Serenely passed away at the age of 95 at home surrounded by family and friends on Monday evening, April 1.
Luigi’s life was marked by his courage, his deeply held faith, his devotion to family, his integrity, his hard work and especially his kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity.
Deeply loved husband of Rosa for 70 years. Devoted father to Alec (Alessandro) and Mario, and dear father-in-law to Deborah.
Born in Rolle, in the verdant foothills of the Italian Alps, Luigi was the eldest. He was predeceased in a mining tragedy by his brother Mario, and by his sisters Maria and Irene. He will be lovingly remembered by his younger brothers and sisters Umberto, Vito, Giuseppina, Dora, Dosolina, Eda, Graziella and Albina and by his large extended family, all in Italy.
After surviving two years in a Nazi labour camp, he returned home from the Second World War and very soon thereafter met his great love, Rosa. To court her, amid winter snows, he would walk up the San Boldo, a steep, serpentine, single-lane mountain pass over a height of 706 m (2,316 ft).
After a brief period in France, where they became fluent in French, they set out to build a new life in the early 1950s in Canada, a country he deeply loved.
Luigi took on the dangerous work in the gold mines of Northern Ontario, then construction in Toronto.
Finally, he found his dream job as a ticket agent for Via Rail where his helpfulness and kind consideration were appreciated by many who passed through Union Station, including old friends from Kirkland Lake.
He was a wonderful gardener, his grape vines, fruit trees and burgeoning vegetable patch the envy of all. Nothing made him happier than sharing the bounty of lettuce, radicchio, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.
His cantina was his fragrant pride-and-joy, its scents and stillness echoing the wine cellars of his boyhood home in the prosecco-producing hills north of Venice, Italy. Light amber rounds of montasio cheese daubed in mineral oil were stacked on roughly made wooden shelves that also held sturdy glass mason jars brimming with preserved tomatoes, peppers, beans and pickles. Against the back wall were veridian-green glass demijohns, their bases encased in wicker, and filled with red wine — made from zinfandel and muscat California grapes — in various stages of maturity.
A trusted friend to many, a generous and kind-hearted neighbour, a cherished husband, father and father-in-law, he will be deeply missed but fondly remembered always.
A special thanks to Eileen Devilla and Richard Choi and their children for their kindness and support, to the marvellous care givers, Vivien, Jean, Bernadette, Valery and Maria, to their thoughtful neighbours Henry and Jill, and Lorne and Joanna, and to Dr. Denise Wong and her home care medical team.
Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, near the Jane subway on Sunday, April 7th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated Monday, April 8th, 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3055 Bloor St W, Etobicoke. Interment Park Lawn Cemetery.