It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of Francesco Bruni on April 4, 2018.
Francesco was born in Aiello Calabro, Provincia Cosenza, Italy on June 10, 1931, the son of Francesca Bernardo Ciddio and Carmine Bruni. As a young man, he lived a joyful life, despite the hardships of the tough economic times. Lucky enough to have a bicycle and his own record player, he would bring it with him to wherever a party could be arranged, and he and his friends would dance and sing together. If a few young ladies could be enticed to come, that was even better. Francesco did military service in the aviation division, stationed in Bari, Italy. He had many fond memories of his time there.
On September 6, 1955 he married Ida Coccimiglio, who would be his wife for 62 years until her recent passing earlier this year. For a few years, alongside his brother Nicola, they carried on the family winemaking tradition, tending to their vineyard, Vallamonte, near the river Savuto.
In March of 1959, Francesco, Ida and their young daughter Franca set out to start a new life in Canada. They boarded the ship Vulcania, leaving Naples and crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Halifax. After a long train ride they arrived in Port Arthur. Francesco became a member of the Italian Mutual Benevolent Society and St. Anthony Parish. It was a tight-knit Italian community who worked and celebrated the special moments of their lives together, carrying on the traditions of their homeland. They compared their sopressata or homemade wine, tried to figure out each other's secret mushroom picking sites and revolutionized the picnic industry as they cooked pasta in the wilderness.
Francesco was always guided by a strong work ethic and sense of duty to those around him. Like many immigrants of the time, he initially worked for the R. F. Welch Company, laying track for the railroad, and then for Silman Construction. Most of his working years were spent at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool 7. When he retired in 1997, he was delighted to spend more time with his grandchildren Nick, Kristina and Alina, whom he called his little peaches.
Francesco was a proud, resilient and resourceful man. He loved to build things and always seemed to have a project on the go. He was an avid gardener and his flowers and fruit trees were a great delight. Every fall, baskets of plums and apples were delivered to many people. He loved to socialize and nothing gave him more pleasure than sharing food and drink with family and friends as they reminisced about growing up together. The Bruni home was always warm and welcoming to all.
In the last years of their lives, the words "in sickness and in health" became profoundly poignant for Francesco and Ida as she was affected by Alzheimer's disease. His strength, his support and his devotion to her was unwavering, and beyond admirable. He kept her in their home, taking care of her until the very end, never letting go. He could not have loved her more.
Francesco is survived and dearly missed by his daughter Franca, son-in-law Mike Cuglietta and granddaughters Alina and Kristina, his son Dino, daughter-in-law, Jaclyn and grandson Nick, and nephew Carmine Bruni, his wife Rosaria and family in Paola, Italy, as well as several cousins, brothers and sisters in law and their families.
Funeral services for the late Francesco Bruni will be held Wednesday, April 11, 2018, leaving the Sargent & Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street at 9:30 am for the Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM in St. Anthony's Church, Hilldale Road. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in the Chapel of the Sargent & Son Funeral Home with Vigil Prayers to follow. As expressions of sympathy, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Association, the Alzheimer's Society, or the Myasthenia Gravis Society of Canada in Francesco's memory. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.
Non piangete per me
perché io vi guardo
sempre dal cielo.
Vi ho amato sempre
quando ero con voi.
Adesso, vi amo ancora di piú
ed io prego sempre per voi
e vi aspetto accanto a Gesú.