Celebrating the life of Fidelis Ifedi

Fidelis Obiajulu Ifedi July 28, 1946 - November 30, 2016

Fidelis Obiajulu Ifedi
July 28, 1946 – November 30, 2016

Fidelis Obiajulu Ifedi, at the ripe age of 70 years old, of Ottawa, Ontario, succumbed to cancer peacefully at his home with his caring and loving wife by his side on November 30, 2016.

Fidelis is survived by his wife Stella whom he had been married to for 37 years, his daughters Frances Ohanyere and Emelia Fowora, sons Alexis Ifedi and Robert Ifedi, brothers Godwin Ifedi and Valentine Ifedebe, sisters Victoria Akwali, Nkechi Agbasi, Teresa Echezona, Christie Ibeh, and Nwanneka Efobi, grandchildren Leo Fowora and Maximillian Fowora and many loving nieces, nephews and extended family. Fidelis was a loving father, husband, grandfather and friend to all.

Fidelis was born July 28, 1946 in Jos, Nigeria, to Theophilus and Grace Ifedebe. He graduated from University of Carleton with a BA Economics in 1977, B. Administration from University of Ottawa in 1979, B.Comm/Hons from University of Ottawa in 1980 and also earned a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa in 1982. Fidelis was employed as the Unit Head – Senior Analyst for Statistics of Canada for 34 years. He enjoyed his work and was planning to officially retire early next year prior to his untimely passing. He was an avid spectator of all types of sports and loved watching the US elections and politics worldwide. He spent most of his weekends reading up on upcoming current events, playing the stock market, checking out the best deals in the stores and catching up with his friends in the Nigerian community of Ottawa and around the world. He also enjoyed having a full house, especially during the holidays which involved spending time with his children and grandchildren.

A special thank you to all the doctors and nurses especially Dr. Goss, Dr. Amjadi, Dr. McCrae nurse Michelle Williams and nurse Joanne at the Ottawa General Hospital for their loving care and support.  Also thank you to Heritage Funeral Home for all of the arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, 1500 Alta Vista Drive Ottawa, ON K1G 3Y9.

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DOWN MEMORY LANE

 

Captain of soccer cup-winning team, St. Patrick's College, Emene, 1964

Captain of soccer cup-winning team, St. Patrick’s College, Emene, Enugu, 1964

 

Captain Fidelis Ifedi, Biafran Army, 1967-70

Captain Fidelis Ifedi, Biafran Army, 1967-70

 

Nkiru & Fide's wedding 1980

Nkiru & Fide’s wedding 1980

 

With toddlers Uju and Nkem

With toddlers Uju and Nkem

 

On an outing with the children

On an outing with the children

 

With Obum and Obinna

With Obum and Obinna

 

A happy Fidelis at Igbo Xmas party

A happy Fidelis at Igbo Xmas party

 

Family pic with the children all grown up

Family pic with the children all grown up. Left to right: Uju, Fidelis, Nkiru, Nkem, Obum. In front: Obinna

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TRIBUTES FROM THE IFEDI FAMILY

Uju Ifedi Ohanyere (First Born Daughter)

Uju Ifedi Ohanyere

Uju Ifedi Ohanyere

One thing about my father that I never questioned was his love for us. He was always there for us. He literally was always there. Every day he came back from work at 6 p.m., like clockwork. We weren’t allowed to watch TV on weekdays so the minute we heard the key enter the lock we would turn the TV off and run to our respective corners. I used to think, gosh, why can’t my dad be like those fathers who travel for work all the time, so I could have some freedom. It was as I grew older that I came to value all the time he spent with us.

He used to always check up on me in the house to see what I was doing. There was no way I could spend long periods of time in my room without him coming upstairs, knocking and then immediately opening the door, doing a scan of my room to see what I’m doing, then closing the door without saying a word if what he saw was to his satisfaction. Allowing me to install my own phone line in my room and a lock on my door when I was in university was his own way of trying to give me some independence within the house.

Almost every month he would ask me what classes I was taking, how many hours was I working and how would this affect my studies. Although he struggled to remember my friends’ names he would always ask me how they were doing. It was always a guessing game in which I would ask, are you talking about my friend Nina or Nnenna. He was always interested in whatever I was doing.

Looking back at all of this, I know that my dad was always a big part of my life. Once I graduated from University, he was able to let go, relax, and not worry so much about my future. It was as if he felt he had completed his job. I realized that everything he did was to ensure we did well in school and found success in life. I will always feel blessed for having such a loving and caring father in my life.

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Nkem Ifedi Fowora (Second Born Daughter)

Nkem Ifedi Fowora

Nkem Ifedi Fowora

Someone once said we have to thank life for happening, thank every twist and turn, there is a reason for every single thing, there is a reason for every worry and concern.  Do you believe that there are no coincidences in life? Everything happens for a reason. Every person we meet have a role in our life, whether it is big or small.  For me, that person was my dad.  I thank God every day for giving me and my husband the strength to get on that flight 2yrs ago and fly to Canada from Nigeria while in active labor with a premature delivery.  Because this strength gave me the 2yrs I would have never had with my dad.  Even though at the time I felt like I was cursed and I questioned how could GOD have done this to me and my family.  But now I see it was a gift…. HE knew what he was doing… HE knew I needed the time with my dad to build our relationship, not as a small child from years ago, but as an adult daughter, wife, and mother. I will forever cherish those two years I had with my dad and I know that his wisdom, strength and courage will live forever. Remember that everything that is happening around you, good or bad, is in some way conspiring to help you as it did me.

