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Nnamdi ‘Jo’ Ejiogu

1978 – 2017

I could write the typical obit; give names and dates, lists of people he left behind. Nnamdi and I never thought those types of obits did the deceased a service. Who wants to have an epitaph filled with statistics? Instead I’ll tell you about the person. The one you know of as Nnamdi but who I have always called Jo.

Jo came from his last name; Ejiogu. Since we started dating Nnamdi called me by my last name, Steffen. I used to joke that he didn’t even know my first name. So I started calling him Ejiogu only I couldn’t get it out fast enough when we were joking around and it shortened to Jo. He liked it and it stuck. From then on he was my Jo. We were married for 11 years.

That gives you a peak into his sense of humour. He was laid back and didn’t let things get to him. Nnamdi had a ready smile. He had a pure heart, uninfected by the cynicism that creeps in to most of us as we age.

His friends say that his laugh was the best laugh they’ve ever heard. I have piles of messages from the many people who knew and loved Nnamdi. They all describe a friend who would be there for them whenever they needed him. A friend who would laugh easily and who was as kind as he was tall. At 6’5” that’s a lot of kindness.

Nnamdi died of heart failure on October 6, 2017. He was at his happiest. He was on a trip with ‘his guys’ and had looked so forward to it. He talked about the board games they would play and how much fun he would have with the guys. He died suddenly with his best friend, Brent Chmilar, beside him. Nnamdi died happy and surrounded by his guys, who love him.

Nnamdi Ejiogu was born in Calgary in 1978 to parents Godwin and Georgina Ejiogu. Nnamdi grew up with 2 siblings, Uche and Ogo. His family is crushed at the early loss of their beloved son and brother.

You couldn’t rile Nnamdi up. He was in a good mood every day. Stressful things would be shoved off with a wave and Nnamdi would carry on. His optimism was contagious. His gentle soul respected by all who knew him. He loved to laugh.

He was a true wizard with a computer and turned that into his profession in IT. He also loved ‘vids’ (video games) and played online with the guys whenever he could. Board games came in second as his favourite thing to do. He adored ‘Games Night’ with the guys.

Nnamdi built a life for himself that could be called the ‘Canadian Dream’. He was educated in computers and had a thriving career. He owned a home that he loved and had a wife who adored him without end. His group of friends loved him and considered him “the best guy they ever met”.

His legacy is one of an example of kindness; humour; optimism and friendship. As a husband he was kind, caring and the very best support any wife could wish for. He was my best friend. He was my heart. He was a very special person who made the world a better place. He was My Jo.

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Condolence Messages

  1. We think the world of Nnamdi and loved him around our office, truly one of a kind. He will be deeply missed. Our sincerest thoughts with his family, friends, and colleagues.
    – From all the team at BluEarth Renewables

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  2. Some of my best memories from junior high are from playing Madden or NHL on the genesis and playing basketball on the driveway at the Ejiogu household. Nnamdi was always such a great person, a large reason was he had such a great family. I am so sorry for all of you.

    Terry

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  3. So sorry to hear of Nnamdi’s sudden passing. I’ll always remember his kind heart and boisterous laugh. Wishing you strength and may the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.

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  4. Jenn Durocher :

    This was the most beautiful Obituary I’ve ever read. RIP. My condolences to your wife.

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  5. Glenn Sherwin :

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Nnamdi was such a pleasure to work with and engage with. He was always happy to accommodate and help wherever and however he could. His gentle spirit will surely be missed. My deepest condolences.

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  6. My deepest condolences . Nnamdi was always a wonderful & kind person to me.

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  7. Burdine Rex (nee Chmilar) :

    My deepest condolences to Cheyenne, the Ejiogu family, and all of Nnamdi’s friends…
    When I think of Nnamdi, I think of kindness, gentleness, laughter, and joy. I don’t think I ever saw him when he wasn’t smiling. His laugh was infectious and his giggle… even better!!
    He will definitely be missed… Xxxxxxx

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  8. Aaron & Jacqueline West :

    Words cannot describe the sadness this news has brought our family. The best we can do is to try and live by the example Nnamdi set; to love life and treat all those in it with respect and friendship. We need more Nnamdi, not less, in today’s world. We knew him in his earliest Earls years and we are so glad to have had the opportunity. All the best wishes from our family to yours in this difficult time.

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  9. This is a beautiful tribute to Nnambi and tells so much about him. I have known Nnambi for many years and know how much he was a part of games night, football and being with the guys. He will be missed so much. My sincere condolences to Cheyenne and all of the families and friends . Nnambi was the kindest, most gentle, polite and giving person I had the privilege of knowing. He always called me Mrs. Chmilar even though I’ve known him for 25 years. I will miss you Nnambi.

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  10. Donna Richardson (Baldwin) :

    So very sorry to hear of your great loss Cheyenne. I only met Nnamdi a few times but he was such a gentle giant. There are no words……my deepest sympathy.

