July 26, 1932 – February 19, 2023

With great sorrow, we announce the loss of our beloved husband and father, Hans Joachim Schmidt, who died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90.

Hans Joachim served nearly 45 years in the international iron and steel industry, including over 37 years with the Thyssen Group (now thyssenkrupp), one of the world’s leading producers of steel as well as industrial products, equipment, and process plants. During Hans Joachim’s tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of Thyssen Canada Ltd., he oversaw dramatic growth in the company’s geographic footprint, size, scope and profitability trading metal products, technology and constructing steel mills, refineries, power and water plants in Canada and abroad. He also served as Member of the Executive Board, Thyssen NA, Inc. (New York); Chairman, Thyssen Caribe, Inc. (Puerto Rico); Chairman, Thyssen Haniel Logistics, Ltd. (Toronto); Chairman, Thyssen Marathon Ltd. (Toronto); and Member of the Board, Thyssen Environmental Systems Inc. (New Jersey).

He formerly served as Director of the Canadian German Chamber of Industry & Commerce Inc., Managing Director of European Industrial Products, Ltd. (Toronto), Thyssen Steel & Pipe Ltd. (London), and G.W. Anderson & Co. (London/Dortmund, Germany).

Hans Joachim is survived by his dear wife, Sigrid “Sigi” Elfriede Erna (née Lemm); and his children, Uwe Thomas (Marilyn Joan née Duff), Kai-Roger (Mary née Schuld) and Jan-Oliver (Nicole née Brende); his beloved grandchildren, Brandon (Jane née Simmons), Jacqueline, Maggie (Zach Strippy) and Thor-Olav; and his great-grandchildren, May, Jameson and Betsy. Hans Joachim and Sigi were married in 1960 and would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on February 27th.

Hans Joachim was born on July 26, 1932, in Remscheid, Germany, a small town in North Rhine-Westphalia on the edge of the industrial Ruhr Valley. As an only child, he always wished for a sibling but enjoyed the undivided attention of his parents. Tragically, at the tender age of 11, he lost his mother (Lucy née Koenig) to pneumonia, his father (Eugen Wilhelm) to the war, and his home and family possessions to an air raid. In mere days, he saw everything near and dear to him and the warm and safe life he had known taken away.

Feeling alone, abandoned and scared, he was often tempted but refused to give up. Despite tragic personal losses, Hans Joachim did not complain and set forth to make the most out of every day. He wrote in his memoir that, when faced with all the uncertainty and doubt at that young age, he made the conscious choice to make “hope” and his “drive to succeed” his “constant companions.” In fact, the very adversity that caused so much pain strengthened his resolve and ambition to succeed and helped shape the self-made man he later became.

Hans Joachim always appreciated life to the fullest. As an eternal optimist, he could hardly wait to jump into each new day, which typically began several hours before dawn. He often said he would love to go back and do it all again - even without the benefit of knowing what he had learned along the way.

As a loyal husband, beloved father, internationally-respected businessman and dedicated leader who inspired all by example, he loved his work, in which he found deep satisfaction and fulfilment.

He had a gift to recognise opportunity where others saw none and the capability to mobilise and inspire the people and resources to turn those opportunities into reality. Despite countless achievements, Hans Joachim never sought attention for his own good deeds or hard work, rather always linking his own success to the success of others. He shone brightest by developing talent within the team and later humbly recognising others’ contributions for the success of the venture.

Hans Joachim’s motto was “Das Leben ist schön!!” - Life is good! This is the spirit he brought to the board room, the family table and all who knew him.

We will miss his humour, stories and wise and inspiring words.

Auf Wiedersehen, Mr. Schmidt!!

A celebration of life ceremony will be held later in the year. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any of the following institutions:

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July 26, 1932 – February 19, 2023

Portrait - Hans-Joachim Schmidt

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will give you counsel and watch over you.

– Psalm 32:8

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