STEFOW, Paul Ioti - (April 29, 1942 - October 10, 2018) -
A private soul, happiest at work, with his wife or his grandsons, Paul Ioti Stefow exited this world suddenly the morning of October 10, 2018 in the arms of Evelyn Stefov, his wife of 50 years.
Professional engineer, lover of history, purveyor of dry wit and sarcasm, consummate professional, Paul was a man for whom two things mattered most: family and work.
Paul was born in Macedonia, Greece to Draganí and Dimitris Stefou in 1942, the youngest of 4 sons following Antoni, Christo and Niko.
His character was shaped by being forced to leave Greece for Romania in 1948 as a child, during the Greek Civil War, along with his brother Niko, whom he loved fiercely. Romania provided young Paul an opportunity to study, perfect his beautiful penmanship, and cultivate a love of literature and the classics – which, later in life, turned into a love for spy novels and the daily news.
Paul received a degree in mechanical engineering in Brasov, Romania, as a top student, and then retrained, alongside his wife, at the University of Toronto where he received a Master of Engineering.
Despite his early years and migrations, Paul felt fiercely at home only in Canada. His few retreats among family included treasured holidays at the cottage in Muskoka and the condo in Hallandale, Florida. Unbeatable at backgammon and chess, his hobbies also included long neighbourhood walks and the peacefulness and satisfaction of riding the lawnmower at the cottage. His community of friends, for whom he felt quiet loyalty and love, were regularly subject to his straight-talk, humour and facetiousness.
During his long and successful career, he rose from an entry-level engineer to Senior Vice-President – holding roles with Caterpillar, then the Urban Transportation Development Corporation – his first foray into light rail mass transit and city-building. He then moved onto Spar Aerospace, Alcatel and finally Hatch. At Hatch, he helped build Toronto’s Sheppard Subway Extension, then the York University Line 1 extension – 'not bad for a poor immigrant,' as he liked to say. His refusal to retire led him to a third subway project, barely begun, but a symbol of his love and commitment to his work.
He was a self-made man who always put 100 per cent into the projects to which he devoted his life, including the Canadian contribution to the International Space Station, robotics, and numerous works of public transit.
Paul is survived by his wife Evelyn, his daughter Dana Stefov (Sébastien Maillette) and his two grandsons, Alexis and Sacha Stefov Maillette who he loved deeply and who lovingly called him Dedo.
Visitation will be held at York Funeral Centre, 160 Beecroft, Toronto on Monday, October 15th, from 4 to 8pm, and on Tuesday, October 16th, from 9am to 10am. Funeral service to follow visitation on Tuesday at 10am.