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  11. Please accept my condolences. I worked with him for several years and Nnamdi was always available with a smile and a helping hand. He will be missed.

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  12. Sarah Clark (Carmichael) :

    Cheyenne, my heart breaks for you. Nnamdi was such a beautiful soul. A boisterous laugh and the kindest of men. He will be so missed, but continued to be loved and adored. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful obit with us. My sincere condolences.

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  13. Jacqueline Marques :

    I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to all of Nnamdi’s family and friends. He was such a kind and friendly person who had a smile on his face every time I saw him.

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  14. Carolyn Moland :

    Please accept my condolences. Nnamdi worked with our firm and brought his infectious smile and positive attitude in with him every day. His laugh would ring out through the office and you would just have to smile. He would always have a kind word and remember everyone that he met. He will be greatly missed.

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  15. Burdine & Colin Acheson :

    My deepest condolences to you Cheyenne and all of Nnamdi’s family and friends. Thankyou for sharing such a beautiful tribute about a beautiful man. I am Brent’s aunt, and only met Nnamdi a few times, but have heard wonderful stories about a friend that everyone loved and looked up to. I’ll always remember his beautiful smile.

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  16. Once again, I had a good cry today over his passing. And what a beautifully written obituary (ugh, I dislike the word obituary). I know how awesome he was. He was amazing to my brother, Brendan, and several of my closest friends Fraser & Jeff Lamb during our high school years (I was a grade ahead of Nnamdi) and shortly after. And by default, I got to hang around him and Uche – and they would come hang at our place in Woodbine or at Fraser’s place in Woodlands etc. Even though I hadn’t seen him much since high school, I guess I was still hopeful I’d run into him soon and catch him up on my life and vice-versa. Alas, I won’t have that chance again now. His laugh was amazing. His heart – one of the biggest. And his friendliness and respectfulness; out of this world. I’m not sure if he ever truly knew how much I valued him as a person and as a friend, even though a lot of years have passed by. But man we had some good times with all our friends. Some great stories as well. The Eijogu family is one of the nicest, humblest, I’ve met. SO refreshing and hard to find these days. My heart goes out to all of them, to Cheyenne and to Brent; I am feeling only a fraction of your pain. He really was one of a kind. Perhaps that’s why this one stings extra hard. Way too young.

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  17. Rick & Susan Carmichael :

    Cheyenne,
    Both Susan and I were deeply saddened by the news of Nnamdi’s passing. While we only spent time with him on occasion over the years, we understood what a wonderful person he was by the way he made everyone around him feel while they were in his company. He will be missed, but also remembered with a smile by all who knew him. Please accept our sincere condolences to you and his family.

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  18. My sincerest condolences to Nnambdi’s family! An amazing eulogy for an amazing guy! He truelly made the people around him shine with his contagious smile and laugh. Always happy to help us computer illiterate fix the mess. Such a huge loss but will always have great memories. RIP my friend!

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  19. Nnamdi was the kindest man with the biggest heart. My condolences to the family. From a former Sanjel co-worker.

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  20. I worked for 4 years at Sanjel where I met your Jo. He filled a room with peace and light when he entered. It was a pleasure to know him. My deepest sympathies.

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  21. Sharon Parker :

    Our sincere sympathy in your loss. Bob & Sharon Parker, Saskatoon

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  22. I just received this news and I am truly taken back. What a great guy to work with and to share some stories. Please accept my condolences. I only knew him for only a handful of years but I will always remember Nnamdi and what he brought every day. He will be missed.

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  23. Rosemary Ruiz :

    Dear Cheyenne,
    Beautiful expressions of love. I never met your Jo, but wish our paths had crossed when you were in California last spring. I would have loved to have known such a wonderful, kind and loving person. My prayers are with you. Hugs, Rosemary and Rene

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  24. Isabel Gibson & Ivan Wawryk :

    Cheyenne, your tribute to Nnamdi is both lovely and heartbreaking. Ivan and I send our love to you, Godwin and Georgiana, Ogo, and Uche and Rena and family. You are all in our thoughts.

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  25. Ben and Sarah Ginzberg :

    Nnamdi touched everyone with his amazing smile, and although we’d only seen him a couple of times since high school we remember him fondly. Our condolences to everyone.

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  26. Anne and Ken Moldenhauer :

    Cheyenne, what a beautiful tribute to Nnamdi! We are so sad for you and all of Nnamdi’s loved ones. He left this world doing one of the things he loved, and his passion and joy will live on in your heart. May you find comfort and support in the times ahead from all your family and friends.

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  27. Cheyenne I am truly sorry for your loss. I thought of Nnamdi often and will continue to do so. I had the pleasure of knowing him from our time at Sanjel. He had such an infectious laugh that when ever I heard it I would come out of my office to join in on the happy surroundings that he always created. Rest well my friend.

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  28. My dear Cheyenne,
    Doug has opened the door to heaven to let in another angel. My heart absolutely breaks at the earthly loss of this wonderful man. His smile was contagious, his laugh resounding and his kindness was never ending. Thank you for introducing us to your amazing husband and sharing him. He will be missed and remembered with fondness and love.

