It is with overwhelming sadness that we are announcing the passing of Michele Perna, age 87 years, peacefully in TBRHSC, on Monday December 17th, 2018 with his daughters by his side.
Michele, or Mike to his friends, was born in Tufino, Naples, Italy on June 4th 1931 to Nicola and Maria Perna. He was to be the first of 6 children. Mike learned to farm hazel nuts with his father, and later his brothers, on the family property at a very early age which led him to his love of gardening. He met the love of his life, Maddalena and they had 3 children, Maria, Felicetta and Nick before he decided to move his life and family to Canada in 1965. Mike was employed at Cargill Grain until his retirement at 55 due to health issues. This freed his time up to work on his garden, make his wine, play bocci at St Dominic's Church with his Seniors Club, and Sunday trips to Chippewa. Mike was lucky to have been able to travel, when he was in better health, back to Italy, to Mexico, Las Vegas, road trips to the states and to Grimsby to visit his favorite people, his grandchildren Alexandra and Matthew. They meant the world to him, and he told them at every opportunity. Mike was grateful to have had been able to babysit them with Maddalena until they had started school, even trying to interest them in gardening. Matthew's best thing about Nonno's garden, was eating his peas off of the vine. Mike was so proud of his grandchildren, and we know he missed them terribly when they had to move. Even with the sudden loss of his only son, and then his wife of 60 years within months of each other, as well as failing health, Mike smiled and recounted old stories and remembered the good times. He battled hard but now he is at rest with his wife and son by his side.
Michele is survived by his two daughters, Maria and Felicetta; daughter in law LeeAnn Perna; granddaughter Alexandra, grandson Matthew and great-grandson Ethan Bailey; brothers Tony Perna (Teresa), Bart Perna (Jackie) and sisters Caroline Vacchiano (Antonio), Imaculatta Foglia, and Vinneranda Cavezza (Felice) as well as numerous nieces and nephews here and in Italy.
He was predeceased by his wife Maddalena and son Nick; parents Nicola & Maria Perna; father & mother in law Dominic& Felicetta Silvano; sister and brother in law Lucia & Dominic Silvano; sister in law Filomena & Franco Maietta, brother in law Bartolomeo Silvano, brother in law Vicenzo & Giovanina Silvano, brother in law Antonio Foglia, nephew Renato Mena, and niece Anna Silvano.
Funeral services for the late Mr. Michele Perna will be held on Friday, December 21, 2018, with family and friends gathering in St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church for the Funeral Mass at 1:00 p.m., celebrated by Father Michael Mahoney. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service time.
Should friends so desire, donations made in memory of Michele to the Renal Unit at TBRHSC or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore St. At James.