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Born: Sep 04, 1933

Date of Passing: Jun 08, 2022

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September 4, 1933 - June 8, 2022

Paul Neustaedter passed away peacefully in Winnipeg on June 8, 2022 at age 88. A survivor, educator, builder, and family man, Paul made a full life with determination and enthusiasm after a precarious childhood as an orphan and refugee.
Paul is survived by Marlene, his loving wife of 61 years, his son Carl, daughter-in-law Louisa, granddaughters, Zoe and Alexandra, cousin Peter von Kampen, and many von Kampen and Unruh relatives. He was predeceased by his daughter Karen, his brother Nick, and his cousins, Anna Fast and John van Kampen.
Paul was born near Krivoy Rog, Southern Russia (now Ukraine) into the oppression of the Stalin years. By the time he arrived in Canada in 1947, he had seen his father Cornelius exiled to Siberia, his mother Helene die from typhus, and the brutality of the Second World War. Paul and Nick were taken in by his Tante Sophie von Kampen and her children, John, Peter and Anni. Together they fled the Soviets, first to Germany, then to Canada as refugees.
Paul worked hard to support himself and family while studying evenings and summers for his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education. He later earned his Masters of Educational Philosophy at University of Wisconsin, one of his proudest accomplishments.
Paul was an enthusiastic educator. He began teaching in Grunthal, MB, where he also met his future bride, the principal's daughter. In Winnipeg, Paul taught physics at Silver Heights and Tech Voc, and geography at Daniel McIntyre, where he also produced musicals and led student trips to Spain. He retired in 1989, and in 1996 he was recognized by the Winnipeg School Division 1 as a teacher who made a difference.
Paul was an active member of First Mennonite Church. From organizing youth events to serving many years on church council and committees, Paul embraced the church community, where he and Marlene also made cherished, lifelong friends. He also helped create Westgate Mennonite Collegiate and co-founded Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre.
Paul often said life's greatest gift was to love and to be loved. He found that with Marlene Unruh, and their devotion to each other spanned more than six decades. Married in 1960, they set sail from New York in 1962 on a months-long tour of Europe. Karen was born in 1964, Carl in 1966, and the family settled into the house on Cordova Street that would see countless family gatherings, parties and meticulous maintenance by Paul.
Paul loved to build and could fix anything, from the cozy cottage at Royal Lake to many pieces of finely crafted furniture. After retirement, he opened the Cordova Gallery in his basement, framing pictures and keeping up with friends and family.
Paul and Marlene were steadfast in their support for Karen as Multiple Sclerosis stole her independence and abilities. This was something Paul could not fix, but he and Marlene showed up every single day for Karen, devoted and caring parents to her last breath.
Whether entertaining friends or his beloved granddaughters, Paul loved to tell a tale. His opinions were strongly held and freely shared, often with a Scotch. His stories were funny, thrilling and heartbreaking, full of his own spirit of survival and enthusiasm for life.
A memorial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Mennonite Central Committee's Welcome Program for refugees who, like Paul, contribute immeasurably to Canada.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 14, 2022

Condolences & Memories (16 entries)

  • Mr. N. was like a second father to me. I have learned many lessons from what he said, and especially from how he lived his life. I am sad he is gone, but so grateful I had the chance to know him and be in his life. Condolences to Carl, Marlene and family. - Posted by: Doug (Shearer) on: Jul 22, 2022

  • Carl, I’m very sorry your Dad has passed. I think I only met him once but I do remember his warm smile and engaging conversation. Thinking of you at this time. Caroline - Posted by: Caroline (Friend) on: Jul 20, 2022

  • I had him as a teacher at Tec Voc. He was my home room teacher as well as geography. He made geography interesting and you learned just from his talking. It was an all girl class and I remember he was having a talk with us and gave us the advise to make sure the engagement ring was paid for before marrying. He is one teacher that I never forgot. - Posted by: Bonita (Past Student at Tec Voc) on: Jul 08, 2022

