Obituary of Geza Zimanyi
February 9, 1928 - December 24, 2019
Advice from Geza on his 91st birthday
It is with peace that we let you know of Geza’s passing Christmas Eve morning as a beautiful orange-pink sunrise streamed through the windows. He is with the love of his life, our Mom, Louise Mailly, most definitely relaxing in the best bird paradise, soaking up the sun, and telling stories of his life here on earth.
Many have said, “But he was so young!” He was almost 92 and still so interested in life and up for an adventure, starting kayaking this summer (‘Why do I have to go to the exercise room, I go kayaking!), always reading on his newly discovered and beloved youtube about modern machining, classical music videos, blueberry farming, moose, and logging for example
Despite a lot of incidents in the last few years that should have hurt alot more, but from which he always miraculously recovered from with amazing help from his family (and recently the amazing Hazelton Residence team), Geza soldiered on in his strong, pragmatic way. He always used to say with a mischievous smile, “If it doesn’t hurt, it is already dead!” It is in this spirit that we share these memories with you.
Geza was born February 9, 1928 in the beautiful village of Szombathely, Hungary to Anna Szabo and Kalman Zimits – later changed to Zimanyi – with four siblings to run around with and cause trouble, Tamas and Family, Kalman (Eva and Evika), Tibor (Francine & Patrick), and Katalin.
Growing Up: Geza apprenticed at the top of his group in precision tool and die. Having this trade, his charismatic charm and don’t mess with me attitude saved him during his seven years as a prisoner of war in Siberia, Russia from the ages of 17-24 (1945-1952).
Travel to Canada: Geza was on the first boat, the ocean liner The Arosa Sun that arrived in Quebec City on Dec. 9, 1956, carrying the 257 Hungarian refugees. The passengers, who fled Hungary after the Soviets crushed an uprising that began in October of that year, were greeted by federal and Quebec City officials and more than 3,000 people on the docks https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/hungarian-refugees-welcomed-to-canada-in-1956
He then travelled to Montreal where his brother Tibor and family, wife Francine and 2-year son, Patrick lived. He immediately had a well-paying job in his trade working 6 days a week, with the rest of the time spent night and weekend skiing, starting up photography and film, and socializing with family and friends including Dave Todd, Csaba, and many great and life-long friends, The Hadi’s, The Sebestien’s.
Family Life: He met our Mom, Louise at a dance (not surprisingly) in Saint Donat, Quebec after a day of skiing with his chaps. Geza and Louise were married December 15,1962 and immediately embraced by Louise’s Quebecois famille magnifique, her 15 brothers and sisters and many nieces and nephews. Geza spoke a little bit of English, Louise only French, but that didn’t matter. Their four daughters, Anne (Patrick & Keegan, Aidan, Kerewin, Sayre) Louise (Javier, & Gabrielle and Claire), Josee (Duane), Genevieve (Ron & Jack, James, Georgia ) were all born in Montreal. Geza worked at Bombardier, RCA and Aviation Electric as well as BC Instruments, before eventually starting his own business, Zico Precision Products. His work included making precision parts for Canadian shuttle arm.
Dad’s favourite things: all of his family and friends, in Hungary, Ontario, Montreal, BC, Saskatchewan, Australia and Bolivia, photography, birding, target shooting, Tim Hortons coffee and scones and ALOT of Timmies napkins, soaking up the sun in his speedo, pineapple upside down cake, Moscato dAsti (with Javier!), going to the beach with koda, Louise and Javier, taking pictures of the grandkids with his paparazzi lens and going to watch them dance, sing, act, play piano, graduate, which they LOVED!. Not surprisingly, he loved precision to the 1/32,000 of an inch (often advising Hazelton staff on how to get everything perfect), dancing so much it hurt to get out of the car, christmas kolach braided bread, Hungarian sausage and hot banana peppers (the key to longevity), stinky cheese, loud accordion music, Hungarian rhapsodies, his hiking pants, eating raccout crumple, porcelain figurines, Ruthi’s turkey dinners, reading, learning things on youtuuuube, freshly ironed shirts, Mr. Christie’s creamy cookies, cataloguing things, calculators, batteries and flashlights (of which he had many), family events and parties...and most recently, Maxie the dog at Hazelton!
His spirit was up for anything, raising four daughters after the sudden death of the love of his life, Louise when the girls were teenagers, finding some humour as a prisoner of war in Siberia, adventures like heli-hiking in BC, travelling the States in his van, cycling 28 km down Mt. Revelstoke with Javier, going at least 50 km/h if not 70 km/h in his mid-70’s!
We will miss you very much, but we know you are feeling good.
Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
And I'm feeling good
Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
Nina Simone, 1965
Given Geza was an avid birder and loved nature, donations can be made to:
Birds Canada (read more here: https://birdscanada.org/) Canada’s national charity for bird research, citizen science, education and conservation. Donations will support keeping common birds common while saving at-risk species.
The direct link for donations is: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/24791
A link to the charity is also provided through the Donations tab of his web page.
Flowers are gratefully declined.
A private celebration of Life for Geza Otto Zimanyi will be held:
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Hazelton Retirement Residence, 111 Avenue Road
St George’s Room.
Parking is available at the back of Hazelton Retirement Residence and street parking Avenue Road and additional parking at the Whole Foods, 87 Avenue Road.