Claus Wirsig 1933 ~ 2017
He left us on July 8 in the midst of a peaceful nap at one of his favourite places
He is deeply missed by Ann, his wife of 56 years; daughters Denise, Nadine, Karen and Ingrid, and their partners Frank, Ian, Stefan and John; and grandchildren Alison, Colleen, Chantal, Anna, Paul, Rachel and Felix. He leaves siblings Horst, Wally and Roy, Gertie, Ralph and Kathy, Sieglinde and John, and Cathy and Richard, and 17 nieces and nephews. He also leaves an extended chosen family, including the Shen and Zhao families and Mehtab Matthew.
Claus was predeceased by brother-in-law Harold Casemore and sisters-in-law Joan Richard and Joan Wirsig.
Claus was born to Frida and Oscar in 1933 in The Pas, MB, the first of his farming family to be born in Canada. He studied History at the University of Alberta and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar before moving to Toronto. There, he met and married Ann, the love of his life. He started as a journalist and discovered a passion for healthcare, switching careers in his thirties to finish his working life as president of the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, where he made many connections with people who shared his commitment to leave no child without the care they needed. Avid for political debates, he was a great defender of universal healthcare and public service in general. He appreciated city life but always kept one foot in the soil, growing vegetables, berries and flowers that he loved to share with family and friends. Curious and open to the world, he always had the radio on and relished hosting visitors from far and near as much as he loved to travel. He didn’t think there was anything his daughters couldn’t do – except sing – and cherished spending time with them and his grandchildren over large meals, card games and the odd piece of chocolate. A keen woodworker, his pièce de résistance was the small log cabin he built by hand to make room for the third generation at the cottage.
We will celebrate his life on Sunday August 20, 2017 at 1 pm at Vaughan Estate at the Estates of Sunnybrook (Toronto).
Donations in Claus’s memory may be made to World University Service Canada, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, Places for People (Haliburton), or the rganization of your choice.