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  29. Our thoughts are with you at this saddest of times
    Rich and Isobel Afseth

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  30. Kelly MacQuarrie :

    I’m so sorry Cheyenne. What a beautiful tribute to you’re husband.

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  31. Marjorie Hihn :

    A beautiful human, inside and out. My world was blessed knowing Nnamdi. Sincerest condolences to Cheyenne, the Steffen family and the Ejiohu family.
    Aunty Marj

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  32. My condolences to everyone in your family.
    It was a pleasure and a privilege to have know Nnamdi. Rest in peace my friend.

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  33. Jeanette Lyall :

    So well said, right from your heart, where he will be forever. I am so sorry for your loss but so very happy for you both that your life together was so amazing! I never met your Jo but felt I knew him a little from our conversations. He sounded like an ok guy to me and from reading all of the comments he was that and more. There are no words to make it better but you are surrounded by love and support and I hope so much that sees you through. Hugs to you Cheyenne.

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  34. I had the honor of knowing and working with Nnamdi for many years. His big smile and humble personality left a positive impression on everyone he worked with. Nnamdi was a big man with an even bigger heart. We will miss you big Nnamdi.

    Sam

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  35. Rachel Cabrera Stapfer :

    Nnamdi was a beautiful soul…a gentle giant with the most infectious laugh, one that I will always remember fondly. My deepest condolences to Nnamdi’s wife, family, and many friends. Rest well old friend, you will be missed.

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  36. Sally Lawrence :

    Cheyenne
    I worked with Namdi at Sanjel and what a treasure he was. He was the guy that everyone went to for help because that’s the kind of person he was – always looking out for others. My deepest condolences, he will be missed.
    Sally

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  37. Shourooq Shaath :

    So sad to hear of Nnamdi’s sudden passing. I worked with Nnamdi in the past ….and I remember he was such a kind person with a big smile on his face.
    My deepest condolences to you and the family.
    SS

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  38. Vivienne Allen :

    Such a beautiful sharing of Nnamdi’s story, you have my heartfelt condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man. I was so sad when I heard of Nnamdi’s passing and thought back on how fortunate I was to work with him at Sanjel. He was always such a joy to be around – his calm, gentle spirit always shone bright. The world will be dimmer without him in it.

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  39. Wayne Wonnacott :

    I only knew him as a kid -I was his baseball coach. I remember him well – always quiet, always respectful, and friendly to everyone on his team. Though he left us far too early, I’m glad he enjoyed the time he had with his loved ones and friends.
    My sincere condolences.

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  40. Chris & Nicole Ginakos :

    We are both deeply saddened to hear of Nnamdi’s passing. Our deepest sympathies to the Ejiogu family, Cheyenne and friends of Nnamdi. What an amazing tribute to an amazing person.

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  41. My deepest condolences to Nnamdi’s family on his sudden passing. He had an amazing smile and a wonderful heart, and was always a joy to work with. He will be greatly missed.

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  42. Candace Thomasa :

    I am so truly sorry to hear of Nnamdi’s passing. As a fellow Sanjel employee, I too remember Nnamdi as a joy to know, always offering a helping hand. His smile and laugh brought a brightness where ever he was!

    He exuded goodness, laughter and light. My condolences.

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  43. We are saddened to hear this devastating news, Cheyenne, what a beautiful tribute. Nnamdi was really one of a kind. He always had a smile on his face, he was a kind, gentle soul. When I think of Nnamdi, I think Gentle Giant, he was untouched by society, which is so rare. Nnamdi, will be greatly missed by all who knew him, Our thoughts and prayers are with you Cheyenne ,and families. also, Nnamdi’s numerous friends. Cheyenne, Surround yourself with friends and families, Hold those memories close to your heart, and may they carry you through the difficult times. .I am Brent’s Auntie. xoxoxoxox Lory and Jon

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  44. I am so truly sorry to hear that Nnamdi’s is no longer with us. I am glad he had good time. He was very humble, helpful and always had big smile. I sure going to miss that smile. My deepest sympathies to the family, and friends of Nnamdi.

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  45. Dragan Georgiev :

    I’ve known Nnamdi since November 26, 2012, when I joined Sanjel Gorporation as part of the IT team.

    I can’t believe this happened and I don’t want to.

    I truly sorry … God be with you till we meet again…

    Dragan

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  46. Cheyenne, I never met your husband, but your loving tribute says so much about his character and your love for him. Thinking of you and wishing you comfort at this most difficult time.

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  47. Jan and Larry :

    Cheyenne, larry and I were shocked when I read this sad news… I know how meeting Nnamdi lit up your entire life and truly was your ‘rock’!!even though we only met him a couple of times he was genuinely sincere in his greeting us and you wore the biggest smile when around him ! Our deepest condolences and please know our thoughts are with you! Hopefully precious memories will help get you through !

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