Ivan Razl passed away after a lengthy illness on July 26, 2021 in Toronto at the age of 77 years. He was a devoted husband to Marguerite (Growden), loving father and father-in-law to Christopher and Oksana (Chuyko), and adoring grandfather to Alexander. He so much regretted that he would not meet his second grand-child due in August. He is also being mourned by his sisters Jarmila Geisler (Czech Republic), Bohumila Zapletal (Toronto) and nieces Zuzana (Toronto), Lenka (New Zealand) and Michelle (England) as well as Marguerite’s nephews David and Michael in Australia. His loss is particularly grieved by his business partner Igor Nikolajev and his many friends in the Czech and Slovak communities in Toronto and Europe.
Ivan was born in German-occupied Zlin (Czechoslovakia), grew up under Communism and was serving in the military when Russia invaded his homeland in 1968. Longing for political freedom, he fled to Finland and arrived in Toronto in 1969 where he was immediately accepted for study at the University of Toronto. After receiving his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1976 he started a company with his professor to develop products and applications for specialty concrete. The company eventually became Gemite Products Inc and with his partner Igor Nikolajev they expanded world-wide, providing advanced concrete technologies in the construction and restoration of buildings, bridges, dams and storage facilities. He held many patents for his work and was a mentor to the employees and students he employed in his laboratory over the years.
The richness of Ivan’s life was defined not only by his work achievements, but by his personality and friendships. He was a gifted singer and was always the centre of lively party conversations. His seemingly limitless repertoire of traditional and student Czech & Moravian songs and his love of poetry meant that he & his guitar were welcomed to any gathering. He loved theatre and acted with both the Czech and Slovak theatre groups for almost 50 years as well as in poetry readings and special cultural events. He was a keen (but reckless!) skier and loved camping and canoe trips with his friends - always with the guitar. He was widely read and enjoyed intense discussions about politics, history and philosophy. He travelled extensively with his work and even when he was on vacation trips there was always a bridge or a building that he had to check on. He never tired of these frequent work trips because there were new places to visit and new friends to meet, new experiences everywhere.
He leaves behind a multitude of friends in Europe and North America who will dearly miss him but remember him with gratitude, love and a smile. To his family he will be always be the most special person they have had the privilege to love.
There will not be a funeral service and Ivan’s ashes will be taken to Zlin to be with his parents and many generations of ancestors. A Celebration of Life will be held in Toronto at a future date. In lieu of flowers a donation to your local Palliative Care/Hospice team would be appreciated.
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Private Cremation to be held
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Centres