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July 31, 1943 - September 20, 2016
Mihail was born on July 31st, 1943, in Bucharest, Romania, to parents Maria and Ion Ionescu. He was the younger of two sons, seven years the junior of his brother Cornel, who continues to live in Bucharest with his family. In 1965, Mihail graduated at the top of his class from the Bucharest Politechnic University and embarked on a long and prosperous career as a metallurgical engineer with IPROMET, where by the end of his service, he oversaw a team 120 engineers and designers.
In 1977 he met Iris, and the two of them were married on November 18 of the same year. On January 12, 1979, their only daughter, Catrinel, was born. While at IPROMET, Mihail was tasked with managing a six-year project in India, followed by various other collaborations that divided his time between Germany, Italy, and Romania.
In 1994 Mihail left IPROMET and relocated with his family in Toronto, Canada. He continued to work as an Engineer and Project Manager for St Lawrence Cement as well as Gamma Engineering, where he retired a year ago. Throughout his life, Mihail was extremely passionate about his work, and most of his work friendships were a by-product of his admiration and respect for his colleagues. He liked to understand the inner workings of each aspect of his projects, often looking at things from the perspective of the contractors and tradesmen in charge of producing these designs. His humble and easy-going nature made him beloved and appreciated by those he worked with.
Mihail loved sports, travel, reading, and keeping informed of current events. He was the strong and silent type, but he welcomed lengthy discussions on topics that involved history, politics, religion, sports and…pipe engineering. His fierce devotion as a friend was often hard to match, and those who knew him will recall that he had a noble and generous heart. These are values he instilled in his own daughter and appreciated in all relationships. In his later years, the hot-temperedness of youth was replaced by a sort of calm wisdom typical of your favourite grandpa.
Something not many are aware of is that Mihail was also a published author, having written a memoir dedicated to his daughter. The book recalls the author's life from birth to marriage, and is written in Romanian. Entitled "La Pielea Goala", it loosely translates to "Stark Naked".
Mihail will be remembered as a loving husband to Iris, his wife of nearly 40 years, and an extraordinary father to his daughter Cat, whom he adored, and who adored him back to the last beat of his big, kind, and—at the end—so very tortured heart. He also leaves behind Julian Avram, a son-in-law of whom he wholeheartedly approved and with whom he shared a goofy sense of humour, as well as a two-year old granddaughter, Lilou Avram, who still asks about “Tataie” (Grandpa) everyday. Though his unwavering faith in God may not be shared by all those who cared for him, Mihail took great pride in being actively involved in the community of St Dumitru Orthodox Church and would be pleased to know he is buried under its auspices.
Mihail Ionescu will be missed by his family, friends, and former colleagues. We thank you for having been a part of his life or the lives of those he loved, and for honouring his memory.
Catrinel & Iris Ionescu