Schnell, Harold Norman

Avid skier ’til almost 80
Written by ECA Review

Harold Schnell
1931 – 2022

Harold Schnell passed away peacefully in Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor, Alta. on December 28, 2022 at the age of 91 years, two months and four days.

Harold was born on Sept. 24, 1931, in Castor and was the youngest of eight children of John and Amelia Schnell.

Harold was an avid skier for most of his life, Skiing until he was close to eighty. Along with the Zinger brothers he was instrumental in getting the first ski hill in the Castor area up and running.

In his younger years, he participated in many skiing competitions in the area and won a good many of them.

After leaving Castor, Harold started working for Ellis Construction of Lacombe. During his employment with them, he travelled around Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta building elevators. He became a journeyman carpenter and stayed with the company for many years.

After retiring from Ellis Construction, he decided to go to NAIT and get his cabinetmakers certificate which he completed in 1980.

Over the years he helped many friends and family members with carpentry projects for which he was quite often paid with meals and the odd beer.

In his retirement, he enjoyed travelling, fishing, reading and watching TV. A highlight in his later years was a trip he made to Switzerland.

In 2017, Harold came down with a severe case of shingles which caused him to be in the hospital for an extended amount of time, first in Red Deer and then in Lacombe.

When he was released from the hospital, he was unable to return to his home in Lacombe because of the loss of his eye from the shingles and his deteriorated health and inability to drive.

He then relocated to the Senior’s Manor in Castor with the assistance of his niece Ann Michielsen who continued to care for him until his death.

Harold was predeceased by an infant brother, his parents John and Amelia Schnell, brothers Herbert, Emmanuel, Henry and Conrad, sister Clara Shipton, sisters-in-law Katherine, Annie, brothers-in-law Larry Lane and George Shipton.

He is survived by his sister Hannah Lane, sister-in-law Dorothy Schnell and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral service was held at the Castor Legion Hall on Sat. Jan. 7, 2023. Harold was interred in Castor Municipal Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Donations may be made to Paintearth Lodge, Castor, Alta. T0C 0X0.

Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium entrusted with the care and arrangements, 403-882-3141.

About the author

ECA Review