We lost our beloved Dal on August 6, 2019, following his latest ordeal with cancer. Healthy for his first six decades, he then survived a stroke, a different cancer, open heart surgery and various smaller intrusions. But his latest diagnosis in January 2019 of a new, aggressive, malignancy foretold a different outcome.
Dal was born in Vancouver to Walter and Pauline Schindell, a dearly loved son and adored big brother to Kathy. They were a close family, and were nearly crushed when Kathy very suddenly died of a malignant tumour as a young teen.
Dal and Kit (Somerville) were introduced to each other in 1970 by their dear friend and pastor, (and, later, professor), the Rev. Dr. Ian Rennie.
They both loved Ian but they were completely and utterly unimpressed with each other. (God has, indeed, a sense of humour). But they eventually became friends, and Regent College was their downfall. Little knowing that the College would have such a profound effect on their lives, these two shy nerds from the same church sat beside each other on that first day of class, and remained beside each other for the next 46 years. Kit and Dal married in 1973, commencing an enduring partnership of love, friendship, laughter, a shared faith, and a desire to live with integrity and curiosity. Just weeks after their wedding they flew to England where they lived for the next few years. Dal had won what was at the time a significant Canada Council Grant, which helped with expenses. Dal was strongly influenced by Professor Hans Rookmaaker (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and wanted to paint and study in Britain. (In 1974 Dal and Kit took a train from their home in Sheffield to Leeds University where Dr. Rookmaaker was a guest lecturer. They found their way to the lecture hall and joined several hundred others to hear this good man. ‘Rooky’ entered from the back, lumbered down to the stage, stared grouchily at the suddenly silent audience and said, “So. Where is Dal?”).
On return to Canada he taught painting and drawing at UBC, University of the Fraser Valley, and Trinity Western University. And then Regent College hired him to be their first Director of Publications, where he remained for the next 33 years. He became known, especially in North America, for his funny, quirky ads in magazines and brochures, etc., to interest prospective students to the College. He began to teach and co-teach courses on culture, art history and the Vocation of the Artist. A visual artist himself, he was also deeply interested in all other art forms, especially architecture and music. He developed and curated the LookOut Gallery within the College, and held many exhibitions of amateur and professional artists over the years. The gallery’s name was changed in April 2019 to The Dal Schindell Gallery.
Dal loved Regent College. He loved a lot of things. He loved theology. Certainly he loved Art History -and his classes were wonderful. He had near-expert knowledge of the French Revolution. He could discuss Springsteen or Buxtehude, Tosca or Blue Rodeo, Faure or Charlie Parker, with confidence and appreciation. He loved all sports, especially European football and of course, ice hockey. He was a gourmet cook. A true Renaissance Man. Oh, and the bow ties...
Six years after their marriage, Marieke was born, and another six years later, Claire arrived. Dal was a quiet, serious, hilarious parent. He became involved with Vancouver Christian School, where he served on various committees and eventually became Chair of the Board. Meantime, he served as elder at Fairview Presbyterian Church for over forty years.
Parenthood was and is marvellous, but Dal and Kit were taken by joyful surprise at their wonderful new role as grandparents. Dal was an adored grandfather and he loved each of his little ones dearly. One of his T-shirts said, “My favourite people call me Papa”.
Every aspect of his life was shaped by his deep, raw, enduring Christian faith. He took the gift of living - and dying- very seriously (though not without humour).
Dal was predeceased by his parents, and Kathy, and by his parents-in-law, Ron and Lucy Somerville. He is survived and dearly missed by his wife, Kit, by his daughters Marieke (Tyrell Bobowski) and Claire (Ryan Bertoli) and by six awesome grandchildren: Locke and Nash Bobowski and Lucie, Nolan, Harper and Wren Bertoli.
Dal received excellent medical care from many, but we do want to especially thank Dr. Shai Bregman and Dr. Dan Rapoport, whose expertise we so appreciated, and whose kindness we will remember forever.
We look forward to seeing Dal again, but “until the day our eyes behold the city”, we will say a simple good-bye with tears, laughter, and worship, at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church, 2733 West 41st. Avenue, Vancouver, August 17th at 1:30 pm. Please wear a bow tie if you have one. He’d love that.
Dal loved flowers, especially tulips, but the family would be so grateful if you would instead make a donation to Regent College, to be formed into the Dal Schindell Arts and Theology Prize to be awarded to a deserving student each year.
Rest In Peace, dear one.