October 18, 1936 – October 23, 2011
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Harry Schaefer on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at the age of 75 years.
Harry was born, raised and lived most of his life in Calgary. He attended University of Alberta where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1957. He became a chartered accountant two years later with KPMG (Riddell Stead) and joined TransAlta Utilities in 1963. He continued to work for TransAlta in many financial roles culminating in the role of Chief Financial Officer until he retired in 1993. He served as Chairman of the Board of TransAlta for five years ending in 1996. With his expertise in financing and corporate takeovers, and his leadership on corporate governance and ethics issues, Harry served as a director and audit committee chair of many prestigious boards, including TransCanada Corporation, Telus, Agrium, Fording Coal, Sun Life and Mount Royal University. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was honoured by many organizations including being named a Fellow of the Alberta Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors, as well as receiving the Frank Capon Distinguished Service Awards for FEI Canada and the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. Together with his successful business career, Harry had a wonderful personal life and a cherished family.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Joanne, three children and their spouses, Kathy (Steve), Karen (Dien) and Rob (Barb); seven grandchildren Joel, Kristi, Julia, Danny, Cameron, James and Michael; his brother Ernie; his sister and brother-in-law Ruth and Bill Kerr; six nieces and nephews Chris (Yvonne) and Andrew, Doug (Beth), Mel, Jennifer and Donni (Scott). His mother and father, Kate and Ernst, and his sister-in-law, Dorothy predeceased him.
Harry had many interests and lived his life to the fullest. He enjoyed hobbies of golf, tennis, bicycling, and most particularly, photography and computers. Harry loved capturing spectacular images of the people and places he treasured and sharing them with his friends and family on Flickr, and just recently, Google+. This fascination with technology was an example of Harry’s drive to learn, to be on the leading edge and to improve himself and his knowledge of everything of interest to him. A mentor and friend to many, his integrity, honesty, and compassion left an enduring impression on so many people that he knew. His love of life, his optimism and his grace will be deeply missed.
Please join us in a celebration of Harry’s life at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to The Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary (3330 Hospital Drive N.W., Calgary, AB., T2N 1N4. Cheques must payable to the University of Calgary in memory of Harry Schaefer to be directed to the fund in his name) or to a charity of your choice.
When we think of Harry we think of this poem:
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember him only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn you back
Or you can do what he would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
By David Harkins
In living memory of Harry Schaefer, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences