Sergeant Major Wilfred Gregory Tschirhart, PhD, (Ret’d)

    • Sergeant Major Wilfred Gregory Tschirhart, PhD, (Ret’d)
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    We regret to advise of the death of Sergeant Major Wilfred Gregory Tschirhart, PhD, (Ret’d) on 20 September 2017 in his home in St. Agatha, ON at age 96. Wilf was a Royal Canadian Engineer veteran of WW II.

    Born in Kitchener, ON, Wilf was one of six kids. He grew up on a farm at Haysville, ON and had to leave school after Grade 10 to help support his family during the Great Depression. He became a carpenter and served in the Royal Canadian Engineers during the Second World War with Works and Services Company on the East Coast - achieving the rank of Sergeant Major. During this time he finished high school by correspondence.

    After the war, Wilf spent his early career in the construction industry, in building design as Works Foreman for N. O. Heipel of Preston. He had a Structural Engineering certificate and was the designer and construction foreman in the building of many hockey arenas throughout Ontario that are still standing. These include Waterloo, Ayr, Goderich, East York, Burlington, South Porcupine, Gore Bay, Little Current, Providence Bay, and Mindemoya. Wilf left the construction trade and joined Canadian Blower in Kitchener, as Senior Mechanical Draftsman, where he worked 32 years until retiring in 1986.

    Wilf was always a believer in education in all its forms - both practical and informal. Wilf volunteered as a teaching assistant at St. Agatha Catholic School and as a caregiver at Freeport Hospital. At age 65 he decided to finally finish his education and, once he got started, it seemed he couldn't stop. He fulfilled his dream of higher education after retirement by attending Wilfrid Laurier University where he was conferred a Bachelor of Arts in 1993, Honours Bachelor of Arts in 1999, Master of Arts in 2002 and Doctorate of Arts in 2009 - all in the field of Environmental Studies and Geography. At age 88 he was the third oldest person to achieve a Doctorate from an accredited University. 

    Wilfred's family will receive relatives and friends from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm & 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm on 24 September 2017 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener. A Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at St. Agatha R.C. Church, 1839 Notre Dame Rd. St Agatha, on 25 September at 11:00 am. Interment at St. Agatha Catholic Cemetery. Reception to follow in the church hall. 

    Condolences can be sent to the Funeral Home. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Wilfrid Laurier University - Elizabeth Tschirhart Award would be appreciated by the family. {khSep2017dc}[zsp]