It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our Dad, Engelbert Fiala at the age of 97 at Holy Family Seniors Tower, Winnipeg, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, the Feast of the Ascension.
Dad was predeceased by his beloved wife Luise, his parents Elwira and Hubert, and his brothers Hans and Herbert. Dad is survived by his son Johannes (Shirley), step grandson Brian and his children Aiden and Gavin, step granddaughter Carrie (Andy) and their children Sophia and Zachary; his daughter Claudia (Jerry), granddaughters Maria and Christina (Brett) and their sons Liam and Lucas; his daughter Cynthia and grandchild Gwendolyn and her children Braeden, Kaelynn, RaeAnn and Harley, and grandchild Christopher (Katrina) and their children Natalie and George.
Engelbert was born in Hall in Tyrol, Austria. He met and married Luise, the love of his life, in Innsbruck, in 1947. Soon a son Johannes was born followed by Claudia 9 years later. The family apartment in Innsbruck was growing too crowded and they decided to emigrate to Canada in 1957.
Engelbert went first to find a job and a place to live. Luise and the children followed 6 months later to join Dad in Point Douglas, Winnipeg, home to many immigrant families at that time. Having machinist’s skills Dad landed a job in the aerospace industry. When layoffs arrived Dad’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. He began buying eggs from the Mennonite and Hutterite farmers and reselling them door to door in the North End of Winnipeg from the trunk of his old DeSoto car. Speaking 4 languages Dad was soon everyone’s friend.
The eggs smelled like an opportunity to Dad and in short order, with help of partners, he founded Western Egg Company of Winnipeg building a state-of-the-art egg grading station on Marion Street. Dad’s personality exuded trust and when Dad went to the banks to borrow money, all they asked was, “how much do you need”.
In his heart Dad was a family man, a man devoted to his wife Luise and his 3 children, Cynthia having been born in Canada in 1958. Both Engelbert and Luise passionately pined for the forests and rivers they had left behind in Austria. In Lester Beach they found the trees and the waters as far as the eye could see and built their first cabin with the sweat of the brow. Later in Belair, Dad and Luise Crafted their own little piece of paradise and our Mom Luise filled it with flowers everywhere.
Dad had a great love for his dogs and the bears that roamed through his land at the lake. He claimed that they understood him and that he could talk to them. Never once did any of the bears take a swipe at Dad. Dad so loved the sun and beautiful waters of Lake Winnipeg that he founded Westco Marine selling Bayliner boats and Mariner engines.
After a hard week at work, the cabin life was the reward and the whole family and friends enjoyed sunny days at the beach, good food, red wine, music and even dancing in the evenings. Those were the days of storytelling, tales of bravado and laughter. Memories that last a lifetime were made in those moments.
Dad was blessed with an exquisite sense of humour and a warm likeable personality. With his mischievous smile and a funny one liner he would break the ice every time. Dad was loved by everyone, always a positive thinker, with a generous heart.
As the sun began to set on Dad’s life, Dad had but one wish left in life, to be reunited with his beloved wife Luise. We, Dad’s children, know in our hearts that Dad is now together with his beloved Luise and we, along with his friends miss him greatly.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Dads name to Holy Family Home or to the Black Bear Rescue of Manitoba.
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