Giovannino Nerino was born in Paterno Calabro, Cosenza, Italy on October 14th, 1937. He grew up in a farm house surrounded by rolling hills, and fruit trees of all kinds. As children, he and his siblings would climb those trees and, from their perches, eat fruit and chestnuts all day until they felt as though their stomachs would burst.
At age 14, Giovanni’s father passed away, which meant that he became responsible for cultivating the land and caring for the farm animals. With the help of his brothers and brother-in-law, their farm was bountiful; they always had enough left over to share with the rest of their community.
At the age of 21, Giovanni decided to follow his aunt, uncle, and two brothers to Canada to chase the dream of a better life. Like so many immigrants, he travelled on The Queen Frederica across the Atlantic Ocean and landed at Pier 21 in Halifax on July 28th, 1958. He then made the long trip by train, to Port Arthur, Ontario, to join his brothers Gino and Giuseppe. When he arrived, he began working at Fero Construction alongside his older brother Giuseppe. In 1961, through his friend Carmine DeVuono, he met Immacolata Pupo, and after a two year courtship, they were married on the 18th of May, 1963. Immacolata and Giovanni raised three children: Gino, Michael and Lisa.
During his youth in Italy, he and his friend Salvatore Vetere took music lessons and learned how to play the guitar. They brought that talent to Canada and would often play together with Ray Colosimo, Luigi Carobelli and Giacinto Berardi. At Christmas time, through all hours of the night, the quartet would visit the homes of friends and family and play traditional Calabrese music (“La Strina”) in exchange for food, drink and refuge from the cold.
After a few years of multiple jobs in construction and on the railway, he began working at Canada Car. This job was unsteady at first, so while laid off in the summers, he worked with his good friend Joe Vallelunga, paving roads all over Northwestern Ontario. He worked at Canada Car (Bombardier) for over 35 years. He was known for his excellent work ethic and dedication, however, when lunch time rolled around, he entertained everyone at the table with his stories and jokes, and impressed co-workers with his amazing lunches. At Bombardier, he and his friends Ugo Provensano, Santo Pellegrino, Tony Coccimiglio and Carmine Felice would sometimes work quickly so they could spend time on their own “personal projects”.
Giovanni had many traditional passions in life including his garden, greenhouse, making wine, hunting, fishing, making sausage, curing meats and preserving his garden vegetables. Making tomato sauce at the end every summer was one of his favorite events; gathering together in someone’s garage was always a great time with friends and family. Sunday dinner with his children and grandchildren was also one of his favourite times. Even though he spent most of the day cooking, he always looked forward to enjoying the fruits of his labour in the perfect bowl of pasta and sauce.
He was a long-time member of the Italian Society of Port Arthur where he thoroughly enjoyed playing scopa, tresette and briscola; never missing an opportunity to slam a “Carico” (or Trump) on the table. His membership at the DaVinci Centre was highlighted by playing in the house bocce league and in any bocce tournament he could find.
In the last year, even as his health began to decline, he was insistent on continuing to plant his garden. With the help of Alfredo Bruno, Sam Sgromo, Carmine Turco, and his sisters, the garden flourished.
In the late hours of the night on July 31st, 2021, Giovanni passed away. He is survived by his children Gino (Patricia), Michael (Genevieve) and Lisa (Nick); grandchildren Audrey, Veronica, Isla, Theo, Layla and Ava; sisters Ida Arabia (Italy), Aurora Casciaro (Mario), Lina Fabiano and Gina Carobelli; sisters-in-law, Vincenza Spada, Pina DeVuono, Lina Grassia (Emilio), and Sara Nerino; brothers-in-law Jim Kurcinka and Bruno Pupo, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his wife Immacolata Nerino; mother Saveria Porto and father Michele Nerino, brothers Gino and Giuseppe Nerino, sister Gettina Barone, sister-in-law Antonietta Kurcinka; brothers-in-law Carmine DeVuono, Carmine Arabia, Antonio Barone, Peter Fabiano, and Luigi Carobelli; and mother and father-in-law Elena and Ricordo Pupo.
The family would like to extend their thanks to Dr. Ibrahim and staff at the Cancer Clinic, to Dr. Bezanson, and to Dr. Maria Valente for her exceptional care over the years.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church followed by the Funeral Mass beginning at 11:00 a.m. celebrated by Rev. Luigi Filippini. To register to attend the Funeral Mass, please visit Giovanni’s page at www.sargentandson.com or by calling 345-5351. Those wishing to attend the service virtually may do so on the Sargent and Son Facebook page. Entombment to follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the TBRHS Foundation – Northern Cancer Fund.
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Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Giovannino Nerino Saturday July 31st 2021..
Death notice for the town of: THUNDER-BAY, Province: Ontario