffo Family,

    I am truly sorry for your loss and my deepest condolences go out to you, your extended family, and your friends. I was a student of Mr. Chieffo’s in 2010. He was funny, kind, caring, and never once gave up on any of us. He encouraged and inspired us in so many ways. He attended almost every one of our sporting events, camera in hand, and gave us the greatest graduation video we could have ever imagined. It was his love for his job and his passion for biology that inspired us to do great things. I was reluctant to finish my science in school because it was not my passion but, I am thankful that I was able to take Mr. Chieffo’s class. Without him I would have never passed science (let alone get a good grade!). I am truly sorry for your loss, he was one in a million.

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  12. I offer Heather and her family my sincerest condolences. Mr Chieffo was the best teacher I had at Sir Winston Churchill. His passion and enthusiasm for teaching students Bio30 was inspiring. Every time I did not understand something in class he would be more than willing to explain the concepts to me. He always had a huge smile on his face and cracked many jokes. He inspired me to pursue a career in Sciences and for that I am grateful. RIP Mr Chieffo, I will always remember the amazing person you were.

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  13. To Dom’s loved ones,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am fortunate enough to have been a student of Mr. Chieffo’s in 2004. Still to this day he remains one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever had. Following highschool I completed an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and with Mr. Chieffo as a reference I continued on to finish a Master of Architecture degree this past semester. I will never forget the incredible person he was, nor the impact he has had on my life.

    Sending so much love and positive vibes. With that energy from myself and the countless others whose lives he has touched I hope you can find some peace in this difficult time.

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  14. Dear Heather and family,

    I was a student of Mr. Chieffo’s back in 2004, exactly ten years ago. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He always had a great smile as he came to class with enthusiasm for teaching. He constantly went out of his way to help us learn. His Biology 30 class was the first time I became interested in Science and why I did a Bachelor of Science. I feel extremely lucky to have been taught by him. He was a truly life-changing educator.

    Thank you, Mr. Chieffo. Your students will miss you.

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  15. Mr. Chieffo was my teacher for Biology 20 at Sir Winston Churchill High School back from 2004 – I could not ask for a better teacher, as he tirelessly encouraged all of us to seek knowledge with passion. Even when I did not have him for Biology 30, he still gave me advice for my diploma exam and encouraged me to pursue my career goal as a health professional. I am and will forever be grateful for having him in my high school career – my deepest condolence to Mr. Chieffo’s family, friends, and loved ones.

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  16. Dear Chieffo Family,

    My deepest condolences goes out to you. I’ve had the privilege of having Mr Chieffo as a biology teacher last September, as he was one of the most inspirational teachers I’ve ever encountered. I know that Sir Winston Churchill High School will be saddened by the loss of such a dedicated educator. He was a role model, his passion for science had encouraged and inspired many students. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity of having met such a wonderful teacher, and I know that the knowledge he had passed on to us would remain with me forever.

    Mr Chieffo will be greatly missed by us all.

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  17. So sad to hear of this news. Mr. Chieffo was one of my favorite teachers in high school in 2005 as he always shared his love of science with us and made everything fun! I feel extremely lucky to have met him and to have been his student.

    My best wishes and condolences to his family in this hard time.

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  18. I first met Dom when he began dating Heather. Dom taught me much about why we live and what we live for. By that I mean Dom was a living example of unconditional love; to his wife Heather, his daughters, and everyone else around him. I am learning to believe if we exist for one thing in our lives it is to provide unconditional love and I shall always honour and respect Dom Chieffo for what he taught me without him having to say a word. And nobody smiled like Dom.

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  19. Dear Heather and Family,
    I experienced such a deep sadness when I was informed of Doms’ passing. I can hardly comprehend the feeling of loss you and your daughters must be feeling. Doms’ excellence in teaching Biology and coaching Cross Country was truely outstanding. Dom had a natural and caring way with his students that earned him their trust. I valued Dom as a colleague and a friend.
    Sincerely,
    Ulf Petersen

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  20. Laura Brackenbury/Leah Minter :

    Dear Heather, Stephanie, Maria and Domenica;

    Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of Dom. Through this difficult time, we pray you will find strength through the support of many friends and family. He was clearly a gift to the many students he impacted through his teaching career and to you as a wonderful husband and father.

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  21. Dear Chieffo Family,

    I want to offer my deepest condolences to your family at this difficult time. I was a student of Mr. Chieffo’s in 2010 and I always enjoyed going to his class. His passion for teaching and love of biology inspired me to enter the field of biological sciences. Although I quickly learned that was not the field for me, Mr. Chieffo’s compassion and dedication to his students helped lead me into the field of teaching. Mr. Chieffo strived to develop relationships with all of his students and he always wanted us to do our best. He was supportive in all aspects of our lives and he will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayer are with your family at this difficult time.

