1942-2021 ~ 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.
At the tender age of 18, Luigi tried to join the Royal Canadian Engineers. The recruiting officer sent him home. 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. Sapper Luigi Di Clemente of 4 Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers received the trophy for top student from Brigadier A.J. Tedie at the Graduation Parade of the Junior NCO course at Fort Anne.
Upon returning to Canada with his wife, Gisela (nee Westhoff) who he married in Werl, Germany, and children, Diana and Daniel, Toronto for a few years. He began his apprenticeship training as an Electrician. Upon successful completion, with the designation of Journeyman Electrician, he moved his family to Belleville, Ontario.
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.
In 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, for whom he was a great role model. 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, (A big thank you to Vince for introducing us), 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, Mio Amore.
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 wellbeing for almost a quarter of a century.
Viewing was held at the Bernardo Funeral Home, 2960 Dufferin Street in Toronto. Funeral Mass followed at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 81 Lawrence Avenue West, North York, Ontario. A second visitation was held at the John R. Bush Funeral Home, 80 Highland Avenue, Belleville, Ontario. Interment at the St. James Cemetery, Belleville, Ontario.
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