Obituary of Normar Peter Schaffrath
June 4, 1941 - Brandenburg, Germany
May 2, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta
Normar Peter Schaffrath of Calgary, AB, passed away on Tuesday, May 2 at the age of 81 years.
Norm was born in Brandenburg, Germany in 1941. When he was 4 years old his family moved from Brandenburg to the southern province of Bavaria. His mother, Hedwig, and his siblings undertook the harrowing journey on foot in order to get to the western province. He always told the story of how he had to do a portion of the trip in one shoe as he lost a shoe before they got to their destination. It was a memory that stayed with him throughout the years.
Norm became a baker’s apprentice when only 14 years old after leaving school. He was a brilliant student and wanted to go on to higher education but the family did not have the money. He undertook the early morning hours of the bakery and worked hard to learn his first trade. In later years he would bake his own bread and buns that he would freely give to family and friends.
When Norm was 18 years old, he completed his second apprenticeship and became a steel fabricator like his father, Josef Schaffrath. Later his son, Udo would also become a steel fabricator, and his grandson, Jordan, would adopt the trade as well.
Norm married Hannelore (Lori) Knippel on April 20, 1962 in Irschenberg, Germany. They met at Lori’s 20th birthday party. It was an interesting family fact that Norm and Lori had the exact same birthday, June 4, 1941. Additionally, Lori has a twin sister also born on that day. They were married 61 years at the time of his passing. They had two children, Gudrun in 1962 and Udo in 1964.
In February of 1966, Norm and his two brothers, Fred and Ingo, immigrated to Canada. Later that year in May, Lori and the two children joined him in Canada along with Fred’s wife and child. Their first home was in Hamilton, ON where they lived from 1966 until 1968, when they moved to Northern Ontario to the small community of Tilden Lake. They would spend from 1968 to 1977 there.
Norm enjoyed the rural life with his family and his brothers and their families. He was an avid fisherman and hunter. The brothers enjoyed all types of outdoor sports including snowmobiling, ice fishing, and even built bush buggies out of Volkswagen Beatles in order to traverse the bush while hunting and fishing. All three brothers would later build cottages on Jumping Caribou Lake in Ontario, purchasing building plots side by side and carving rural retreats for their families out of the forest. Lori would help bring every piece of lumber and building material across the lake in their boat in order to get the structure built. It was a happy place for the family to spend summers.
In 1978, Norm moved the family to Calgary, AB in hopes of giving his children better opportunities than rural Ontario would afford them. He undertook new adventures in his new province. He had always loved skiing in Germany and resumed the sport when he got to the Rocky Mountains. He and Lori also became avid tandem bike riders and took many long-range trips with their friends each year. They also enjoyed camping with their children, which later also included their grandchildren.
Norm is survived by his wife, Lori, his children, Gudrun and Udo, and their spouses, Carey and Debra. He had four grandchildren: Andrea, Eric, Jordan, and Hannah.
Udo and his wife live in Callander, ON not far from where he grew up. Gudrun and her husband live in Airdrie, AB.
Norm is also survived by his younger brother, Ingo Schaffrath, who lives in Creston, BC with his wife Monika. He was pre-deceased by his older brother, Fred who made his home in Martin River, ON.
We will remember Norm for his driven work ethic and his exacting nature. He was a man who got the job done and it was always done perfectly. The family lost him abruptly and too soon. He wanted to live to be 100 years old but his heart was not made for a longer journey. We will miss him every day.
Condolences, memories, and photos may also be shared and viewed at www.calgarycrematorium.com.