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  22. Kanvua Kelkar :

    Dear Chieffo family,
    My sincere condolences to your family. I know it is a tough time for you all and I would like to let you know the hearts of my classmates are with you. Mr. Chieffo was a brilliant teacher. I owe my career to him. He inspired us all and gave help to those who needed it. He will be missed greatly. He was my Bio 30 teacher in 2012 and I have nothing but great memories of him. I remember always looking forward to his class. He inspired me to think about going into med school and too me I will never be able to forget him. Men like Mr Chieffo only come once in a billion years. Mr Chieffo will continue to live on in our memories and in our hearts, not enough can be said about him. I am sorry for your loss.
    Thank you Mr. Chieffo for everything.

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  23. Alexander Shepherd :

    To the family of an amazing man,

    Influential people in this world are hard to find, most people look to their parents, celebrities, maybe even presidents. However, as a teacher you see thousands of students in a life time.. The power this man had on the difficult time cannot be put into words. Walking into Mr. Chieffos classroom, we were always welcomed by this vibrant man with the most amazing smile that would brighten up a room. From his humour when teaching human organs, to stealing my bag of Doritos and eating them in front of me, to making me call walmart for the price of Viagara. This man, is the role model I was so greatful to have in my life. Ultimately influencing my decision to step into sciences, the ultimate devotion of being not just a teacher – but a friend to not just me but thousands of kids.

    The world lost an amazing man, a man thats personality is completely life changing.

    I hope that you find peace in this difficult time, it was an honour to meet this man.

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  24. Dear Chieffo Family,
    The best are always “plucked” first. Such is the law of life!

    Dom and I did our Undergrad together, and we shared many moments of laughter (yes, his infectious laughter!) in Rundle Hall at U of C. The biology classes we attended together were much more meaningful because of his special insights. And the all-nighters we pulled with Res coffee just before our finals were a feat of inspiration and endurance! Chromatography took new meaning as we tried to decipher the connection between theory and practice! But all of it remained fun with Dom’s belief that “there is always a solution”. Dom was an amazing human being, a valued friend, and was able to shake out the doldrums from anyone and restore their sense of humour instantly. Our condolences to the entire family at this very tragic time of grief and sadness. I feel honoured and blessed to have known him. Thank you Dom, for the important role you played in my life.

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  25. Dear Chieffo Family,

    I am deeply sorry for your loss, and offer my most sincere condolences. I was a student of Mr. Chieffo’s Biology 30 class in 2012. Mr. Chieffo was an amazing teacher. He was always so funny, energetic, and enthusiastic about the material he taught. He had a fantastic relationship with his students, and all of his lessons felt both educational and fun. Mr. Chieffo is easily one of my favourite teachers I have ever had. His passion for the subject help to motivate me to excel at the course. I’m glad to have had him as a teacher, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. He will be greatly missed by myself, and all of his previous students. My thoughts go out to the Chieffo Family during this time.

    Rest in Peace Mr. Chieffo

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  26. Catherine Sutherland :

    Heather
    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your husband. These are the times when I wish I could wave a magic wand and turn back the hands of time. I could just run up the road and be a part of the group that surrounds and comforts you. Sadly my wand is more than a little tarnished, but know if I could, I would.
    Always
    Catherine

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  27. Nathan Smith :

    Dear Chieffo family,
    I would like to offer my greatest condolences during this extremely difficult time.

    I am currently taking Bio 30 and Mr Chieffo was my teacher when all of the sudden he was away for a week. None of us really knew what was going on, but one thing was for sure. We all needed our amazing teacher back because the subs we had just couldnt teach or make it as clear as Mr Chieffo did. Going to his class after a bad day would never fail to cheer me up by all his funny little jokes he would crack out while teaching us. When I found out that he had passed away I was very deeply saddened and hurt, especially since he had been teaching only a week or so before so it came very unexpected to me. Its beyond me how things like these happen to such great people, but there is a saying “Only the good die young” and in this case I would say thats very true. The reason I loved Mr Chieffo so much was because I had never had such a passionate, inspiring and loving person as a teacher. This made it very easy for me to trust him and I have never had that with any other teacher. On my 12th and final year of high school, I can honestly say that Mr Chieffo is the best teacher I have ever had in any of my years of schooling. But even more than that he is one of the most caring and influential people that I have ever met, and I feel honoured to have met him.

    Thank you Mr Chieffo for everything you taught me and being the ever so funny, kind, and caring person that you were.

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  28. My sincere condolences to the Chieffo family.

    I was a former biology student of Mr. Chieffo in 2006. I clearly remember his friendly demeanour, cheerfulness and passion for teaching biology. He genuinely cared about his students and it really showed. He was one of my favourite and most memorable teachers in high school. I am completing my residency in Family Medicine, thanks to his efforts in teaching Biology. I hope to use his gift and knowledge in Biology to help others. Thank you for all that you have given us. May you rest in peace Mr. Chieffo.

