The life that was Colleen Gail Schellenberg is now ours to remember and celebrate. Gail was born in Calgary, Alberta to John and Ina (nee Hiebert) Schellenberg on November 25, 1956 and passed in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 4, 2020.
Gail pursued post-secondary education at Columbia Bible Institute in Clearbrook, BC, and later a teaching degree from the University of Manitoba. She taught at a several religious private schools in Calgary, (Heritage Christian School, Menno Simons Christian School) and Kitchener (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate) before serving as principal at Westgate Mennonite Collegiate (Winnipeg) and later Rosthern Junior College (Rosthern). She returned to Winnipeg and became the executive director for IJC, Initiatives for Just Communities, where she worked until health issues intervened.
Gail loved the prairies, poetry and her profession as an educator. The qualities that endeared her to family and friends she brought to her workplace. She was creative, laughed often from her heart, was independent, loved the students entrusted to her, and erred always on the side of giving second chances to kids first. She travelled widely in Central America, Europe, and China not so much as a tourist but as a keen observer of life. She was a small gardener, a voracious reader, a knitter, an outdoor music festival fan, and always on the lookout for a Christmas tree ornament as a gift for her many nieces and nephews.
The gift of consciousness bestowed on us by the Divine has, wrapped at its core, the awareness of a limited warranty. How Gail chose to unwrap the gift was reflected in the decisions she made and the beautiful soul she possessed.
She is survived by her mother Ina, sister Kim (Byron) and brothers Terry (Brenda), Craig (Patricia), Bob (Sandi) and Jeff, her brother-in-law Mike (Sylvia) and 17 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father John (2015), sister Karen (2002) and sister-in-law Ingrid Janssen (2015).
At her request, there will be no funeral but private remembrances only. For those who wish, donations to the Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools, or Initiatives for Just Communities may be made.
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
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