In Memory of



Obituary for Gino Savietto

In 1956 our Dad (Gino Savietto) came to Canada from Italy. He was born in a town called Castelfranco Veneto in the Province of Treviso. He was the eldest of 7 children. Gemma, Elisa, Adriana, Giuliana, Angelo and Giovanni. When war broke out Dad’s father had to leave home to fight. His mother was working on a farm and taking care of the kids. Dad was born two years before the beginning of WW2. Dad’s early childhood years were heavily impacted by the war in Europe. From 1943 to 1945 the Nazi soldiers would break into the family home looking for his father. They would terrorize the family, they would steal whatever meagre food they had. The Nazi soldiers always left the impression that they would soon return and if they found his father he would be executed. Dad was always terrified of the sound of their heavy boots as they came up the stairs. When he walked to school he witnessed the horrors of war in the streets. He was raised in a very solid loving family who taught him the meaning of hard work and how to survive in this crazy world. That he did in spades. He often shared some of the fun times he had playing with friends and siblings after the war.

When Dad turned 18 he dreamed of coming to Canada for the promise of a better life. He purchased passage on the ship SS Leonardo de Vinci. His final destination was given to him as Fort William, Ontario, Canada. Dad traveled to Fort William from Toronto by train and all he could see were trees, trees and more trees. All he could think was “Where are they taking me?” He was dropped off at the CPR station on Syndicate Ave. in Fort William. He was all alone, spoke no English and had one contact name crunched in his wallet. He eventually found a beautiful family that took him in. He often spoke so fondly of them.

Dad did what he set out to do, he met our Mom (Joan Kettridge) and had three girls. We (Gina, Angela and Christa) would drive him nuts talking about soap operas at dinner pretending we knew these people until he couldn’t keep quiet any longer. “Who are these people?” My sisters and I would laugh. He always fell for that one. When he broke three ribs in a car accident he got hooked on Young and the Restless. All girls, what to do? He did well. We were blessed to travel to Italy several times and get to know our far away family. We instantly felt at home. Family no matter how far away is a powerful thing and we love them dearly. Dad gave us that gift. Those memories alone are a treasure. He also had the opportunity as a school boy to sing and present a basket of eggs to Pope Pius XII on Easter. Dad really didn’t talk much about himself, it always took some coaxing but I know he was proud of that moment.

He found work in body shops and later began work at Breeny’s Auto Body Shop. Little did he know this was going to grow into a lifelong job that would feel like home; the staff like family. He later became a partner in the business. I (Gina) remember him taking me there to work on our next family car. Every car we ever had started out as a crunched-up mess but he would do his magic and we ended up with a beautiful car. I spent a lot of time in that shop as a kid and loved every minute of it.

Our Dad was the smartest person we knew, he never stopped learning until the day he passed. We would ask him questions and he was always happy to answer. We were always fascinated about his curiosity and love for learning. His interests were wide but space held a special place in his heart. His space race scrap books will be passed on to his eldest grandchild who also is very interested in space. It was always a good day when the latest Astronomy magazine arrived. He would read it over and over until the next one arrived.

Dad was an amazing Nonno. He was blessed with six grandchildren all of whom loved him dearly. Dylan, Colin, Bailey, Jordan, Max and Sonny. He would always have candy and no small amount of junk for them at the ready at all times. Many years earlier he was nicknamed the “candy man” out at camp. Every kid was on the lookout for his car because everyone knew what was inside. He passed out candy to everyone. This continued until the absolute end, but to do this with grandchildren was the best. He was overflowing with happiness to pass on his love for junk food to them. Junk food was his favorite food along with spaghetti and meatballs and massive amounts of fruit.

Dad would love to take his grandchildren fishing and would show them how to filet and cook them up on the fire. Many good times fishing with his own kids, nephews and most special his grandkids.

Any sport his grandkids were involved in, he was there. When hockey games were close it would drive him crazy to the point where he had to leave for a bit. He always wanted his grandkids to be successful in everything they did and was always bragging to everyone who would listen. He only came to watch (Colin) in Taekwondo a few times because he was so afraid he would get hurt but still wanted updates on his progress and of course brag about his skill. When the youngest of the grandchildren came along (Max and Sonny) he never missed their swimming lessons, soccer games and whatever else they were involved in. Of course later he would brag about them to whoever would listen. Such a big loving heart he had for his family.

Gino is survived by Gina (Dave) Dylan and Colin Grant, Angela (Blake) Bailey and Jordan McCandless, Christa Savietto (Ryan Wasilewski) Max and Sonny. He will be missed by his family in Italy, brother, sisters, nieces and nephews. Gino is predeceased by his wife Joan (Kettridge) and sister Adriana Savietto.

Dad you will be missed more than words can say. We will forever talk about the special times we had with you. You are in us and will always be there. We are happy you have been reunited with Mom. Rest in peace Dad. We love you dearly now and forever.

Ciao Nonno

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2023, when family and friends will gather at the Sargent Family Reception Centre, 21 N. Court Street from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm with words of tribute being offered at 12:30 pm. Interment will follow in Mountain View Cemetery. If friends desire, memorials to the charity of one’s choice would be appreciated.