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  29. Dear Chieffo family,

    My sincere condolences. Mr Chieffo was my Biology 30 teacher in 2006 and he was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He had the hallmarks of an amazing teacher, as he is truly inspiring and made things very easy to understand. I would always look forward to Biology class and see his great smile and passion for science. It was an honour to have been taught by Mr Chieffo.

    Rest in Peace Mr Chieffo.

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  30. Natalie whitesell :

    Dear Heather please know my thoughs and prayers are with you and your entire family at this sad sad time. Dom always seem to me as a stead fast ,hard working and caring husband and father.He always had very interesting things to talk about and was very kind and soft spoken. I am sure he influence lots of young minds to think and do better! Love Natalie

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  31. To the Chieffo Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Chieffo was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He was incredibly kind, caring, and funny. His love for learning and teaching was always evident in his classroom. He was always willing to go above and beyond for his students. I have never heard anything but positive things said about him. It was an honour to have had the opportunity to learn from such an inspiring individual.

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  32. Dear Chieffo Family,

    It is with great regrets that I am leaving you my most heartfelt condolences.

    In my final year of high school, I had the pleasure of having Mr Chieffo as my Biology teacher. Compared to all the “critical” judgements of my past teachers, Mr Chieffo was an anomaly. He did not teach for the sake of money, but for the sake of each of his students. Even though well knowing that I had purposefully skipped some of his classes, he treated me with the same warm smile he treated all his students, and encouraged me in many ways most teachers would’ve never gone out of their way to.

    He did not just teach me Biology, but taught me that like himself, there are people genuinely caring and looking after you. I was going to send him an email to thank him and let him know how much I enjoyed his teaching even compared to my university professors. Instead, I unfortunately decided to wait to come visit him in person when I come back during May. Although I will not see him again, I sincerely wish him the best in where ever he is. May his quirky humour and genuine kindness never fade, but may he rest in peace.

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  33. Meaghan Cooper :

    To the Chieffo family,

    I was fortunate enough to have had Mr. Chieffo as my Biology 30 teacher in 2011, and I am so thankful for this. Mr. Chieffo’s passion for his profession was apparent in everything he did as a teacher. He had an amazing sense of humour which he frequently used to supplement his lessons, which always made for fun classes. He created some wonderfully edited biology videos, and hosted his own diploma prep course to save us money. Biology never came easy to me, and I credit Mr. Chieffo with making it fun and interesting, which ultimately allowed me to be successful. The support he showed to all of his students was so appreciated. I am now pursuing a degree in nursing, and I often think back to his memorable lessons as I use that knowledge frequently. My heart is heavy hearing of his passing, and I wish to extend my sincerest condolences to your family.

    Meaghan Cooper

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  34. George and Kim Goodman :

    Dear Heather
    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Dom. Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and your beautiful girls. Please know our prayers are with all of you at this sad time.
    Kim and George Goodman

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  35. Thomas Neupert :

    Dear Chieffo family,

    I am so sorry for your loss and I offer my sincerest condolences. Like many people here, I knew Dom Chieffo as Mr. Chieffo, and hearing of his passing brought sadness to my heart.

    Mr. Chieffo was my biology teacher for my senior year of high school in 2011. I can honestly say that he changed my life for the better, and helped inspire me to pursue teaching as a profession. His class was such a fantastic learning environment. Mr. Chieffo’s sense of humor, encouraging attitude, and enthusiasm made his class a joy to take.

    I have many fond memories of being in Mr. Chieffo’s class, although I admittedly sometimes fell asleep to his pleasant voice as he lectured with the lights off. But even on my worst days, I knew that Mr. Chieffo would brighten my week with his wonderful class. I was constantly impressed by how efficiently he could teach, and was inspired by the quiet pride he took in the videos he showed us in class (which he expertly edited himself). Most importantly, it was so easy to tell that Mr. Chieffo truly cared about his students. He had such an easygoing and agreeable demeanor; it was impossible to not enjoy the brief time he shared with us.

    Other than biology, Mr. Chieffo taught me the value of not taking everything so seriously, and helped me enjoy the educational aspect of my life. He was, without a doubt, a consistently wonderful teacher throughout the semester. From what I can tell, Mr. Chieffo was also consistent in his excellence throughout his entire teaching career.

    In Mr. Chieffo’s own way, he has made the world a better place. His memory will live on in the hearts of the many students he touched.

    Love from Texas,

    Thomas

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  36. Aleya McKellar :

    Dear Chieffo Family,

    I am devastated to hear of the passing of Mr Chieffo. Mr Chieffo taught me Biology 30 at Sir Winston Churchill in 2006. Not only did he teach me, he instilled in me a passion for learning and a love of the Biology discipline. Mr Chieffo inspired me so much that I went on to take Biology in University and I am now trained as a Biology teacher! I hoped to one day become as good a Biology teacher as my original inspiration, Mr Chieffo. I had always hoped to go back to Chuchill and tell him how much he inspired me and it devastates me that I am now unable to do this. I wish I could come and pay my respects in person, however, I am currently teaching in England. I will continue to strive to hopefully be just as an amazing teacher and wonderful inspiration as Mr Chieffo was. Not only will I remember Mr Chieffo for being a great teacher, I will remember his unwavering dedication to his students, his kind and gentle demeanor, and his sparkling blue eyes (all the students always commented on them!) My thoughts and prayers go to your family during this difficult time. I deeply sorry for your loss. I want you to know that I will always remember Mr Chieffo as my original teaching mentor and remember him with a smile.

