Walter Spitzig
Walter Spitzig
Walter Spitzig
Walter Spitzig
Walter Spitzig
Walter Spitzig
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Obituary of Walter Jerome Spitzig

Dr. Walter J. Spitzig

Dr. Walter Jerome Spitzig, was born August 6th, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario. He died Saturday, November 16th, 2019 in Windsor, Ontario at his current place of residence, The Village at St. Clair nursing home. He was 90 years of age. Walter was born in Toronto, to his mother, Mary Ann Stock, of Irish descent, and his father, Lawrence J. Spitzig, of German descent. They were married on June 30th, 1914 in Toronto, Ontario where they raised their five children, Eleanor, Loretta, Dorothy, Lawrence (aka: Brother Jim), and Walter. As the youngest of the five children, Walter had an early disposition towards music. His mother was insistent the children remain in piano lessons, even while enduring financial challenges during the Great Depression era. This introduced Walter at an early age to the love and appreciation of music, which he would continue to develop, cherish and master throughout his life. Growing up in Toronto his family remained devote Roman Catholics, which also helped shape his beliefs and values. Walter's parents enrolled him as a boy in St. Michael's Choir School, also located in Toronto. He graduated at the age of 13 in 1942. Here, he would be heavily influenced by the art of music and the institution of what the Church represented, thereby also developing admiration and life lasting relationships with priests, reverends, classmates, and others devoted to the faith and education of music. St. Michael's Choir School molded him into the man he would become with a devout love for music, teaching, volunteering for the Church, as well as traveling, among other career paths. Walter's experiences traveling abroad with the school gave him the exposure and opportunity to perform as a concert pianist, and receive an eye opening education to the world. The profound impact of St. Michael's would eventually lead to two publications Walter would both write and publish on the school's history in his later years. His pursuit for education would continue as an adult. He would earn multiple degrees consisting of undergraduate, graduate, and a doctorate from Berkeley University of California, Wayne State University in Michigan, and University of San Diego also in California. Additionally, Walter also studied abroad in Europe and Moscow. His love for travel would also continue throughout his life, visiting many places in Europe, Central America, Asia, and North America. Walter also had an admiration for athletics, and felt the need to foster a love for both athletics and music simultaneously. Now living in the Windsor region for sometime, he became one of the founding fathers, president of the Windsor Choristers Athletic Club in June of 1954. He organized and coached multiple athletic teams with financial aid from his choral groups who performed at local concerts for Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus music festivals, in addition to events held in Sarnia and parts of Michigan. The Windsor chorister teams would go on to win multiple Ontario championships over the next decade. Walter would maintain this organization as Music director, conductor and composer of the choir, and continue to harness these friendships for many years to come. Additionally, he was also a volunteer Music director and organist for the choir he built at Sacred Heart Church in Detroit. It is here where he would eventually meet his wife, Rachel Orta. Walter and Rachel were together almost a decade before deciding to marry on August 24th, 1971 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They would have a small church ceremony shortly after in Canada with their immediate family. They settled in Colchester, Ontario where they bought their home together on Poplar Bluff beach, just behind Oxley golf course. They would have two daughters, Ichelle Mary Spitzig, born February 17th 1973 and Suzanne Christine Spitzig, born July 25th 1974. Together Walter and Rachel enjoyed hosting parties and gatherings of friends and families at their waterfront home and raising their family surrounded by the serenity and charm of Lake Erie. Walter continued his career path as a senior educator and executive for the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board. Prior to meeting his wife Rachel, he had been a teacher at multiple elementary schools in the district, some of which included St. Angela, Sacred Heart, and Our Lady of Lourdes. He soon ascended to the position of Principal for multiple schools in the county. St. Paul's Elementary school, was his final position as headmaster principal, where he would eventually take an early retirement. In the years to come, an unfortunate tragedy would occur. On March 2nd, 1985 Walter and his family were involved in a multi car accident sadly taking the lives of both his beloved wife and his youngest daughter. Rachel was 39, just shy of turning 40 that month. Suzanne (Suzy) was age 10 at the time of death. Walter and his eldest daughter, Ichelle survived the accident but with critical injuries. Surrounded by the love and care of their extended families, they would eventually heal and move forward, as the remaining half of the Spitzig family. Walter continued on in life, working and remaining an active volunteer in his community. He would continue to travel in his retired years, as his love to see the world stayed with him. He remained close to his daughter, brothers and sisters and his in-laws. His brother Lawrence (Jim) who lived in Singapore, embarking on his own adventurous life as a Christian brother, was very close to Walter and his family, and a loving influence on Walter. His daughter Ichelle also remained a close loving and integral part of Walter's life. Walter never remarried. He became more recluse and private in his latter years, and eventually moved around to several retirement homes within Essex county and the Windsor region. He is survived by his daughter, Ichelle, his grandson, Noah, and his son in law, Nawwaf Barakat. They live in California. Visitation at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church 120 Munger St. W Harrow, Ontario on Tuesday, Nov 26th from 9:00 a.m. until a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. His final resting place will be Colchester Memorial Cemetery in Colchester, Ontario where he will be buried next to his beloved wife and youngest daughter. Arrangements Entrusted to Gerald A. Smith Funeral Home 197 King St. W Harrow. You may send your online condolences to www.geraldasmith.ca