September 23, 1937 – December 6, 2018
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Eduardo on December 6, 2018 in Toronto. Eduardo leaves behind his cherished wife Ana, his marriage of 56 years a point of great pride and joy for him always. Leaves behind his children, Fred (Jing and children Vivien, Christina, Livia, Rachel and Victoria), Alex, Cristina (Greg and children Monica, Alicia, Adam and Michael), Laura (deceased, and son Tourel), and Eddie (Elizabeth and children Francesco, Bianca, Angela and Veronica). Predeceased by his siblings Josefina, Enrique, and Herminia.
Eduardo Angel Jose Gandolfi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1937, youngest child of four, to an Italian store owner father who had been a Caproni pilot in WWI, and an Argentinian mother who taught elementary school. His knack for mathematics and quick, creative problem solving manifested early, he entered University two years ahead. Physics was his passion. The world made sense, and nature’s beauty was explained through Physics – a subject he relished to talk about all his life to whoever he could “catch” for a few minutes. He presented at his first international conference at age 19, while on an International student scholarship living in Italy. A career as a Physics Researcher took him from Argentina to Italy and back. During one transatlantic trip he met his future wife, whom he pursued for several months, but had to charm her mother first, in order to gain her blessing. They married in 1962, and were to have five children on three different continents. In 1977, future family wellbeing motivated him to abandon his beloved career, a paid home, language, and the comfort of a large extended network of family and friends towards an uncertain life as a 40 year old immigrant in Canada with four children. There he endured, starting from scratch, with the support of his wife: the new big mortgage, the unsteady job, and the economic troubles in the early 1980s. Not ones to choose the easy life, around this time Eduardo and Ana also embarked on a night school diploma in IT and were further blessed with a new baby.
Eduardo was idealistic. In his world, a man’s word and handshake were all that was necessary, and he believed in setting the example. He believed that all problems had to have solutions, leaving us with the question of “how elegant is your solution?” He also lived by the principles that “everyone’s rights end where someone else’s rights begin”; ”if everyone proactively did more than they had to, we would stop measuring what everyone else does and people would get along happier in a more beautiful world”. If a neighbour had a problem with a car, a computer, a garage door… he’d be there right away and for as long as it took to make things right. He could not abide unethical behaviour, or one that could inflict suffering on to others.
Eduardo lost his own father, Francesco Gandolfi, at 21, and his mother, Mariana Otilia Foulon, at age 32, both times while living abroad in Italy. The loss of his parents affected him deeply, and fueled the fire of Family First values he would instill on kin and others for the rest of his life. Said values were held above the trappings of money, and material goods. Along with it an expectation to help your fellow man, and if that meant your discomfort or collateral damage that was just fine for a good cause. He believed that every day started with a plan to achieve something. Life had to be lived, and not wasted. If you had a family, then you needed to be responsible. Honest work was a requirement – and then you took it from there. So long as you could roll up your sleeves, you must do it for your family. He himself in Argentina worked as a Researcher during the day, a University Professor at night, and tutored on weekends. The latter not with the goal to make money but to ensure kids learned and attained confidence to have better lives. He was first and foremost, an Educator. In his mind there was no higher vocation. “Feed a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime” drove his philosophy as an Educator. There was no expedient “show me how to get the answer” tutoring from him. You would be schooled on the concepts so you would be able to see how obvious the answer was, on your own. When he was done with you, you could “feed” yourself. This further enabled the “Can-Do” attitude you were expected to have.
Among the many things that made him “Eduardo”: he could not refrain himself from cracking jokes – with a particular fondness for word puns that would be constructed from melding the various languages he knew. He found them quite funny and gave you numerous opportunities to agree with him. He also spent most of his life walking around in dress shoes, shirt and tie – including while doing renovation work, car repairs, and a bar-b-q. For years he had a large poster of his hero Albert Einstein in his bedroom. He was happy tinkering as an early technology adopter. Until his mid 70s, he was capable of whistling the classical and popular music that he enjoyed.
In his autumn years he walked around with sometimes four different bags of bird seeds in his pockets, as wild birds would fly to feed from his hands – to his great pleasure. With additionally a cordless and a mobile phone, three pairs of reading or distance glasses, pens, pencils, little books, notes, receipts- all stuffed in two breast pockets, … he was quite self sufficient and always ready for fun. As the body began to betray him, he accommodated hip replacements, decreased hearing, mobility… until dementia began to erode what mattered to him the most. The last few years were a struggle for him, a growing frustration as he became aware of what he did not remember, could no longer do, the vocabulary that escaped him, his being unaware of what language he communicated in… However, he continued to attend a continuum of family get togethers and basked in the company of three generations, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Alzheimer Society of Canada.
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Eduardo Gandolfi 2018.