    Sincerely,

    Aleya McKellar

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  37. Cheryl Sutherland :

    One of the great servants has moved on to rest beside the Heavenly Father. I must express how great a teacher Mr. Chieffo was/is. Always there for the students, happy, excited and with care in his heart. I hope he has inspired others to be a teacher like him, our kids deserve that. Thank you Mr. Chieffo. You will be missed.

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  38. Dear Mrs Chieffo and family,
    I was extremely saddened to hear of the loss of your wonderful husband and father. He was a great man and an excellent teacher. My oldest son had him for Biology and was so inspired by him that he is now waiting to hear regarding his acceptance to four Med schools this May. We have four children and have been in the CBE for 20 years (this is our 10th year at Churchill). Mr Chieffo was sincerely one of the most creative, inspiring, kind, caring and knowledgable teachers we had. I would talk about him to my friends and family because I was so impressed that he would take classes to continually improve his knowledge of science. He was truly a life-long learner. Even though my other children did not have the privilege of having him as a teacher, I would often go and talk with him at parent teacher interviews anyway :). I will be forever grateful that, about a month and a half ago, I was able to have a great conversation with him. He was at school helping with the grade 9 tours and I was there for our daughter’s basketball game. I was so impressed that, after all these years and all the students he has taught, he talked about my son like it was yesterday ( our son is now 24 1/2). He was so kind and encouraging and told me to tell Nathan that he will make a great doctor. We talked about education and kids and families. I am so grateful that we had that time. I honestly believe that my life is better for having known Mr Chieffo. Thank you so very very much for sharing him with the Churchill family. Our thoughts and prayers and gratitude are with you all.
    Sincerely,
    Ann and David Turner and family

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  39. Tricia Mugridge :

    Dear Heather and Claire I am so sorry to hear about your partner and brother in law. Sending prayers and thinking of you.

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  40. Katie Henderson :

    To Mrs Chieffo and family: Mr Chieffo was my favourite teacher at SWC. His spirit and enthusiasm in his Bio30 lectures encouraged my passion in Human Physiology, which has since resulted in me perusing Nursing as a career. Memories of this inspiration will live with me forever. My thoughts are with you through this heartbreaking time.

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  41. Carol, Daniel, Olivia and Cameron Yung :

    Dear Heather, Stephanie, Maria and Domenica

    We are so sorry to hear of Dom’s passing. Please accept our most sincere condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time.

    Lots of love and hugs from The Yung Family

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  42. Stephanie Hau :

    To the Chieffo Family,

    My sincere condolences. It was only 2012 when I had the privilege of having Mr. Chieffo as my Bio30 teacher and I have to say that he made grade 12 a great year for me. By no means was I interested in biology until I had taken Bio30 with Mr. Chieffo. He embellished this course with some pretty lame jokes – sometimes gruesome and cringe worthy, but he never failed to make me smile in his class because he would laugh at his own jokes. I will never forget how amused he looked when he told us the “I’m a wiener” joke and that other joke about the boxer shorts a size too small. Occasionally, he would show us videos that had nothing to do with biology, but that he had found funny and wanted to share with us. Whenever I see the video about the substitute teacher, I will always be reminded of his laughter. Not only was he keen on sharing his knowledge in biology, he was also keen on sharing his happiness with the class.

    He brought extra materials into the class to help us grasp concepts with more detail. I am positive those handouts he gave us required a lot of scanning and editing. Mr. Chieffo really did go above and beyond. Knowing that his grade 12 students would be struggling with several other diploma courses, he tried his best to offer as much help with diploma preparations as possible. He spent a great deal of time printing extremely helpful study packages and put a great deal of effort into organizing prep days at school to save us some money.

    Mr. Chieffo was one of the only teachers whom I’ve had who truly had a passion for teaching and helping students succeed. He has taught many, and inspired many. He told me I was good enough when I thought I wasn’t. He had embodied our school motto, ‘non scholae sed vitae’ – not for school, but for life. Through his enthusiasm, encouragement, and passion I was able to discover my passion for biology and have now just completed my first year in nursing. If it were not for Mr. Chieffo, I would not be where I am today. Mr. Chieffo, I could not have asked for a better teacher and I will remember you always.

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  43. To Mrs. Chieffo and family,

    It is with great sadness as I give my most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
    I was a student in Mr. Chieffo’s bio30 class back in 2005. I still remember how relieved I was to be in his class, because I knew that all the other students told me of how much they loved him as a teacher and that definitely rang true with my own experience with him. I was never really a strong student in high school, but Mr. Chieffo’s class really inspired me to keep trying and to work even harder. He truly made every effort to support students in their journey as best as he could. He fostered an amazing learning environment so that students were given the right tools to succeed. That made all the difference in the world to me as a student during my high school years.

