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Annunziata Di Fonzo (Tina)

March 25, 1928

June 25, 2023

On a lovely and bright Sunday morning, June 25, 2023, another angel was welcomed into Heaven. Tina’s earthly journey started on March 25, 1928, in the town of Fondi in Latina, Italy. She was the youngest of nine children born to Arcangelo and Loreta De Bonis. At the age of 22, in November 1950, she married John Di Fonzo, who remained her loving husband for 69 years. Despite not knowing a word of English, Tina embarked on a brave adventure when she traveled across the Atlantic to Halifax, and then by rail to Vancouver in July 1951. She carried her first unborn child, Mary, with her, ready to meet her new family and start a life in Canada. In the years that followed, her mother, two brothers (Tommaso and Vincenzo), and one sister (Carmina) also made the journey to join her.

Tina embodied strength in every aspect of her life. She worked tirelessly to raise her five children with John, demonstrating her dedication and productivity. In her early fifties, she started working at the Vancouver Lawn & Tennis Club, where she formed close bonds with her coworkers. Upon reaching the age of 65, she retired to care for her newborn grandson, Graham, the following year.

Tina found solace and contentment in the garden, reminiscent of her upbringing in Italy where cultivating tomatoes was second nature. Her green thumb blessed her with abundant vegetables and succulent figs, which she gladly shared with friends and family. Tina’s culinary skills were nothing short of extraordinary. She passionately cooked and baked Italian delicacies that were savored by all, including dishes like Pizza, Pizzelle, Pizza frites, Crab sugo with linguine, her renowned meatballs, Easter bread, Crostoli, and Ceccini. Can you already taste the mouthwatering flavors? The highlight of every year was the Christmas turkey dinner, where Tina’s greatest joy came from having the family together for a festive and joyous feast.

Tina was a dedicated mother and Nonna to her surviving children: Mary (Ken), Gerry, Anita (“Kelly”/Don), Dino (Flavia), and Lisa; as well as her cherished grandchildren Graham and Sabrina. Her husband John passed away in 2020, preceded by all of her siblings in previous years. Tina’s selflessness, radiant smile, and boundless generosity endeared her to anyone who had the privilege of knowing her. The candles we now light in her memory can never match the radiant presence she had in our lives.

A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, 555 Slocan St. Vancouver, on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 1:00PM. The burial will be attended by the immediate family only.

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