It is with great sadness that Grand Chapter marks the passing of our Assistant Registrar, the Chevalier Ralph Schoenig KCJ. Chevalier Schoenig joined The Order in 2005 and served as Assistant Registrar since 2009. He was raised to Knight Commander in December, 2020.
Chevalier Ralph Schoenig was the retired Chief of Customs Investigations with the Canada Border Services Agency. A former sergeant of the Queen’s Own Rifles, he served on the Board of the Bayview Support Network (cancer care) and a member of the St John’s Ambulance Community Advisory Committee. He was also a Kentucky Colonel and a recipient of the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal.
Sgt. Schoenig served with the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (QOR) from September 1968 to September 1977 where he then transferred to the Supplementary Reserve before his honourable release in 1982. His words “I had just turned 14 years old 2 weeks before being sworn in as a Rifleman. I was a big kid back then, so I lied about my age and told them I was 16”.
In 1971, as a 16 year old Corporal, Ralph was posted to Canada’s NATO Forces in Lahr, Germany for 4 months as part of 4CMBG HQ and SIGS SQN – Radio Troop to participate in the large annual American Exercise REFORGER III.
Ralph continued his career as an instructor on several courses, including recruit training, weapons, signals, fire and movement, driving, first aid, field craft, and was a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare instructor (primarily gas huts).
After promotion to sergeant, Ralph served as the QM Sgt, Rifle Pl Sgt, and, as a member of the “Pioneers and Skirmishers” (a historical ceremonial sub-unit of the QOR) was appointed as Pioneer Sgt (OIC). Ralph was also a member of the all-volunteer “Aid to the Civil Power” platoon, which trained extensively in support of the police in the case of rioting during uncertain times of the 1970s in Canada.
After transferring to the Supp Res, Ralph continued his community service with the Metropolitan Toronto Auxiliary Police where he rose to the rank of Sgt. In addition to all of this, Ralph has been a committed Veterans’ advocate.
Ralph always wanted to be of service to Canada and his community. In addition to his military and auxiliary service, Ralph had a 36 year civilian career in Canada Customs (now Canada Border Service Agency) where he retired as Chief, Criminal Investigations Division (CID CBSA-ASFC) for the Greater Toronto Region.
Ralph suffered from adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare an untreatable bone cancer. He bore the last year with grace and calm, and his partner Leslie reported that he passed peacefully at home on March 21, 2021. Chevalier Schoenig requested that funeral arrangements be private. He will be truly missed.
JUNXIT AMICUS AMOR