Mr. Enzo Martini (November 23, 1923 – April 12, 2018. Toronto, Ontario - Canada)
Character informs the choices of our life, crafting in part our destiny and that of those we love. Born into conditions of harsh economic realities, our beloved father exemplified the values of integrity, love, devotion, humility, hard work, pride in a job well done, ingenuity, open-mindedness and gratitude. He learned resilience without cynicism, grew strength without self-pity, developed knowledge and wisdom with increasing appreciation. His quiet and immensely astute intelligence and integrity captured that which was given in life lessons. He was a stellar student, mentor and teacher.
“Life is like a wheel” he would say when we came across yet another life event, “Each spoke a life lesson from which we are to learn. The wheel keeps turning until we have completed the full turn.”
His life wheel, gnarled from austerity, disappointments, WWII war-internee camps, starvation, torture and responsibilities demanded difficult and painful decisions. The rim of his wheel was strong courage, and shone with commitment and quiet pride in the outcomes of that which he worked so hard to accomplish. We never saw our dad bend to self-pity, or writhe in prolonged resentment. His was a courage developed by a steel will that overrode apathy and fear, to not only survive but to overcome and prosper in a life that was filled with riches, fully meaningful for him.
He loved his wife with all his heart, his family with all his might. He reveled in the joy of being a grandfather and beamed when he realized he would be the first great grandfather in the history of his family! He was a patron of the birds, squirrels, cats, dogs and even a skunk or two. He caught and made great effort to release safely to the wild the raccoons that created havoc in his yard, time and again. He grew bountiful gardens, year after year, that nurtured his family and his soul, and fruit trees that produced mouth-watering treats, not only for our family but also for the birds that came to visit. His yard was meticulous and he quietly worked in enjoyment and pride on that which returned a multitude of joys – magnificent flowerbeds, and soil that connected him profoundly to joy.
Enzo was not a big man, but he was as solid as an ox. He worked tirelessly with marble and granite; creating beautiful pieces that still proudly stand today as examples of finest craftsmanship. Our teachers’ Christmas gifts, made from remnants of this fine stone, became exquisite penholders and ashtrays, very popular back then. Wherever he worked his leaders appreciated his quick mind and discerning eye for quality and efficiency. He was often the choice for promotions and leadership, but his craftsmanship was that which he so enjoyed, and he quietly continued to find his satisfaction in improving and designing work systems to enhance efficiencies.
Enzo was a survivor, facing death square on, time and again. He demonstrated the passion and will to live; these qualities he also put into his work and for his family.
Dad departed with a gentle, quiet last breath; his wheel has stopped, fully ridden and well worn. From his humble beginnings November 23, 1923 in the little town of Ciconicco di Fagagna, provincia Udine in Friuli, Italy, he traveled and ended his life journey on April 12, 2018 as a Canadian Italian duo citizen in his beloved city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A soldier of Life, Enzo Martini demonstrated to us that the face of strength need not rail and bluster, but rather it can be found in the daily lessons of our very existence. He has gently let the seeds of knowledge blow from his experiences into the wind, and they have found their way into our hearts and souls. We carry them forward nurturing them into all that we have come to know, love and appreciate.
Leaving to mourn him deeply are his loving family – daughters and son, and their spouses - Silvia and Rick, Loretta and Chris, and Carlo and Adel; his beautiful grandchildren Nicole (Alan), Kaitlyn and Christian; the pride of his last years – his great grandchildren Augustus and Anderson, and his family in Italy - his brother Aldo, niece Consuela, nephew Paolo, niece Daniela, nephew Giuseppe, nephew Candido, niece Bianca, niece Ivana, niece Mariangela, nephew Maurizio, niece Raffaella and their families.
Welcoming him is the love of his eternity Bruna, mother Ines, father Augusto, mother-in-law Palmira, his brothers Azelio and Alberto, his beautiful granddaughter Alison, and his many friends with whom he laughed and loved many delightful moments.
We love you dad. You have left us a rich garden of wisdom from which we have grown and continue to do so. We will harvest that which you have sown and tend your garden of teachings for the future generations in all that we do.
Ciao papa! Ci mancherai immensamente. Sempre nei nostri cuori, Thank You, Dad!
Enzo was well known for his gracious nature, ensuring that people to whom he was grateful received his thanks. We know that he would want to join us in extending special gratitude and appreciation to a few amazing individuals who have helped him so generously and courageously on his journey:
With the strength of a true heroine, we extend immense gratitude to Mercedes, Enzo’s incredible caregiver and friend of five years who enhanced greatly Enzo’s quality of life, and to Liza who was always present when it was most important!
We extend our gratitude to his medical team over the years, in particular Dr. Abraham Friesner, Mickey and staff for their many years of great elder medical care; to LaFerne Clarke of the CCAC, and to Villa Colombo Home for the Aged, Dr. DiCarlo, Director of Care Josie Fanciulli and her staff, in particular Nurse Devi, who worked ardently with us to address opportunities to enhance quality of life for Enzo in a time of increasingly complex need.
A good death is not possible without the understanding of the unique needs of palliative and end-of-life stages, and the appreciation of each patient’s special needs. We extend deepest gratitude to the amazing Dr. Rubenzhal, HRRH Social Worker extraordinaire Leslie Shafran, and the nurses on duty of the 13th Floor Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto for creating with us an environment that supported a safe, comforting and meaningful transition.
The depth of gratitude we feel cannot adequately be conveyed for our respective employers, clients and friends who have supported us over this time of great need, and to our spouses Rick, Chris and Adel, and family members who have stood with us in love and compassion, giving of themselves with a ferocity and devotion that defies human description. You are so loved and appreciated! May the universe smile warmly upon you.