Passed peacefully with his brother and sister by his side in his 68th year, after a long and painful seven-year courageous battle with cancer.
Survived by Pauls’ three children, Kathleen granddaughter Ocean, Grant and Alicia. Sadly missed by brother Gene (Andrea), niece Sara, sister Ziba , nephew Aras, niece Alena, cherished Aunt and godmother Zita and Uncle Gediminas “Jerry” of Florida, Aunt Birute, cousins Egle (Derek), Anna (Victor), Rita, and in addition cousins John and Rosie both of Florida, as well as many second and third cousins.
Predeceased by his parents Gintautas and Genie Venskaitis.
Paul was the youngest of three siblings, born in Venezuela, South America on September 4th 1955. The family immigrated to Toronto in 1958. Paul was an energetic teenager, excelling in basketball and lacrosse and later in life picked up the game of golf more so to enjoy the 19th hole.
In his teens, Paul and our family along with our cousins would get together at Wasaga Beach in the summers and enjoy the sun, the water, family shenanigans, and at days end looked forward to Lorna Dunes for their famous ice cream and fast food. There were many visits to our distant cousins’ farm for occasional stay overs and memorable Christmases that included sleigh rides with everyone aboard. Eventually our city cousins’ family bought a small farm, we called the “summerhouse” and would gather there for ventures to local beaches and other numerus activities sharing our youthful exuberance, merriment and stories.
Paul as a young man was a hard worker and started working early in life, one memorable job when he worked at Angelina’s, a local pizzeria where he made great pizzas, dazzling customers with his pizza throwing skills and producing a great tasting finished product. Eventually, his cooking skills led to some memorable BBQ backyard soirees with friends and family. During this time, Paul also worked as a bouncer/doorman at a local Weston rock bar where live bands would perform weekly. Paul became acquainted with many of the rock bands of the day including Kim Mitchell of Patio Lanterns fame who performed there on a number of occasions and got to know him as a friend and first name basis. Paul’s approachable outgoing personality made him popular with many customers and performers during that time and afforded Paul to purchase his first car. It was a used mid-sixty’s V8 4 barrel Buick Lasabre. Being a competitive young man, Paul would tease the family, cousins and friends as to who would get to the summerhouse or Wasaga Beach first and then jokingly taunt everyone afterwards, why it had taken them so long. Ofcourse, we all suspected he was speeding big time.
Although Paul did not finish high school, he was driven to succeed in any endeavor he became involved in. Paul started his own window covering business that he operated for a number of years but was not satisfied as a long-term working commitment with his future goals. It was during this time, Paul started a young family, became a Dad to his three loved children and although regrettably, later he could not be a part of their lives, supported them financially into their late teens.
As luck would have it a neighbour, Gunar Ceksters provided Paul with an opportunity to work for the then Mississauga Hydro as a custodian so that he could take the Journeyman Power Lineman course and at the same time familiarizing himself with their operations. After successfully completing his certification, Paul proudly started his career as a Journeyman Power Lineman and in 2008 was presented a 20-year merit award for his dedicated service from Enersource Hydro. He was very proud of his successes at Hydro and always grateful for the opportunity that Gunar provided. After some 25 years, his Hydro career was regretfully cut short by debilitating arthritis and because of the elements, resulting in Paul taking early retirement.
Paul was well known in many of the pubs in the Clarkson area that he frequented, to visit his many friends to enjoy conversations, jokes and friendly wagers on the numerous sports teams that he followed. He enjoyed a competitive game of darts for fun. Paul often joined his brother attending professional basketball and hockey and the Honda Indy racing competitions. Paul also followed the English premier league soccer matches debating with his friends the results and future pool picked games. His sport idols were Darryl Sittler and the Leafs and from the NFL, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. After being diagnosed with cancer and with his health declining, Paul was later unable to visit his friends at his favourite pubs or attend sporting events as he had in previous years.
We want to acknowledge Frank, his good friend and patient roommate, aiding Paul in so many ways; Moma Rosa Restaurant’s proprietor and support staff for their kindness; and The McCall House Chronic Care facility whose Head nurse Heather and all the support nurses and PSW’s on the 4th floor for their compassion and care considering how understaffed and hard working they are. Special thank you to the McCall House Chaplin’s visits, whose kind and compassionate demeanor brightened Paul’s spirit before his passing.
In these later years, Paul’s spark, enthusiasm and liveliness was taken away from him by this dreadful disease. Paul was his own man, and lived life sometimes the hard way but he did it his way. Paul was always generous, always cheerful, passionate and quite the jokester. We will always remember him fondly and miss him immensely.
Cremation has taken place and a private family inurnment was held at the Anapilis Cemetery in Mississauga.