May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

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Obinna Ifedi (First Born Son)

Obinna Ifedi

Obinna Ifedi

It’s been well over a week and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that you are no longer here. Although you were no spring chicken, your life was taken from us far too early. When last we spoke, I had called you after feeling depressed from the results of the American election. Although you were likely feeling the same, you put your typical “brave face” on and never showed any chink in your armor.  You assured me that everything would be okay by telling me “not to worry, after all we live in Canada and nothing like that will happen here!” I like to believe you are right dad… But with Kellie Leich as the leader of the Conservative party I’m not so sure that that can’t happen

Flash forward a couple weeks later, who knew that that would be the last time that we would speak to each other. Although this has been an incredibly difficult time, I have found solace from the acts of kindness demonstrated from your beloved friends and family and the touching words that they have said about you.

Although my future kids will never meet you, your memory will forever live on though the long lasting morals, values & knowledge that you have instilled upon me. Thank you so much for being a great father and excellent provider. You have truly shown me and my brothers and sisters what you can accomplish with hard work and determination. I love and miss you very much and know that you are in a better place. May you rest in peace in paradise.

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 Obum Ifedi (Last Born Son)

Obum Ifedi

Obum Ifedi

Tribute to my father
You can shed tears that he is gone.

Or you can smile because he lived.
You can close your eyes & pray that he will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him.

Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow & live for yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can choose to only remember the fact that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let his love live on.

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Godwin & Joy Ifedi (brother & sister in-law)
Joy & Godwin Ifedi

Joy & Godwin Ifedi

It’s with a heavy heart that we learnt of the news of the passing of my brother, Fidelis Obiajulu Ifedi, on 30 November, 2016. Painful as his death is to our entire family, we would like to remember him for the memorable times we had together.  Like the days at St. Patrick’s School, Coal Camp, Enugu, to his secondary school days at St. Patrick’s College, Emene, where he rose to become the school’s soccer captain and most prolific scorer. Having spent the Nigerian civil war years as a captain in the Biafran army, he had learnt the art of resilience, which would serve him well as he fought the deadly disease that finally took his life.

Through my sponsorship, he moved to Canada in the early seventies, where he worked hard to earn two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa.
 A devoted family man, he still found time to serve his community, holding the positions of:  President, Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO – Ottawa); Treasurer, Igbo Association of Ottawa; Treasurer, Igbo Catholic Community and Executive Adviser, Nigerian-Canadian Association of Ottawa.
Brother Fidelis lived an exemplary life, had a stellar career as Unit Head & Senior Analyst with Statistics Canada, and was an outspoken advocate for humanitarian causes within the Black community in Ottawa, Canada.
My entire family, my wife Joy, children: Emeka, Obiora and Chinenye, will miss his wisdom, his humanity and his passion for helping others in times of need. Rest in peace, dear brother, in the bosom of the Almighty God.

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Oge & Shelagh Ifedebe (brother & sister in-law)

Oge & Shelagh Ifedebe

Oge & Shelagh Ifedebe

My name is Valentine (Ogechukwu) Ifedebe, the youngest of 7 kids. My brother was my best friend and always there for me. He calls me all the time even if he has nothing to say, shows up at my house without letting me know that he was coming.  

     I remember when I was in college, l got called in the office that some one was here to see me. Guess who that was:Fidelis. This was how he showed me that he cared and now he’s gone but not forgotten. I will always love you bro missed you. 

 My name is Shelagh Ifedebe, I am Oge’s wife. Fidelis was very much a family man and I will always remember on how he reached out to all members to ensure everyone was ok. My kids were his kids, Jacob, Jordan and Kaiya.  They will miss their Uncle so much as he was always present in their lives.

 I loved talking with Fidelis about my problems as he would gently show me to not sweat the small stuff as life is too short. Fidelis would then smile and laugh.  These memories and your infectious laugh will live on. 

 Thank you for being the best brother in law. I love you Chief. 

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Funeral Rites

Hundreds of friends and family from Ottawa, Toronto and the U.S.A., were in attendance at the funeral rites for the late Fidelis Obiajulu Ifedi. The wake-keeping was held on Friday 9 December, 2016, at the family home at Muirland Avenue, Orleans, under the auspices of the Igbo Association of Ottawa, with close family friend Emma Ukwu taking the lead in the planning. A funeral mass was held the next day Saturday, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church on St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa, with Rev. Frs. Titus Egbue,  Paul Nwaeze, Ibeazor and Emeka Onyeogubalu.  Fidelis’ body will be conveyed to its final resting place at his ancestral home in Aguma Village, Umuoji, Anambra State, Nigeria, where he will be buried on Thursday, 26 January, 2017.

The Ifedi family is especially grateful to the Igbo Association, Igbo Women’s Association, Igbo Catholic Community, Nigerian Canadian Association of Ottawa, Igbo clergy and the entire Nigerian community in the region, for their support during their time of their sorrow.

Photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene – Godwin Ifedi

To view more pictures from these events, please visit: http://img.gg/zCNvy9a

Double click the first picture and look at the top left hand side of the browser and click “slide view.  (Photo credit: Emma Ukwu)

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