IAN DAVID STANIFORTH
May 7, 1979 - April 29, 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and uncle at the age of 42 years.
Ian’s passing was premature and tragic, leaving behind his mother (Diana), brothers (Terry, Graham, and Christopher), and sisters-in-law (Chelsey, Nicole, and Christina). He is predeceased by his father (Richard) who passed away in January of this year.
Ian was a truly unique individual who lived in the paradox of being uncompromisingly his own man while at the same time being profoundly influenced by his mental health. A lover of nearly all genres of music, Ian’s life was set to many soundtracks - in the end, the sounds that ring to our ears are those of Frank Sinatra and “I did it my way”.
As Ian’s mom, I can say that anyone who knew him would know that he was a really unique person. He was certainly a fun-loving mischievous child, always pushing the limits in order to explore new ways of experiencing things - even if it meant repurposing eyeglass frames for statues of creatures or scavenging back lane dumpsters for props to build a wrestling ring in the back yard. His imagination was truly incredible. As well as his love for wrestling and Tae Kwon Do, he had a flare for art and music. He loved his time in the Elmwood High School Band. He made some close friends and met a wonderful teacher who encouraged him to master the trombone. Hearing him play was so moving. After high school, life became very challenging for Ian. He became entangled with schizophrenia and street drugs which made family life for him very difficult to understand. Sadly, we drifted apart and Ian (who later on preferred to be called Aeon) began to follow his own path. Family, friends and many excellent Health Care professionals became his watchful safety net for many many years. Everyone who got to know Ian always loved him...he was just that kind of guy. We were always happy to hear from Ian and always hoped that he would stay safe and happy. There is no way to describe the pain that you feel when you get that knock on the door to tell you that your son is gone. You will always be loved and remembered Ian. Rest in peace now and know that you really did "live your life your way". (Diana Staniforth, Mom)
Ian in my mind will always be this short, pudgy cheek kid with poker straight black hair. If there was a way to get into trouble Ian was guaranteed to be involved lol. All the kidding aside, Ian grew into an extremely talented musician. From the early days with band at Elmwood high school to evolving into his guitar and vocals - he could do it all! I often found myself a little jealous of how carefree Ian was, and how he genuinely seemed very happy with life. Throughout his life Ian always stayed true to himself and "did things his way". Rest easy Ian and say hi to Dad for us. (Terry Staniforth, older brother)
Ian, your musical and creative abilities along with your sense of humour and passion for ancient mythological discoveries are in the forefront of my memories of you. Your unbelievable ability to pick up any musical instrument for the first time and effortlessly play full songs with ease has fascinated many. Memories of seeing you up on stage at the international peace gardens playing solos and your many performances in jazz festivals will always play in my mind leaving the audience in awe. I remember coming home from school to find you had crafted your glasses into various sculptures or varying versions of your distortion glasses. Art was another area of creative expression of yours. Being able to draw any of the cartoon characters we were into at the time. You could draw anything. I will cherish the memories of countless nights body slamming each other in the home made backyard wrestling ring you made. The comedy skits filmed with friends and family that brought many laughs and smiles to all that watched. Although our talks were fewer and further between over the last few years those early memories are the ones that will be cherished. You will always be in my heart. I love you Ian. (Graham Staniforth, younger brother)
As Ian’s youngest brother by 7 years, I used to marvel at the creativity he seemed to effortlessly ooze. At first the lego space ships he made for me set the bar, but then it was his ability to draw my favourite ninja turtle characters, then it was watching him begin piano lessons only to realize he was terrific. Before I knew it I was sitting in his high school (Elmwood High School) auditorium, perplexed by his ability to play trombone, and how the music created feelings inside me. In many ways, Ian’s story is that of experiences continuously being eclipsed by the next. The eclipsing never stopped but instead diverged. Whereas my adolescent years were eclipsed by a new reality - one in which Ian’s illness and addictions were robbing us of my oh so talented brother - he, inwardly, continued to soar higher as he became engrossed in trying to communicate with and help people and forces beyond our grasp. Ian never needed to be more than what he was for us and I hope he knew that. Although there were many dark hours during these years, he nonetheless inspired me to be in awe of the human experience, to wonder about our world, about who we are, of what reality is… he simply inspired me. I love him very much and although I pray for him to find peace alongside my dad, my main sadness comes from the tremendous difficulty there was in connecting with him these many years - as though I was chasing his boyhood-self to build one more spaceship. (Christopher Staniforth, youngest brother)
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Schizophrenia Society of Manitoba and/or the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
There will be a celebration of life scheduled for later in the summer, please contact the family for details.
In the meantime, Ian's family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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