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Craig Kevin Schnell

June 23, 1957 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 66) 66 Years Old

Craig Schnell Obituary

Craig Kevin Joseph Schnell
June 23, 1957 - January 14, 2024

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Craig Schnell on January 14, 2024, at the age of 66. Craig passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his Wife Jo-Ann (Zeer), Children Jarret (Sara), Granddaughter Caroline, Kay Lea, Parents Gerald and Betty Schnell, Siblings Mike (Della), Brad, Gwen Torie (Keith), Pam Rutledge (Jim), Ken (Joanne), Phil (Charo), along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Craig was born in Lampman, SK, in 1957. In 1961, the Schnell family moved to Cessford, where Craig spent his formative years growing up on the Hudson Bay camp. Born with a zest for life, Craig quickly became known as 'one of those Schnell boys' by the community. Craig, often called Craigy by his loved ones, worked and played hard from a young age. He began his career in the oil patch and founded Maverick Oilfield Services alongside his brother Mike in 1978. Craig then pursued his passion for flying and he never looked back. He earned his pilot's license in 1981, marking the beginning of a lifelong career in aviation. 

After an adventurous youth, Craig was ready to begin his next adventure: starting a family. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jo-Ann in 1984. He moved his young family up to northern Saskatchewan in 1989 and they became the proud owners of LaLoche Airways. Craig spent the rest of his career as a pilot, logging over 12,000 hours of flight time on various aircraft, including an additional 1,400 hours on his cherished float planes. Craig was well-known and respected in the aviation industry. Craig dedicated much of his career to flying over the northern bush, the prairies of his youth, and later, his wingtips touched many parts of Canada and the United States.

Craig was a proud and gracious man with a big heart, a big laugh, and he lived his life fully. Craig was a beloved father, and husband, a treasured brother, and son, and a dear friend to many. Craig was a deep and detailed thinker, a planner, a story-teller, a man of his word, an entrepreneur, a captain, a top-notch pilot, a boss, a mentor, an instructor, a mental math whiz, a dreamer, a tinkerer, a collector of old vehicles, a farm hand, a rig hand, a handy-man, a truck driver, a biker, a fisherman, a prairie boy, a northern bushman, a hockey player, a curler, a scuba diver, a teaser, a toastmaster, a conversationalist, a good neighbour, a proud Grandfather, and above all else, a man who always put his family first.

Craig had a remarkable gift for connecting with those around him. His infamous, winning grin, that gleam in his eyes, and his genuine, friendly presence won over the hearts of many. True to form, Craig left behind a legacy of joy in the hearts he touched. He will be deeply missed and his laugh will forever be remembered through the radio waves in the sky and throughout the universe.

There will be a Celebration of Life held for Craig in warmer days ahead. Event details will be shared with friends and family in early spring.

Donations in memory of Craig are gratefully accepted to Enviros Social Services: This link takes you directly to the donation page, and click on Craig’s tree.

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