Joseph Emile Van Schepdael, 88 years of age, passed away on September 23, 2021, at the family farm that he and his wife, Mary Lou, and family built in East Selkirk, Manitoba.
Joe was born on June 17, 1933, in Pamel, Belgium, to parents Emile Van Schepdael and Josephine Van Schepdael (nee Roedsens). He was the oldest of six children.
Dad grew up going to a boarding school and helping his family in their farm supply business. After World War II, the decision was made to sell that business and move the family to Canada, so in 1953, Dad and his younger brother Steve came to Canada to find a place for the rest of the family to settle, in hope of avoiding another war in Europe. The family joined them the following year and settled on a farm in Belmont, Manitoba.
Dad met our Mom, Marie Louise Dejonckheere, and they married on June 1, 1963. Together they had three children, Michael (Lisa), Danny, and Lou-Ann (Joe Andrews) and, through endless hard work and sacrifice, built a farm, from very modest beginnings, starting in 1966. That farm continues on, under the guidance of their son, Dan.
Joe was a very proud Canadian and farmer. He was a pioneer in the hog industry, being one of the first delegates on Manitoba Pork, sitting on the Farm Debt Review Board, and always advocating for the industry. Mom and Dad were partners of Genesus Inc. and Dad was very proud of the company's growth. He loved farming, particularly combining, and took great delight in discussing all things farm related. Retirement was never an option for Dad, and he continued to work full time into his 87th year.
Dad was always a very positive person who took things in stride. His main source of pride was his family, especially his grandchildren, Matthew, Mikaela, Tyler, Tia, Jessica, Nicolas, Tazlyn, and Danica.
The best thing our Dad ever did was marry our Mom. Together they had a strong, happy 58 year marriage, raised a family, and gave us every opportunity to do well. Due to Mom's great care giving, Dad was able to stay at home throughout his illness, with Mom by his side until the very end.
Joe is survived by two sisters, Godelieve Bennet and Emily van de Bennet, brother-in-law John Dejonckheere, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Steve and partner Lauretta, two sisters, Christianne in infancy and Rita Dodds, sister-in-law Lorraine Dejonckheere, John's partner Linda Clarke, and brothers-in-law Joe van de Bennet, Frank Bennet, Jack Dodds, and Carl Dejonckheere.
He will be remembered as a kind, friendly, and hard working person. He will be dearly missed by his family.
We go forward very proud of what he did in his life and grateful that we had him with us for so long.
A Celebration of Life and funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, September 30th at 1:00 p.m. at the Notre Dame Catholic Church, 269 Jemima Street, Selkirk, Manitoba. Interment of ashes at Brookside Cemetery, Walkleyburg. A recording of the service can be viewed via the link https://youtu.be/aQn4hkOwDMs
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to a charity of your choice.
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