    Mr. Chieffo will be remembered by so many students at Churchill as he has truly touched and changed many of our lives. I feel very privileged to have been one of them. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

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  44. Although I’ve never had Mr. Chieffo as my biology teacher, I attended his diploma prep courses. Needless to say, his expertise from his years of teaching helped me get through my diploma. Even as a student who never had him as a teacher, I can tell his passion for teaching and how much he inspired my peers who did have him as a teacher. Rest in peace Mr. Chieffo, you will forever remain in out hearts.

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  45. Dear Chieffo Family,

    I’m extremely sorry about your loss and I send my most sincere condolence to the Chieffo family. Mr. Chieffo was definitely one of the best teachers I have ever had in my entire high school career. He always had such an amazing spirit that brightened the entire classroom. It was an honor to be a student of such a caring, inspiring, and knowledgeable man. He put in so much effort and laughter in each lesson to help his students create a successful future. I will never forget the jokes, the laugh, and the smile of this extraordinary man. You will forever be in my heart, Mr. Chieffo. May he rest in paradise.

    Sincerely,
    Kathy Yu

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  46. I was one of the few lucky students who had Mr. Chieffo for both Biology 20 and 30 in his first two years at Churchill. I remember hearing horror stories about high school biology and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the workload, but Mr. Chieffo made biology fun and his custom made notes and diploma prep courses were so helpful, I was never stressed out. Mr. Chieffo genuinely cared for his students and I’ll never forget how he waited for us outside of the diploma exam room so that he could ask us how the exam went. He was the only teacher who did this and I was grateful that he was there to comfort us. His passion for biology was contagious and like many other students, it inspired me to go on to study biology in university. I now work in healthcare and I wouldn’t be here without my inner passion for biology, thanks to Mr. Chieffo!

    My deepest condolences to Mr. Chieffo’s family. Be rest assured that Mr. Chieffo made an impact on many students’ lives and he will not be forgotten.

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  47. Shelly Latta nee MacNeill :

    Dear Heather and family, sending my deepest sympathy at this very difficult time.

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  48. Dear Family of Mr. Chieffo,
    It has been a few years since I have seen Mr. Chieffo and doubt he would’ve remembered me out of all the faces of his students, but he was an amazing teacher and inspired me and multiple other students in biology, making it fun and interesting.
    My condolences and prayers are with you during this tough time. It takes an amazing person to become a teacher, and even a greater one to make a difference in student’s lives the way he did.
    Take care
    -Megan Wolfe

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  49. Mikayla Hill :

    Dear the Chieffo family,
    I am heartbroken to hear of the loss of Mr. Chieffo. He was loved and respected by all who encountered him. I had the privilege of being in his biology 30 class. and have him as a coach for cross country. He was supportive, optimistic and genuinely cared about his students. So much so that he was always willing to offer his own diploma prep so we didm;t have to go out and waste our money. I will always remember him for jokes, his presence at almost every school event (camera in hand), and his classic blue shirt. He was an influential man and I know his memory will continue to live on.

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  50. Agnes Ballantyne :

    Heather and Girls –

    Living on the east coast I only got to know Dom in passing, but every time I did, he made me laugh or smile. It was always obvious to me how much he loved you all, and you him.

    Our Nova Scotia hearts are with you.
    love you, Agnes

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  51. Dear Chieffo family,

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I was a student of Mr. Chieffo’s back in 2006. His passion for biology and his love for education were beyond inspirational. His class was always enjoyable and he was the kindest teacher I have ever had. I will never forget how diligently he prepared us and how patiently he taught us. His teaching is what led me to pursue my degree in Biology and I am now in my final year of medical school. I can only aspire to give back to people in spades as he did; it was a true blessing and privilege to have crossed paths with such an amazing person.

    My prayers and thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.

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  52. Zander Laurie :

    Dear Chieffo family,

    I’m incredibly sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of being taught Biology 30 by Mr. Chieffo. He was an amazing individual who always went above and beyond for his students. Classes with him were fun and enjoyable. I credit him with really inspiring me in science because he made it accessible to everyone. He cared truly about his students, wanting us to excel and I will miss him dearly.

    Zander

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  53. Mr. Chieffo was one of my best teachers in high school. He really inspired me to learn and conveyed his passion for biology. I’ll never forget his class about the importance of exercise and Photoshop!

    You’ll be missed.

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  54. Rita Lisella :

    My sincere condolences to you and your family Heather. Thinking of you during this time of loss. Warm hugs, Rita Lisella

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  55. Kaitlyn Hess :

    I’m so sorry about your loss. Mr. Chieffo was one of my favorite teachers and I learned so much from him. I don’t know anyone who had Bio 30 with him that didn’t love him. He was such a fantastic teacher and will be extremely missed.

