Siegfried Schnerch, who was born in Lodz, Poland, on November 9th, 1941, died in Montreal, Canada on December 26th, 2019. He will be missed by his aunt and uncle Klaus and Hella, as well as his many cousins, Heidi, Irene (Denis), Ursula (Tom), Robert (Florianne) and Karin (Fabrice).
Deep gratitude to all the staff at the Douglas Hospital for outstanding care and compassion. Also, a special thank you to all the support workers and care givers that took care of Siegfried throughout the years.
A commemoration of his life will take place on Friday January 10th, 2020 at Voluntas Commemoration, 4695 boulevard Saint-Jean in Dollard Des Ormeaux. Visitation at 10 am, followed by a ceremony at 10:30am. Siegfried will be buried at the Cote-Des-Neiges Cemetery at 12 pm the same day.
The family welcomes any thoughts or memories that you have of Siegfried shared in the comments below.
Voluntas Commemoration in care of arrangements.
Tracy GrosvenorJanuary 3, 2020 at 12:57 pm
I will remember Siegfried as a very kind person with a gentle soul.
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 9:06 am
Tracy, very well said ! Thank you
AntoinetteJanuary 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm
We will always remember mr Siegfried Schnerch for his depth of knowledge. His love of classical music and its history . Also his love of tennis and was very well versed about its history. We were very sad to hear of his illness and passing. Our condolence to all members of his family.
Antoinette Ellis and Dale Reece
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 9:05 am
Antoinette and Dale, thank you for your years of loyal friendship to Siegfried. He often talked about you. I thank you for all the care you gave to him throughout the years.
Heidi GutzJanuary 4, 2020 at 11:10 am
While our hearts are filled with sadness we have fond memories of our dear cousin Sigi.His love and appreciation of classical music comes to mind, as he shared many of his favorite recordings whenever we saw him Sigi was a unique person with a great intelligence, a wonderful sense of humour, and a phenomenal memory.
May he rest in peace in the arms of the angels.Remembering you always Sigi….
Heidi Tracy Christopher and Kate
Irene Denis Thomas and Simon
Ursula Tom Jennifer Alana and Miles
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 11:36 am
Hello Heidi, I also share many fond memories with Siegfried. He thought me alot about classical music, and I have come to appreciate it more and more. When he smiled, I felt like the entire world smiled.
Camillo ZacchiaJanuary 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm
Dear Karin and family,
Most of you may not know me but I first met Sigfried in 1986 when I started working as a psychologist at the Douglas Institute. I originally planned to continue work begun by my predecessor who was working on Sigfried’s challenges such as how long it took him to do things like shave or get dressed. I quickly saw that I wasn’t able to make much progress in these areas. But somehow it didn’t seem to matter. Rather than give up I decided that he didn’t need to change his behaviour as much as he needed simply to connect to people. It didn’t take long for me to see that he was not what I expected. He was an engaging and interesting man who never lost his passions for classical music and for Melbourne and Australian rules football! I soon changed my approach. While I still focused on helping him overcome some of his challenges in his foster homes and with his physical issues, our sessions together became more social visits than therapy. We would share a coffee, talk about his most recent challenges with his living arrangements, and then move on to the only topic that ever really mattered to him: Bruckner, Bruckner and Bruckner!…and which orchestra was the best in the world (based on how loudly they played the trombones at the end of every Bruckner symphony!)
He would ask me to find an orchestra on the internet, then he’d read its profile and history, and then, most important of all, count the number of trombonists among the players! While I often teased him about his narrow focus, I always found him incredibly insightful and knowledgeable. He taught me more about classical music than anyone I have ever met. His memory was a gift and he seemed to remember every recording he ever heard. I had the privilege of seeing the MSO perform Anton Bruckner’s 4th symphony with him one day.
I also had the pleasure and honour to share time with his mother and found her to be a remarkable woman with a heart of gold. On the day she died, I was called by his social worker who wanted my advice on how to break the news to him. I told her that I would go visit him and tell him myself. Sigfried reminded me many times over the years how much he appreciated that I was the one who told him.
Over the last year, I made sure to visit Sigfried every week. I would download his latest request and, after chatting for a while, would play it for him. He would listen with a smile on his face the whole time.
Sigfried, while I suppose I could be considered your psychologist, I would prefer to be known as your friend.
I”m glad you’re now able to enjoy a coffee with Anton! I will miss you, my friend!
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 11:28 am
Dr Zacchia, thank you for attending Siegfried funeral and all your years of loyal friendship. The family was very touched by your speech yesterday and the kind words posted on this site. I think you knew him the best and this comes through when you talk about him. He trusted you implicitly, he used to tell me, “Dr Zacchia said this, Dr Zacchia said that”. He valued the time he spent with you and did not want it to end, always asking for a few more minutes. He kept all those printouts and CD’s you gave to him. You were able to see through his health issues and bring forth all his beautiful gifts. The family is eternally grateful for your constant presence in his life, your love and care for him.
