It is with heavy hearts and sorrow that we announce the passing of John at St. Joseph’s Hospital on October 4th 2017, with his family by his side after a brave battle with Multiple Myeloma.
John was born in Pasiano de Pordenone, Italy to Anna and Luigi Rossi. John was the youngest of 4 siblings; brothers Federico, Achille and sister Bruna. John immigrated to Canada in 1957, after being trained as an automotive mechanic and under the watchful eye of his eldest brother Federico. John worked for his brother at the family business in Pasiano.
He settled in Fort William, and was first employed at Lakehead Motors and then later at Kam Motors as a Mechanic. In 1963, John spread his wings and started his own business, Ogden Texaco at 544 Simpson Street, later becoming Rossi’ Esso. For over 52 years, John remained the heart and soul of the garage.
He was a businessman, mentor but more importantly, a trusted friend to all his loyal customers. He greeted everyone with a smile and was true to his values of helping everyone. He was proactive in keeping up with advancements in automotive technology. He loved challenges and was the best at his trade. John was well respected by his colleagues, customers and within the automotive community.
John was an advocate for education, and in cooperation with the Ogden Community School, developed and instructed a Ladies’ Auto Mechanics Course that ‘takes you under the hood and all around your car’. He had an open-door policy and you could find John’s customers in the bays as he explained ‘what was wrong’ and ‘what he was going to repair’. Over the years, John trained numerous apprentices to become licensed automotive mechanics.
John was a strong supporter of the South Core Development Project focused on the re-development of the Simpson Street area. He also maintained a connection with the community in sponsoring the local little league baseball teams. He was also a life member of the Principe Di Piemonte Society and supported the original construction of the Da Vinci Centre.
John was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer and truly enjoyed the outdoors. He loved spending time at his cottage at Pete’s Lake, where he could be seen cruising with his wife and friends on his pontoon boat. John also loved to hunt and snowmobile at his bush cabin near Pass Lake.
John is survived by his wife and soulmate of 51 years, Doris, son Brian (Tanya) and three beautiful grandson’s Luke, Ethan and Hudson. The boys loved to tell Nonno all about their hockey games and how they did. Survived by many nieces and nephews both in Italy and Switzerland, Brother and Sister in laws Harry and Norah Melnek of Sault St. Marie, Nephews Lance(Carla) and Kelly(Fran) of Sudbury.
Predeceased by his parents Anna and Luigi, brothers Achille and Federico from Italy and sister Bruna of Switzerland.
As per John’s wishes cremation has taken place. A private interment will take place at a later date at Mountain View Cemetery. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday October 11th 2017, when family and friends will gather at St. Agnes Church, for funeral mass beginning at 10:00am celebrated by Rev. James Panikulam. Visitation for friends will be held Tuesday October 10th from 6pm – 8pm at the Blake Funeral Chapel. Donations may be made to the Thunder Bay Regional Foundation / Northern Cancer Fund or St. Joseph’s Hospice Unit in John’s memory.
The Family would like to thank the Doctors and Nurses at the Cancer clinic, the TBRHSC 3A, 2B for their attentive care and support. A special thanks to Father James for his unwavering emotional and spiritual support.