After a life well lived, at the age of 93, our dear mother, Domenica Tuzi (Facchini) peacefully passed away on the night of November 30th, 2022, surrounded by her loving children and grandchildren. She leaves behind her eldest daughter, Antonietta Stirling (and her husband James), her son Marino (and his wife Marianne), her daughter Marisa (and her husband Jacques), and her daughter Tina (who was her primary caregiver these last three years). She also leaves behind three grandchildren who will miss their nonna dearly: Alexandra (and her husband Andrew), Emma (and her boyfriend Ashish) and Noah. Domenica’s own dear husband, our father, Pietro Tuzi, passed away just one year ago, on December 6th, 2021.
Domenica was born in the small, tightly knit community of Balsorano, Abruzzo, Italia on May 5, 1929, with her twin brother Luigi. Her brother and her two sisters, Santina and Angela, all pre-deceased her.
As a young teenager, our mother lived through WWII. Both our mother and father often recounted stories of the war years and instilled in us an understanding of the gravity of war. Our mother’s parents were kind and gentle people with generous hearts. They taught her the importance of giving to the needy and throughout our childhood our mother always encouraged us to give alms to the poor.
Our mother and father lived in the same town, they knew each other as children, they fell in love as young adults and married on August 8th, 1950. They were married for 71 years.
Both our parents shared a dream of living a different kind of life, away from the farm. Bravely they set out on April 23rd, 1961, by ship, with their four young children for Canada. The ship Saturnia, landed at Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia ten days later where we all gleefully boarded the train to Toronto. We were met by our maternal aunt and her husband who had volunteered to be our sponsors.
Those early years were both exciting and emotionally challenging. After one year of his working in construction and her working in a warehouse, our father started talking to our mother about going back to Italy. Domenica was determined that staying in Canada was the best choice. With her calming presence and her incredibly strong will she encouraged him to stay, to stick it out.
Together they worked toward their dream. Within two years there were enough savings to place a deposit on a house in North York and to purchase a 1955 red Pontiac. The car was our father’s pride and joy and allowed us Sunday drives to our beloved Wasaga Beach and to our favourite Dairy Queen.
At the age of forty-seven Domenica learned how to drive a car. She was always keen to be independent. She was courageous, down to earth, and spiritually grounded in her love of God. Domenica always said that the last thing she did every night before falling asleep was to say her prayers. When adversities hit, she was stoical and accepting, but not unfeeling. With sadness in her voice, she would often say “What are you going to do anyways?’ As her loving son-in-law, James, says “she was captain of the ship”.
Both our mother and father loved their grandchildren. They liked
picking them up from school and playing with them. They raised them with love, affection, and laughter. Our parents were always very happy to travel to Vancouver every year from the time their grandson Noah was born to attend his christening, his soccer games, his graduation, his birthday parties. They loved travelling with their children and grandchildren to Cuba, Florida, Italy, the Okanagan, Whistler.
Until the day she passed away, our mother had wonderful social graces. Throughout her life she enjoyed hosting family birthday parties and holiday celebrations. She was a great cook and made the best lasagna, cannelloni, gnocchi, and the smoothest tasting tomato sauce. We always felt that she poured her love and her caring into everything she prepared for us.
Cara mamma, cara nonna, we love you. We miss you. We will always miss you. Only one comforting thought consoles us, you’re not alone, you’re back with our dear papa, our nonno.