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SCHMIDT, Volkmar

August 27, 1932 – May 13, 2012

Dr. Volkmar Schmidt passed away peacefully on May 13, 2012. He was born August 27, 1932 in Heidelberg, Germany and was the youngest of five siblings. He received his PhD from Kiel University, Germany in 1961, thereafter joining Mobil Oil as a petrologist in Dallas, Texas. In 1968 he transferred to Calgary to establish the geological laboratory of Mobile Oil Canada. He lived in a bachelor’s house by the river called The House, renowned for its parties, where he met his beautiful wife Sylvia de Sa in 1970. They had two children, Carmen and Fiona, who were involved in the arts and now live in London, England and Seville, Spain respectively. In 1976 he joined Petro-Canada, designing and establishing another laboratory which now forms part of the University of Calgary. In the same year, the family moved close to Bowmont Park, and the park and views of the river and Rockies were very dear to him. In later years he founded PetroScan, lectured extensively in China and Libya, and worked as a consultant for Teknica. Throughout his career and personal life, Volkmar traveled extensively around the world forming many friendships along the way and revisiting his favourite people and places. His character was marked by a love of nature, poetry, classical music, daydreaming/philosophizing, and hiking.

He is survived by his wife Sylvia, daughters Carmen and Fiona, grandchildren Chiara-Noelle and Milo, his siblings Waltraud and Bernhard, and numerous nephews and nieces.

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Corner of Northmount Drive & Northland Drive N.W.) on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Corner of Northmount Drive & Northland Drive N.W.), on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queens Park Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Volkmar Schmidt, 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. Sister Doreen Figueiredo :

    Dear Sylvia,
    My deepest sympathy to you and the girls and their families on the passing of your dear Volkmar. He certainly had a very productive life and will be remembered for all the great work he did.
    I returned to Dublin a week ago so finding my feet after four years away!
    Love and prayers, Doreen

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  2. Caetano de Menezes :

    Dear Sylvia,

    We are sorry to learn of the death of Volkmar, husband, father and grandfather. He was a polite, soft spoken, kind, courteous friend and gentleman.

    Memories go back 37 years when with Sylvia and her Mum, he attended a community meeting. There he persuasively argued with the kinsfolk of his wife’s family, to proudly include the name ‘Goan’ for their proposed Association and not be swayed by the bad experiences in Africa.

    He is at rest in the eternal peace of the faithful and we pray the Lord, God Almighty, comfort all who mourn his passing.

    To you and the family our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences,

    Mary, Caj de Menezes and family,
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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  3. Merwin & Carol D'Souza :

    Please accept our heartfelt sympathies for your loss of your dear husband, Volkmar. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    May your memories give you strength and may the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.

    Merwin & Carol D’Souza

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  4. Ellen & Geoff :

    We are very sorry to hear of the death of your husband Volkma. We send our deepest sympathy to you and all the family.

    Ellen & Geoff

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  5. Vivian Crandall :

    Dear Sylvia and family, So sorry to hear of the death of Volkmar. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Now the heavens are brighter by one more star. Sincerely, Vivian Crandall

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  6. Ian Richard (Rich) Mayers :

    Sylvia, Carmen, Fiona and Family:

    I am very sorry that I was unable to attend either of the two funeral services for Volkmar.

    Please accept my condolences on your great loss; and this tribute to my sincere and much respected friend.

    I first met Volkmar when I joined Mobil Oil Canada as a Junior Geophysicist, in 1973. For a while we had offices
    a few doors apart and he always went out of his way to help me, “the rookie”, settle in. At first I was a bit intimidated by his formal, European mannerisms…ja, but soon I realized that here was a gentleman with a “heart of gold”, who always offered sound advice and a sincere, warm friendship!

    Later, in the late-70s, 80s, 90s, and early-00s our paths would cross professionally; and we even shared an office briefly when we were both consultants to the Geological Survey of Canada. Always, Volkmar’s warm smile and hearty greeting were a “high light” of my day!

    Volkmar was widely admired and liked as both an expert professional geologist and as a very nice man. He was the sort of friendly, trustworthy person that one would instinctively seek out at any gathering. He will be sorely missed by me, and many others!

    May God bless and give you all the strength to endure your great loss, and to recover gently during the difficult days ahead!

    Ian Richard (Rich) Mayers

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  7. Lyle & Virginia Wilson :

    Sylvia & Family, God bless you all, sending condolences, sorry we didn’t make it to the the services. You all are in our hearts. All Our Love to You Sylvia & Family, Lyle & Ginny

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  8. Graham Davies :

    Sylvia and family,
    My condolences on passing of Volkmar. We have lost one of the true gentlemen of our profession. I am glad I had that brief moment to retouch last year.
    Sincerely, Graham

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  9. Raymond Yole :

    My deepest condolences to Sylvia and family, after seeing the obituary in the Calgary paper. Volkmar and I shared many professional and social occasions, all enlightened by Volkmar’s presence. I am here in Calgary for the CSPG meeting, where Volkmar and I often met. Our profession will miss, as do I, his dedication to science, and his always generous sharing of his knowledge and experience.
    Sincerely, Ray Yole.

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