  • Paul was my Grade 8 English teacher in Hugh John MacDonald and my grade 12 Geography teacher at Daniel Mac. In Geography we learned first hand about WW2. And about why roads are banked at curves. And about Bavarian Motor Works. He was able to bring his experience down to us firsthand. Never was there a more engaged class of teenagers. In the Grade 8 English class, which he took over in January, we did a photography project on animals that interested us. We used a 35mm SLR camera mounted in a device allowing us to zoom in on the subject photo to get just what we wanted in our photo. Paul's class was not your typical English class. The results were presenred to the school. English class became for us a living subject. Paul brought Spain to my life and recomended the book 'Iberia" by James A Michner. It is because of Paul that I went to Europe for those four months, most of it spent in Iberia. The good that he did will long outlast our children in ways we may never know. Paul Neustaedter will not be forgotten. - Posted by: Lloyd Stinsin Sotas (Student) on: Jun 27, 2022

  • One of the most inspiring people I have ever met. He was one of the best teachers a student could ever have. I speak of him often in my classes. He made everything seem effortless. The personal stories in class always made them extra special for me. My deepest condolences to his family. It is a painful loss to lose someone so positive, patient, and loving. - Posted by: Arlete (Former student) on: Jun 16, 2022

  • Marlene, I was saddened to hear of Paul's passing. I only met Paul a few times, but I have a fond memory of one encounter in a lineup at a conference. May your memories sustain you during this time of loss. - Posted by: Armin Wiebe (Acquaintance) on: Jun 15, 2022

  • So sad to hear of the passing of Mr.NEUSTAEDTER, he was my geography teacher at Daniel McIntyre HS. He was a wonderful teacher who made lessons fun and interesting. Still remember him joking about extra credit for any student who could spell his name correctly on the test. My deepest condolences to his family, he will be missed by all who knew him. - Posted by: Fatima Santos (Student ) on: Jun 15, 2022

  • I still have my Grade 10 Geography project from DMCI. Mr. Neustaedter helped me to preserve some old family photos as part of my Family Tree project. He was so generous with his time and he left an indelible mark on me as his student. May his soul rest in eternal peace. - Posted by: Vycki Atallah (Anastasiadis) (Former Student) on: Jun 15, 2022

  • Mr. Neustaedter was my home room teacher. I remember him as kind and humorous. A very vivid memory I have, as we spent a half hour study-period in our classroom, was him reading a list of names of boys from the all-boys classes who were asking about the girls in our class! We laughed so hard just waiting to see whose name came up next! He was so funny. I never forgot him. Mary Anne Shore - Posted by: Mary Anne Shore (Former Student) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • Uncle Paul will be remembered for his story telling and great attention to historical details. He always held a captive audience and had such a way with words! - Posted by: Tess (Niece) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • Having worked with Paul so many years at Daniel McIntyre HS, it was with sadness that I learned of Paul’s passing. This true gentleman encountered all with honour, integrity, kindness and compassion. To his wife, Marlene, his family and friends, my sincere condolences. Lucille Bisignano - Posted by: Lucille Bisignano (Colleague ) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • Mr Neustaedter was my geography teacher in 1978 at Daniel McIntyre. To this day I still remember how enjoyful it was to attend his classes. He was a great teacher and told greater stories. Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Joe Bettencourt (Ex Student) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • A man with purpose; gentle, kind, warm hearted, understanding, compassionate, identified the best in each person, a scholar, spoken with purpose to each word he exhaled! May we all learn from his teachings as a teacher, a Christian and a gentlemen He was a gift to us all! May Paul be blessed in his new Heavenly home! Ab Loewen - Posted by: An Loewen (First Mennonite Church) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • One of the best and most memorable home room teachers I ever had. Your work is done now. - Posted by: Gerry (Former student) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • Mr. NEUSTAEDTER was my geography teacher at Daniel McIntyre. He made geography fun to learn and was a wonderful storyteller sharing a lot of his travels all over the world. RIP sir - Posted by: Tony Mariani (former student) on: Jun 14, 2022

  • I do remember that Paul and Marlene were so often at the centre of gatherings in the arts community, lots of laughter, good food and wine. He will be dearly missed, and remembered with love. - Posted by: Sandra Birdsell (an old friend) on: Jun 14, 2022

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