Lucie DuboisJanuary 4, 2020 at 9:09 pm
All my deepest sympathies to Karin and family.
I will always remember Mr. Schnerch as my “hansom man” and “my gentleman”.
I consider myself lucky to have been able to take care of him through his illness.
I will deeply miss him calling or asking for me, to come and brew him a nice cup of coffee .
I will miss him, asking me what time would I be back from my lunch or, at what time would I be starting the next morning.
I will miss him asking me every day for his famous box of rice krispies at breakfast.
And, impossible not to mention his love for classical music. That really impressed me. He actually taught me a bit about it and now,
I kind of appreciate that music more and more every day.
I will miss and always remember his gorgeous smile.
Thank you Mr. Schnerch for everything and may you rest in peace my friend.
Lucie, your PAB at the Douglas Institute
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 9:03 am
Dear Lucy, thank you so much for taking the time to write a few words. This means a lot to me and my family. Thank you also for the flowers, I felt your presence there with us yesterday during the burial. Your bond with Siegfried became so close that I think you could anticipate his needs. If you had to leave the room, he wanted to know when you were coming back, you provided him a sense of security. Although he did not express it, I know he was grateful for everything you did, and I will be eternally grateful as well. Thank you for everything.
Pierre A. RichardJanuary 6, 2020 at 10:46 am
I will always cherish my memories of accompanying Mr Schnerch. Sometimes through music, sometimes through silence, sometimes through deep philosophical conversation, sometimes through laughter. I really enjoyed each moment passed at his side, and I feel privileged to have been able to know him during his last year. He made me discover new musical landscapes as well as his personal stories, an intimate gift I will treasure forever. Thank you Siegfried.
P.A. Richard, your Spiritual care professionnal at the Douglas
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 9:01 am
Dear Pierre, thank you so much for taking the time to write a few words. This means a lot to me and my family. Although we never met, I heard good things about you. Siegfried appreciated your visits, and I will be forever grateful.
AndréannJanuary 6, 2020 at 7:32 pm
All my deepest sympathies to Karin and family.
Siegfried was the strongest person I’ve ever met. He had his own way of seeing things and despite everything he has been through, he could always find something good to hold on to. I admire his resilience. Over the months I’ve worked with him we developped a great bound, a special bound. He thruly made coming for work easier everyday. I enjoyed drinking my coffee with him in the morning, talking about things that he liked, Bruckner obviously, but aslo meeningfull time of his life and history. I learned something from him almost everyday.
The greatest memory I have of him is when I baked him cupcakes for his 78 birthday. I wanted to surprise him. I entered in his room with some collegues to sing “happy birthday”. The smile on his face was just magnificient, it made my heart melt. He had the most beautifull smile. This particular moment reminded me of the reason I decide to become a nurse in the first place. To put joy in the life of people in a time they need it the most.
He once told me that I’ve brighten his day like a ray of sunshine. I have to say he did the exact same thing for me.
In paper he was my patient but in my heart he was and will always be my friend.
With all my love,
Andréann, nurse at Douglas Hospital.
KarinJanuary 11, 2020 at 9:02 am
Dear Adreanne, thank you so much for taking the time to write a few words. This means a lot to me and my family. Thank you also for the flowers, I felt your presence there with us yesterday during the burial. The day that you did his birthday celebration was magical for him. He felt your love for him, and this is what touched him profoundly. He could not stop talking about it to me, he was very happy. I will be eternally grateful for to you for bringing these moments of joy and care to him.
LaurenceJanuary 15, 2020 at 8:50 am
I was very lucky to get to know Siegfried. He was very cultivated about music and had a good sense of humour. I will miss having philosophical discussions with him. My sympathies to his family and friends. He was very fortunate to have you in his life.
KarinJanuary 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Laurence, I have thought of you often over the past few months. I appreciate that you came to visit Siegfried shortly before his passing. You were such a pillar in his life. You are very good at what you do, and you helped both Siegfried and I very much. For this, I will always be grateful.
Sasha BringloeJanuary 16, 2020 at 7:04 am
I feel so blessed to have know Siegfried. He was a kind, smart soul who always enjoyed discussing classical music and his past. I loved hearing his stories and “brightening his day”. He taught me a patience that I will never take for granted. My deepest sympathies to Karin and your family.
KarinJanuary 22, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Sasha, your devotion to Siegfried will never be forgotten. You always tried to brighten his day, and I know you meant a lot to him. We are very grateful you were there with him during his time at hospital.