In Memory of




Obituary for Giovanni (Nino) Colussi

A gentleman in every sense of the word, Giovanni (Nino) Colussi died suddenly, but peacefully in his home on Tuesday morning, September 3rd, 2019 in the arms of his daughter, Gabriella, and in the presence of his cherished wife, Rina. Revered by his twin grandsons, Alexander and Thomas, and beloved by all: his son-in-law, Richard Arthur and all his family in the UK and in Vienna; his brother Elmo, sister-in-law, Silvana; niece, Louise (husband, Ron Gable); daughters Francesca and Monica; nephew Stephen (wife, Carmen Pelaez); daughters Silvia, Mariana, and Elena and very close friends Isolino and Edith Quattrin, and family and friends from his hometown, Zoppola, Pordenone, Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Having survived various medical challenges in his youth, he met Rina in 1946; they married after a long courtship on April 24th, 1954; he immigrated to Canada after two weeks in May 1954 arriving at Pier 21 and then coming to Toronto, where his brother and many others of his townsfolk had settled. With his wife and brother by his side, together they raised their families and shared precious life moments with kinsfolk. He faced a working life of challenge and perseverance, but found his niche as a carpenter, at first travelling around Ontario to build bowling allies and then setting in Toronto as a sub-contractor. His expertise led him to be known as “Mister Fix-It”. He survived two challenging surgeries at age 72 and again at 76 and lived to help raise his twin grandsons, i fioi, as he called them in our variety of Friulian. At age 90, he enjoyed an extraordinary birthday celebration at the Famee Furlane Toronto, the result of which was a significant donation to Villa Leonardo Gambin long-term care home for redecorating the 7th floor family room in murals depicting his hometown. On April 24th, 2019, he celebrated 65 years of marriage in a quiet family dinner. Following a fall in late April, he spent five weeks in excellent respite care at Weston Gardens and then returned successfully home, his very favourite refuge. In addition to raising and caring for his family, his lifelong passion was choral singing, beginning as a youth in the voci bianche in his hometown under the direction of Maestro Pierobon and continuing for the last decades with the Italian Choir at St. Jane Frances. He loved to tell his family stories, gave unconditional love to all, was enormously grateful for the love of his immediate family and close friends, both in Toronto and in his hometown and never took for granted the care, kindness, and friendship of his friends, his neighbours, those who cared for him at Humber Hospital and most recently the community care workers from Bayshore