On Sunday, February 11, 2018, my mother Irene Rose Bozzo, passed away following prolonged health issues. She was born on April 2, 1931 in Saskatchewan and moved with her family to Fort Frances when she was 8 years old. A relocation to Port Arthur followed when Mom decided to enter the workforce. She met my father, Frank Bozzo, when he was driving his sister Fran and friends home from work. For some reason, he decided to drive Mom home last. They were married October 10, 1952 and celebrated over 54 inseparable years prior to his passing on June 24, 2007.
Mom was a truly dedicated wife and mother. Her family was her life. It was just the three of us and we did everything together. My parents taught me how to ski with poor Mom walking me up the hill at Centennial Park and Dad catching me at the bottom. When Dad started taking me golfing when I was in Grade 6, Mom would come along for the walk. We always made sure to stop and enjoy a cold bottle of coke at the Municipal Golf Course. Sunday was spaghetti night in front of the TV watching the Ed Sullivan Show. When I was in Grade 8 and taking home economics, Dad bought me a sewing machine and, as a result, Mom found a new hobby. She became quite the seamstress and took great pride in making my clothes especially when I started working. She took this task very seriously until discovering the clearance sections in the stores at Keskus Mall. She would come downtown and scout out the sales and then meet me at noon when we would power shop throughout my lunch hour. I think Mom knew every salesperson in the store and they got to know me too. This passion for shopping was clearly an inherited trait.
After I got married and had children, they became her life as well. She was a hands-on grandma and an active participant through the early years of their development. My parents loved road trips. They especially loved the desert and when Dad retired they would make an annual trip to Las Vegas and a monthly trip to Duluth. They would often visit us in Sault Ste. Marie where we would experience the joys of cross-border shopping and the casino.
After Dad’s passing, Mom’s health started to decline. She was a patient of St. Joseph’s Care Group before entering Long Term Care in 2011. She enjoyed all the activities provided by Nancy and her programs team, including tea-time, bingo, laughter yoga and kindermusic. Mom was particularly proud when her great-grandson Nolan would attend and participate. One highlight was when Sean, a staff member, decided to have his wedding in the gardens to ensure his “extended family” could attend. I wish to acknowledge the many RPN’s and PSW’s that have provided care for my Mom throughout these past years. We became closer with her primary care givers including RPN’s Michelle, Priscilla, Jess and Alfredo and to PSW’s Jane, Jen, Lisa and Gary who were with Mom for years along with all staff working on her floor. Those working in Long Term Care are truly dedicated individuals who enrich the lives of the elderly. It is a most challenging job and they strive to do their best under the most trying circumstances.
Mom is survived by her only child Laurie Raslack, son-in-law Ray, adored grandchildren, Erin Middleton (Nathan) and Reid Raslack (Michelle), and her precious great-grandchildren Nolan and Mitchell Middleton and Adaline Raslack. Sadly, she will not be able to meet her new great-grandson who is expected in May.
As per Mom’s wishes there will be no funeral and in lieu of flowers, I would ask that you consider volunteering a little of your time at a Long Term Care facility. It is so rewarding to sit and have tea with a group or provide a little help in the dining room. An extra set of hands and a new face are always welcome and truly appreciated. Arrangements have been entrusted to Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street. Online condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.