BARTEL, Karl Heinz
November 28, 1953-June 30, 2023
Taken too soon, the cornerstone of our family found peace at the palliative care unit, Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital, June 30, 2023.
Predeceased by his parents, Edmund and Justina, Karl is survived by his wife Viola, daughter Shannon (Robb), the parents of Karl’s grandson Roman, and his son Kevin.
Karl, the eldest, has been the quintessential ‘big brother’ to sister Annie, and brothers Rudy (Hannah) and Peter (Sue). A quiet presence at the head of the table during family dinners Karl was quick to enjoy a hearty laugh and could skillfully “stir the pot” to get a rise out of the brothers just to add momentum to the day. Through the banter he was the voice of wisdom, good advice and commonsense, calm, cool and collected.
Much adored by his life partner of 31 years Viola and cherished by stepchildren Carrie-Lynn (David), Neil (Diana) and as grandpa “Karlo” to their children Maija, Matthew and Eila, Viola’s family will be sustained by countless happy memories and inspired by Karl’s mentorship, wisdom, friendship and unwavering support. From car shopping to barter and “kick the tires” with “his girls”, Shannon, Carrie and Maija, to golfing and chess with grandson Matthew to enjoying many times spent with Neil, Diana, Eila and our Italian family. Karl was always eager to show up. Together we all faced challenges, celebrated milestones, enjoyed holidays, and vacations. Karl was all in with a helping hand, a ready smile, his dry wit, quirky sense of humour and signature sense of style. He always brought the ‘panache’.
Growing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Karl attended Colonel John Butler Public School, surrounded by a robust family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and a Mennonite community of friends.
Karl once mentioned that he attended school every day. Grade school was 5 days a week, German school on Saturdays and then Sunday School. His cousin Kathy taught him piano while his ‘bro’ cousins were partners in crime and shenanigans.
As a teenager, Karl demonstrated motivation and resourcefulness holding various part time jobs, including at the local hardware shop, and catching chickens. He even had his own gas pumps on the family farm.
Upon completion of high school at Niagara District High Karl studied Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University, graduating at the top of his class. A lifelong learner he enjoyed historical, political, and economic dialogue. Throughout his career he earned several accreditations and took courses, continuously building his knowledge and skill set.
Karls’ creativity, intellect, talent and leadership skills saw him through a successful and rewarding career path. He inspired and managed many projects in various companies in North America and abroad, constantly reinventing himself during precarious transitions in the manufacturing industry moving toward a global economy.
Karl initiated and managed a project of his own design in Saudi Arabia to facilitate building refrigerators in the desert. During a 9 month stay, sitting in the state-of-the-art managers office he would look out the window to see people occasionally riding by on the back of a camel. A biblical setting in a foreign land.
Amidst all the hard work Karl always found opportunities to seize the moment. A Las Vegas project building water stages at the Bellagio lent a chance to take in a Cirque du Soleil production. On other occasions he squeezed in a trip to Graceland to visit Elvis’ digs, there was site seeing in Milan Italy, skiing in St. Moritz Switzerland, and golf trips with clients.
Throughout his career Karl cultivated enduring connections with a wide network of colleagues all of whom respected his wisdom, judgement and unparalleled solid, steady management style. So many admired and relied on his expertise, friendship and support.
It took a glioma multiforme brain tumor, no less, to take our champion, our rock. His journey was a roller coaster faced bravely with optimism and grace. You have been one of a kind K.B. We love you and will remember you eternally.
We send love and gratitude to those who saw us through this final leg of Karls’ journey. Many thanks to the treasure trove of family, friends and colleagues who held our hands and hearts throughout his illness.
We offer our deep appreciation to the health care teams of doctors, nurses, personal support workers and all staff we encountered over the past year. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Chief of Staff Dr. Arvinte, nurse practitioner Jennifer Lee and the palliative care team on the 2nd Floor Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital. Your professionalism, kindness and care have truly touched our hearts and cushioned a challenging journey.
Cremation has taken place and a visitation will be held at Garden City Funerals & Cremations (formerly Patrick J. Darte Funeral Chapel), 39 Court St, St. Catharines on Sunday July 16, 2023, from 1-4PM with a memorial service on Monday July 17, 2023 at 11AM at Niagara Lakeshore Cemetery, 1483 Lakeshore Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Donations to Hotel Dieu Shaver or Wheels of Hope are appreciated.
Online condolences may be shared at www.gardencityfunerals.ca