Luigi Di Clemente
1942 - 2021
With great sadness, we announce the passing of Luigi Di Clemente on March 6th, 2021 at the age of 78. Luigi was the second son of Donato and Angiolina (Di Carlo) Di Clemente who came to Canada from Italy in 1953 with their four children. He lived an interesting and exciting life, full of joy, laughter, and love, in Italy, in Canada and in Germany. He passed away peacefully at the The Dorothy Macham Home, an innovative, state-of-the-art, first of its kind facility in Canada, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, for veterans with challenging behaviours due to dementia. Loving husband of the late Gisela Westhoff from Werl Germany. Loving father of his daughter Diana Downey and her partner Paul Adams, and his son, Daniel Di Clemente and his partner Christine Bongard-Austin. Proud Nonno of his granddaughter Crystal Whyte (Dwayne), and grandson Anthony
Di Clemente (Kassandra). Loving Nonno to Rylie and Delanie Austin. Bisnonno to Tyson, Angela and Elizabeth Zalasko, Lucca Di Clemente and Rosabella and Chloe Molloy.
Born in Roccamorice, Pescara Abruzzo Italy, he came to Canada as a youth with his three siblings, which have predeceased him. Antonio Di Clemente (Sherrie), Maria Paoletti (Alberto) and Umberto Di Clemente (Bonnie). The family lived in Niagara Falls, Ontario where his father worked for Ontario Hydro. After moving to Toronto, Luigi attended McMurrich Junior. As a teenager, he delivered prescriptions for the local pharmacy and worked as a Copy Boy for The Toronto Star. He was proud to have worked along side of Pierre Berton and Doug Griffin. One of his big responsibilities was to help his Italian cousins assimilate into the Canadian culture and help them with their English and to navigate the big city as they looked for jobs. Luigi's father sponsored and housed many of his and his wife's brothers and sisters and their children when they immigrated to Canada.
At the tender age of 18, Luigi tried to join the Royal Canadian Engineers. The recruiting officer sent him home, telling him, "it seems your parents need you more than we do". In 1961, he was successful in enlisting as a Sapper. He completed his Recruit training in 1963 in Chilliwack, BC. Luigi completed two tours in Germany. The first from 1964-1967, and the second 1969-1972, after which he finished his Military Career.
Upon returning to Canada with his wife, Gisela (nee Westhoff) who he married in Werl, Germany, and children, Diana and Daniel, he worked in the Construction industry in Toronto for a few years. He eventually began his apprenticeship training as an Electrician. Upon successful completion, with the designation of Journeyman Electrician, he moved his family to Belleville, Ontario on the advice of a Sapper friend, Jean Mathieu. Jean's wife Karen operated a hairdressing salon, where Gisela worked after completing her hairdresser training.
In Belleville, Luigi worked for others, until he decided Union Shop was not for him, and went out on his own to start up his own business, DC Electric, Ltd. At that time, he also, attended Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute and acquired his Fundamentals of Refrigeration, Phase II. During his time in Belleville, he had his daughter, Diana helping him, hoping that she would decide to apprentice under him. He was very proud when his son Daniel decided to follow his father's example.
1n 1993 Luigi married Polly and moved to Abbotsford BC. There he attended British Columbia Institute of Technology to upgrade his ticket to Provincial status and practiced in BC. He immensely enjoyed his job. It wasn't a job for Luigi, it was a hobby. He loved people, he loved his job. He loved working with the tradesmen regardless of their occupation. He made friends quickly and easily and loved them all. He was always eager and willing to help anybody. Many of these friends feel he was like a brother to them.
He will be deeply missed by his wife Polly of 27 years, his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. Luigi was predeceased by his step-son Shayne. His step-daughter Tanya Reitz (Chris) and her children, Phoebe (Larkin) Wasmuth, Leah, Jared, Magdalene, Claire, Markus, Joel, Stephen, Ethan and Julia are left to mourn the loss of their Nonno. He will also be missed by his family in Werl and Wickede, Germany, his, niece Carina Paoletti, his nieces Angela Di Clemente, Christina (Greg) Neal, and Gina Di Clemente. His Nephews Donnie and Joey Di Clemente. His long time good friends, Herb Pelz from Mission BC, Garnet Donovan from Carrying Place, Vince Hohn, Chilliwack, BC, Ted Sillito, Lethbridge, Alberta, John Boone, Calgary, Alberta to mention just a few.
His Italian family called him Gino. Gino was loved and respected by all. He leaves an Aunt, Zia Concetta and many, many cousins in Toronto, Italy and Belgium to mourn. Gino will always hold a special place in our hearts. May he rest in peace and may peace be with us all. We all have fond memories of the wonderful man. Let love persevere. Riposare In Pace.
A most sincere thanks and appreciation to the Doctors and Staff at the Dorothy Macham Centre, who went above and beyond to care for Luigi. Thanks to the many Home Care workers that took care of him in Abbotsford, especially Maria Karwandy and Tanya Chow. Thank you to Dr. Robin Hsiung of UBC, who took Luigi under his wing for so many years, and thank you to Dr. Norman Parkin who cared for his health and well-being for almost a quarter of a century.
Viewing will be held at the Bernardo Funeral Home, 2960 Dufferin Street in Toronto,
(416-789-7661), from 9-12 on Monday, March 15, 2021. Due to the Covid-19 capacity restrictions, the number of visitors at one time will be limited. Please RSVP online. A Private Funeral Mass will follow at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 811 Lawrence Avenue West, Toronto at 1:00 p.m. A Second visitation will be held at the John R. Bush Funeral Home from 9:00 am to 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 80 Highland Avenue, Belleville, Ontario
To View livestream of funeral service on Tuesday, March 16th at 11:00 a.m. please copy & paste the link below
(613-968-5588). Please call in advance to register. Following the Service, Internment will be at the St. James Cemetery, Belleville, Ontario.