Obit: CZAPALAY, Steve

Obituary of Steve Czapalay

Twilight and evening bell

And after that the dark

And may there be no sadness of farewell

When I embark. (Tennyson)

Steve Czapalay was born on December 6, 1934 in Springhill, Nova Scotia. He
passed away on March 16, 2017 in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Steve studied at
Mount Allison University, the Nova Scotia Teacher¹s College, Sir George
Williams University (now Concordia), and St. Francis Xavier University. His
teaching career took him to Hudson, Quebec and Barrington Passage, Nova
Scotia, before he retired to Bridgewater. After retirement, Steve spent
several months each year in the Czech Republic where he met and married
Radka Skypalova. Steve will be remembered for his life-long love of the
outdoors and his love of mathematics, two passions that he passed on with
varying degrees of success to his children and grandchildren. Quite often,
these passions were combined in lengthy lectures about the beauty of math in
nature ­ fractals in snowflakes and the Fibonacci sequence in beehives being
favorite illustrations of this perfect symmetry. Steve had legendary
stamina, especially when it came to outdoor activities. He enjoyed many
sports and excelled at badminton in his youth. Steve¹s favorite outdoor
activity was fishing and he spent many years locating and carefully
recording all the best trout fishing lakes and streams in southwest Nova
Scotia. Dad enjoyed telling his fishing and hunting stories and there were
lots of stories to tell ­ all completely true of course; being a
mathematician Dad was always very accurate in details regarding the size of
his catches. Dad enjoyed gardening, studying languages, traveling, music, a
nice barbecued steak, and a glass of red wine. Dad was a lifelong teacher
and he continued to ³teach² those around him at every opportunity. After
retirement, Dad taught English in the Czech Republic and learned to speak
Czech. He enjoyed long, exploratory hikes in the woods ­ once traveling more
than 100 km with only a compass, a plastic sheet, and a bag of apples. He
entertained himself on his hikes by conjugating verbs in French and
reviewing the trickier aspects of Czech grammar. Knowing Dad, he would have
considered a math problem or two as well.

Even with a lifetime of lessons from Dad, it seems too soon to say farewell.
Steve will be forever remembered for his keen sense of humour, his wisdom
and his curiosity. Steve is survived by his wife, Radka in the Czech
Republic, his three children, Ava (John) in Halifax, Stefan (Diana) in
Toronto, and Yvette D¹Eon (Raymond) in Pubnico, his eleven grandchildren,
and his former wife, Joan, in Dartmouth. Steve was predeceased by his eldest
son, Randall, in 2012, his brother Doug, and his parents, Istvan and

Cremation has taken place. Private family service will be held at a later
date. Donations may be made to the Diabetes Association or charity of
choice. Online condolences may be made by visiting:

True pleasure lies not in the discovery of truth, but in the search for it.

[Collected by DAW, 18 Mar 2017]
Both of Steve's parents are buried in Grace United Church Cemetery, Port