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  56. He was the best teacher I have ever had back in 2003. He is the reason why I went into medicine and became a doctor. He truly was a wonderful person and saw nothing but potential in everyone. RIP Mr.Chieffo

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  57. I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dom. He was not only a great teacher but also a wonderful person! I will never forget him. I taught at SWC with him and he was a joy to be around. He had a positive effect on everyone he met.
    Sincerely,
    Ian Wereley

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  58. Rita Farnell Whitney :

    Dear Heather,
    My deepest sympathies for you and your family at this terrible loss. I will pray that your memories will carry you forward in the days to come. May you gather strength and encouragement from the deep care and sympathy of others.
    Hugs and prayers to you
    Rita Farnell Whitney
    (Fellow HI grad 1984)

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  59. Mr. Chieffo, your smile is contagious.

    I had Mr. Chieffo in 2010 as my Bio 30 teacher at Sir Winston Churchill High School. As someone who generally cruised through their studies, many teachers had consistently reminded me that I was a mediocre student. Mr. Chieffo was an exceptional person who instilled in me a desire to learn and an unwavering work ethic. It was a combination of his charismatic demeanor, his humorous approach to life, his passion and his illuminating smile that inspired me and many others to learn. He is easily the best educator I ever had the privilege of studying under.

    I remember receiving a mediocre grade on a biology test. Seeing my crestfallen face, he asked me what grade I received. I ashamedly replied and he peered on my test, smiled, and said that was a good grade. I cannot explain why but this moment empowered me to actively pursue my studies. From that moment on, I studied my hardest on every test and exam to make him proud. I always thought I was destined for mediocrity. Mr. Chieffo proved me otherwise. I received my first A grade in his class. Little did I know that this trend would continue throughout my undergraduate studies. I always told myself that upon graduating university, I would send Mr. Chieffo an email explaining the lasting impact he has made upon my life. I regret that I had not done so sooner.

    Next month, I will be graduating with my bachelor’s degree as an honours roll student and will be attending law school in the following academic year. I have Mr. Chieffo to thank for this.

    Thank you for inspiring me Mr. Chieffo. Your students will miss you dearly.

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  60. To the Chieffo Family,

    Mr. Chieffo was an inspirational individual. Being in his class was the one thing I looked forward to in my senior year of high school. I would always look back in memory of Chieffo as one of the highlights in my academic journey. The wisdom and positivity he brought, along with his caring and compassionate personality, he not only made the course enjoyable, but the everyday life lessons from his experiences that he would share in general. My thoughts and prayers go out to this wonderful person and the family that has been with him.

    Sincerely,

    Samuel La

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  61. Hayley Shepherd :

    Dear Mrs. Cheiffo and family,

    Mr. Cheiffo was my teacher for Bio 30 in 2004. I had never had such an engaging teacher who made the subject matter come to life! I’ll never forget a final exam where he passed around a labelled brain (actual cow brain if memory serves) and asked us to identify the parts of the brain. From that point on I was hooked. I am now Clinical Nurse Educator of Clinical Neuroscience at Foothills Medical Centre. My passion for the brain has never waned, and I look back and thank Mr. Cheiffo for igniting this passion. I’m currently enrolled to start my Masters degree in September.

    The world has lost one of the greats. As evidenced above, his legacy will go on through the minds he inspired. I only hope to be half of the science communicator, teacher, and mentor that Mr. Chieffo was.

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  62. Dear Chieffo Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss and I offer my sincerest condolences. Like many others, I was one of Mr. Chieffo’s Biology 30 students in winter 2010 at Sir Winston Churchill. I would never forget his smile, his kindness, gentleness and passion for teaching. I enjoyed every moment while having him as my biology teacher because it was him who brought back my interest in biology and even offered to provide extra after class support if I needed. I have since then became a registered nurse at the foothills hospital and accelerating in my career. His sudden passing is of great loss to all of us as we have loss another wonderful and passionate biology teacher. He will forever be in our hearts.

    Melissa Ho

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  63. Heather, Stephanie, Maria and Domenica,
    Words cannot express how shocked and deeply saddened we were to hear of Dom’s passing. It is apparent from all who have written how loved and admired he was, both as a teacher and a person. Your family is his greatest legacy, cherish each other.

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  64. As a former student of Mr. Chieffo (Bio 30, 2004), I have always valued the passionate and hardworking teacher that he was. Ten years later, I am now a science teacher and I still think back to his excellent example. He undoubtable influenced me on my path and helped nurture my love for science. I know many of his students have felt the same. My sincere condolences to his family and friends and my heartfelt thanks to him for all that he did for his students.

