Patrick Pazo Rutayisire went with his angels on Sunday May 21st 2023 surrounded by beloved community in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Patrick leaves behind his son, Mike Rutayisire and Mike’s mother Jan MacKay; daughter, Keza Samia; his big sister, Patricie Murekatete; little brothers, Maurice Uwimana and Roger Karangwa Ishimwe; and countless friends all over the world who looked up to and admired Patrick immensely.
Patrick was predeceased by his father Gatera Innocent, whom he often fondly remembered as being the most successful business man in the village, and by his mother Uwera Kasita, whom Patrick cared for lovingly in her last days (a few months before he himself became ill). Patrick loved his mother fiercely. Patrick is now also reunited with the brothers and sister he lost, Kayigema Corneille, Uwamariya Jacqueline (his little Mum), Sibomana Cyrile.
Patrick was born in beautiful Cyangugu, Rwanda, December 12 1986. He narrowly survived the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda in which he lost almost the entirety of both paternal and maternal sides of his family. Patrick was an individual who lived passionately while dreaming and envisioning things he knew he could make happen. He always had something in the works, whether a new style he was planning to wear, a new DJ set he was eager to test on the crowd, or a new venture like growing coffee in Rwanda. As a boy he dreamt his way from barefoot kicking plastic bag soccer balls to playing for the Rwandan National team, travelling to Europe, and all sides of Africa playing the sport he lived and breathed.
Patrick eventually made his way to Antigonish where he became a goalkeeper coach for St. Francis Xavier University’s varsity soccer team. Described as legendary, he will always be remembered for his unique warmups with African flair, his energy, optimism, and great work ethic. Patrick also coached many young goal keepers in northern Nova Scotia, producing numerous talented keepers who excelled in the game. His kindness, patience, and commitment were an example many wanted to emulate. Head Coach Kennedy expressed, "We have not just lost a coach, but our community has lost a gentle angel with the heart of a lion."
Patrick adored his son Mike and was so proud of him - real hands-on Dad. He loved playing and watching soccer with him, taking him to Rwanda to spend real quality time showing his son the way of life there, and how to DJ! Patrick also expressed such love and affection for Mike through cooking… Always wanting feedback - is it good? Taste good? Chicken and gravy. Many mango.
Patrick loved and was loved deeply by all of his Canadian Moms. He spent hours upon hours in the garden happily helping Janey and assisting Barra in anyway he could. Beverly was the first to embrace him upon arrival in Canada. Jennifer and family exposed him to the warmth of African Nova Scotian culture and love. Patrick was friends to all varieties of people, often making friendships with the most unlikely of individuals. He provided food and resources to the most vulnerable in his community in Rwanda during the pandemic, and with the help of StFX players, always donated used soccer gear to players back home because he knew what it was like to play without the proper equipment.
Patrick would probably like to acknowledge all of the coaches who trained him to be the successful athlete he became especially Coach Thomas, with whom he trained with the longest.
Family of Patrick would like to thank the always supportive VON nurses and staff of Palliative Care, inpatient and outpatient services, nurses in Oncology and Dr. Saliba whom Patrick enjoyed interacting with despite the nightmare of cancer. "We tried/We are trying," Pazo would say.
THANK YOU to all of those friends/family who cared for Patrick at home in such a dignified and present way. He got such good care. We couldn’t have done it especially without the help of special VON nurse and fast friend Lynn Isherwood.
There were so many families and friends that helped, especially with Mike throughout these last 19 months of ups and downs and there isn’t room for all of your names but you know who you are. THANK YOU.
StFX Soccer Family, THANK YOU, and Go Arsenal!
We envision Patrick now pain-free, "looking good", flying through the air, making agile, spectacular, diving saves, dreadlocks flying, with that big joyful smile spread wide across his face.
We love you Patrick, TURI KUMWE (We Are Together)
Visitation will be held Thursday, May 25th, in C.L. Curry Funeral Home, 135 College Street, Antigonish, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Funeral will be held at a later date.
In Memoriam, donations to Patrick's family are appreciated.
Online condolences: www.clcurry.com