96 years young (July 16, 1916 – April 1, 2013)
It is with sad hearts that we announce Gigi’s peaceful passing at Hardy View Lodge (Sunshine Manor) in Grand Forks.
Gigi was born in Grand Forks and then moved to Casarsa, Italy with his family at the age of 5. While in Italy, he completed a cabinetry apprenticeship. At 15, Gigi traveled back to Canada alone by boat to help his Dad clear the land for his family’s new farm in the Northfork. His siblings and mother arrived later on. At 17, Gigi moved to Trail to work for Cominco. It was there that he met the love of his life, Anna Mandoli at a Colombo Lodge picnic and they were married in 1939. Not long after their first child Joy was born, Gigi and Anna took over the family farm in the Northfork. Their second child Larry arrived a few years later.
On the farm, they worked very hard – milking cows, making cheese, haying and raising beef cattle. Gigi was a jack of all trades and could fix anything. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. There were a lot of friends around at all times especially during hunting season. Lots of laughs and good times were had by all and many intense “Morra” games were played with red, swollen knuckles appearing the next day. In 1964, Gigi and Anna sold the farm and moved into Grand Forks. He worked at the Province Hotel and kept everyone in line with a kind but firm hand.
Gigi enjoyed prospecting as well as hunting, fishing, gardening and making wine. He still had a love for the Northfork so bought property on the river and built a cabin. He cherished that cabin for the rest of his days and always said it was worth more than a million dollars to him! Gigi loved enjoying “10 drops” with the hunters and many friends who stopped by. He had charisma, loved life and lived each day to the fullest. Family meant the world to him and he amazed us with his positive attitude, creative ideas and interesting stories. With the help of his friend Patti, case manager Molly and fantastic home support workers, Gigi got his wish of remaining in his own home up until a couple of weeks ago when he went into a temporary bed at Hardy View Lodge. The staff at the Lodge treated him like one of their own and made him feel cared for and comfortable.
Gigi will be missed by his son and best friend Larry (Wendy), daughter Joy Benetton, 2 grand-daughters Cindy Emery (Randy) and Kim Benetton (Scott), 2 great grand-daughters Nicole and Sara Emery, siblings, Marion Bryant and Angelo Rossi, in-laws Louie Mandoli and Leda Agostinelli and devoted friend Patti Redding. He was pre-deceased by his wife Anna (Mandoli), daughter-in-law Myra Rossi, son-in-law Deno Benetton, siblings, Janice Poletta, Evelyn Pavan, Esther Babuin, Nancy Schiavon and brother-in-law Vince Mandoli.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Jordan Wren of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.
In remembrance of Gigi, enjoy “10 drops” with family and friends.