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  65. James Baldwin :

    Dear Mrs. Chieffo and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Dom through his old University of Calgary group of Jeff, Dave, Bill, Daryl, Pete, and many others who would get together every so often to catch up. I always enjoyed my conversations with him about what was right and wrong with the world (including education) and there were always a few laughs thrown in. He will be missed by all who knew him.
    Sincerely,
    James Baldwin

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  66. Danielle Rettie :

    My condolences are with the Chieffo family. I am eternally grateful for Mr.Chieffo’s insight and inspiration. He was my Bio 30 teacher in 2008. Science wasn’t my favourite subject but learning under his guidance made everything so exciting. He left a positive mark on everyone’s lives. Rest in peace Mr.Chieffo

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  67. Jennifer Weir :

    Heather & Girls,
    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Dom.
    I never met Dom but he must have been a wonderful father to have raised such a lovely family.
    May you find peace and comfort in all your memories of him.

    All our Sympathies
    Terry & Jennifer Weir

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  68. Leslie (MacDougall) Keevill :

    Heather,

    Sending you and the girls love from the east coast. Wish I could be there to hug you in person. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love,
    Les, xo

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  69. My sincerest condolences to Heather and the Chieffo Family. I worked with Dom for many years, at the beginning developing on line courses up through diploma review. In fact, much of who I am as a teacher was due to his influence. A person could not find a more genuine and caring man than Dom. I will miss him greatly. His life and personality touched many souls.

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  70. Shelley D'Anjou :

    My dear friend,
    Heather, I just read about Dom’s passing on our class website. I am truly sorry for your loss. I wish I could be there with you and your daughters right now to give you a big hug. Heather all I can say is lean on your family and friends to help you get through this difficult time. I will be praying for you and your daughters. Take care my friend. xox Shelley & Eric D’Anjou

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  71. Rick Tullikopf :

    “Chief” you’ll be missed by all that knew you. You were a great friend to all of us and your smile and laugh were contagious. I know already you and Rob are enjoying a cool one while listening to Patsy Kline. So long Dom. Tooly

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  72. On behalf of the Foothills’ Ultrasound Department, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Chieffo family. Dom will be missed by many and we are all very sad to have lost such a wonderful man. This is a huge loss for our community and I am sure the students will also miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

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  73. Brian Schmidt :

    So sorry to hear of this loss. He was an old friend and we shared many fine times at the University. I will miss that big smile and he was always very social and fun to be around. One of our most memorable times with Dom was at our wedding where he did a fantastic job as MC. We want to wish his family our condolences.

    Brian and Marilyn Schmidt

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  74. Anne MacNeil :

    Dear Heather, Stephanie, Maria and Domenica,

    We are very sorry to hear of Dom’s passing. It is a tremendous loss to your family, as he was a wonderful husband and father. Please know we are thinking of you at this sad time and hoping all the good memories will help you through the grief. Dom always had a twinkle in his eye and he will be missed by all who knew him.
    Sincerely,
    Anne and Stan MacNeil

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  75. Fitzgibbon Family :

    Dear Heather and Family:

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Chris and Katie adored Mr. Chieffo and his kind nature. He had such a gift for teaching and mentoring his students. His diploma prep courses were excellent, and his personal biology prep for his students was so appreciated. He was truly the best!!

    We hope you can find strength in each other and fill your hearts with the memories of family, love and inspiration. Dom will be dearly missed!

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  76. Shelley Francis :

    Heather,

    It brought sadness to my heart to hear about Doms passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughters during this difficult time.

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  77. Leighton Tenn :

    Hail to the Chief!
    I remember the 1st time I met the Chief…I was visiting the famed 7th Rundle from the not so famous 7th Kan and I happened to notice all this activity at the room beside the floor chairma’s. Remember the scene from the Great Gadsby when Nick Carraway first met Gatsby at his Long Island home…it was the same feeling I got when I first saw Dom…this suave debonair Italian, looking like Clark Gable! The “it” crowd were in and out of this tiny room where the music blared out Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight” from the infamous “12 inch woofers”connected to the most sophisticated sound system this Jamaican had ever seen; and yes there was cable TV, the only rez room with cable TV! The booze was flowing from the extremely stocked liquor cabinet and there was the Chief being the chief…entertaining, engaging and smiling from ear to ear.

    I decided I better get to know this guy of import if I was to surviveresidence life…it was the best decision I ever made.

    Over the years in residence, the Chief was a friend, a confidant and one of the main reason residence life was and is such an indelible part of my life and I am sure, for those that were touche dby the great organizer, the great bar keep, the great host! Each one of us will remember those halcyon days because of the Chief. The annual Country and Western party, the annual men’s and women’s smokers, the Rez Flames ballhocky dynasty, the Jimmy Deans Club and especially, the Empress Hotel.

    The Empress was Dom and he was the original Sam Malone in Cheers before Cheers was even an idea. This was where we had the extra jigger of booze from the friendly bar keep as he listened to our ramblings about being spurned by the pretty blond with the 3 B’s who could no go on a date because she had to visit her dying grandmother. This was where we could go on a Friday night to blow off some steam after a hard week of exams. To take a date for a cheap drink and a steak sandwich while Tom Selleck (another Dom look-a-like) performed his disappearing booze trick to impress your date.

    Thanks Dom you gave us all a life preserver in our voyage from snotty nosed high school graduates to contributing members of society…all Hail the Chief!

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  78. Betty Emberly :

    Dear Heather and girls
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss…I tried to read the condolences…they were overwhelming ..what a tribute to Dom and how important he was to so many. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him except through his Christmas music….your east coast friend… Betty

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  79. Olla Kennedy :

    Heather & girls,

    My sincere condolences in your loss. May memories help sustain you through such a difficult time. He was obviously admired, respected & made such an impact on many lives. Cherish his legacy as a teacher, mentor, husband & father. Thoughts are with you.
    Olla

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  80. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Mr. Chieffo’s family. I was his student in Bio 30 in 2008, and if it weren’t for him, I’m not sure if I would have made it through the semester. He was always so kind and ready to help his students succeed and made them feel special, like they deserved his help when they asked for it. He truly was one of the greats and will always be remembered by the people who had the pleasure of meeting him. RIP Mr. Chieffo.

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  81. jerri robertson :

    So sorry to hear of Dom’s passing. He was such a great person and ultimate horse racing fan. I am sure he will be cheering Theta and the rest of the stable on from his glorious view upstairs!! So sorry I couldn’t make the service. We are still moving horses from BC. Know I am thinking of you girls often!!

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  82. My sincerest condolences,

    Mr. Chieffo taught me BIO30 ten years ago but I still remember him as one of the most inspiring teachers I ever had. I can recall a particular time I asked him a genetics question that he didn’t know the answer to. This was before lunch period and he took the time to go research it for me and type out the answer for when I came back from lunch. This stuck with me because not every teacher would take the time to do this. It meant he cared about what I was thinking and wasn’t just there to teach the material. He always took time and care to listen to what his students were saying. I am now a teacher too and I only hope I can take the care to listen to my students as Mr. Chieffo did.

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  83. Jeanie MacEachern :

    Heather,

    Words cannot express how sorry I was to hear today of Dom’ s passing. The tributes to him clearly show the impact he made on all that where lucky enough to know him. I hope you find comfort in these tributes.

    For him, teaching was a vocation not a job. His dedication to all his students, even those in only his diploma review classes, was obvious. I regret not passing on the praise of my students that enrolled in the classes he had.

    I was also amazed at the number of interests he pursued. Horses, wine, music collections and above all his family. You and the girls are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love
    Jeanie

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  84. clarence mac donald :

    My sincere condolences to Domenica and the Chieffo family.I only had the pleasure of meeting your dad a few times Domenica,but I could tell he was a very loving and caring person. He will missed.My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time.
    Mr. Mac Donald

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  85. I had the fortune to be in Mr.Chieffo’s bio 20 and 30 class. He was truly an amazing teacher , and this is recognized even by students he never taught. It was his passion in teaching, science, and life in general that inspired me to pursue a career in clinical psychology. There are few teachers who made such a lasting impact on my life. I will always remember his jokes, his teaching, and most of all, his kindness to everyone. I am truly thankful for having him as a teacher. Rest in peace Mr. Chieffo.

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  86. Dear Heather, Stephanie, Maria, Domenica,,, your dear hubby and dad shall always stand out in my memory of the darling big man who on children’s race afternoon in Antigonish as the first adult to jump in a pillow case for the sack race, grab a spoon for the golf ball race and tie his leg to a child who needed support during the three legged race,, oh, How clearly I can see his big smile,,, my love and sympathy to you all,, Edie,

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  87. Sandi Andersen :

    Our sincerest condolences to you, Heather, your daughters and to the Tulles. I am sure Dom will be sorely missed by all of you, the above tributes to him are simply amazing. Our thoughts will be with all of you during this difficult time.

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  88. Nancy McKellar :

    Dear Chieffo Family,

    I heard, with great sadness, of Dom’s passing from my daughter, Aleya, who was a former student of his at SWC. I taught with Dom at Viscount Bennett in the mid 90s. Although the teaching situation at VBC did not facilitate knowing your colleagues well, Dom stood out for his enthusiasm and friendliness. I was thrilled when my daughter was lucky enough to have him for Bio 30 a decade later. Calgary has lost a wonderful teacher too soon.

    I extend my heartfelt condolences and prayers to your entire family.

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  89. I was so sad to hear of Dom’s passing. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. I was fortunate to teach with him at James Fowler High School. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye; anyone could tell that he was doing what he loved. He was a kind and generous man, who loved his family.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

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  90. Lee and Andy Nagy :

    Our deepest condolences to the Chieffo family. Dom was a wonderful man, whom we first met in residence at the University of Calgary. We would have chances to catch up with him over the years as we met during Parent-Teacher-Student interviews at SWCH.
    We will remember Dom’s warmth and generosity and we are very grateful that our children were able to benefit from his teaching and influences. Our thoughts are with you. Lee, Andy, Stephen and Kristin Nagy

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