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It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Mr. Sergio Verardo at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre on March 15, 2023.

Sergio was born May 15, 1940 in Tiezzo, Italy. He was raised in Bannia, Udine where he attended school and started working at the age of 12, baking and delivering bread for both his employer and cycling coach. He would transport bread on a bike with a basket the size of a fiat. This would serve as excellent endurance training towards his competing in lengthy road bicycle races.

At 16, he left Italy to join his father in France. As a carpenter apprentice, he spent the next 3 years traveling the country constructing various buildings from schools to ski chalets. In 1959, Sergio made the move to Thunder Bay where he lived with his big brother Giovanni and his sister-in-law Anita, briefly taking on work in the rugged Northern Ontario bush camps. Sergio would pass time fishing, hunting, swimming at the YMCA, playing cards at the Venice Grill and regularly bowling at Big M’s. He would soon find employment in the carpentry trade with different builders, finally settling with Concrete Walls for the next decade.

During this time, he met the love of his life Wanda. He caught her eye wearing the latest in European fashion and impressed her with his smooth ballroom dancing moves at various social gatherings throughout the city. Wanda and her friends were quick to nickname the handsome Italian “King Buckles” and in 1963, Sergio and Wanda married and soon afterward started their family.

Sergio was considered a pioneer and was instrumental in forming one the most successful Northern Ontario construction companies, C.F.S. throughout the 70’s and 80’s. In this time, he earned the nickname “the Fonz” for his ability to work while keeping his cool, and have his white t-shirt gleaming without a hair out of place by the end of the day.

Sergio would eventually retire, but that was short lived. He returned to work at the tender age of 65 as a carpenter foreman for Syncor, undoubtedly making him the oldest active member of the Carpenters Union Local 1669 for 60 years!

Sergio was a member of the Italian Hall and Davinci Centre. When not at work he would be found walking for miles around the city and spending time in his garden. He loved music, playing his Piaf and Pavarotti records for all the neighbours to hear. He loved watching the Habs, F1 racing, baseball and any sport that was televised. He always made time to watch his kids participate in sports as well. He especially enjoyed watching their hockey games, always to be found at the back of the rink by the zamboni. Nonno continued to attend his grandchildren’s events showing his support for them throughout the years. Sergio and his family would attend weekend picnics and spend time vacationing in Italy. Sergio loved spending his evening dinners with family and friends, where he could amuse everyone with fascinating stories that he vividly told while keeping his audience entertained.

Sergio was known all too well for his determination and strong work ethic. Even when Sergio fell ill he showed bravery and courage for his family. He was one who could rise to meet challenges with a smile and make you feel at ease. Sergio was a kind loving man. He was a leader, a mentor, a true gentleman and had made many friends in his life. He will be forever loved, forever missed, forever in our hearts.

Sergio will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife Wanda, children Lucia, Ramon (Lisa) and Sergio Jr., grandchildren Dillon (Ericka), Olivia and Luca and great-grandchild Nico. Sergio will also be dearly missed by his brother Giovanni (Anita) and nephews Massimo (Marilyn), Peter (Keri) and Luca. He will also be missed by nieces Meghan and Irena and nephews Michael, Matthew and Daniel. Sergio also leaves relatives to mourn in Italy and Argentina.
Sergio was predeceased by his parents, Emma and Pietro, sisters, Luigina (Silvio) and Nella (Franco).

The Verardo family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Del Paggio, Dr. Ibrahim, Dr. Sellick and their teams for their outstanding care and compassion.

In keeping with Sergio’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A Mass will be celebrated on Monday, May 15, 2023 at Corpus Christi Church, 664 Red River Road, beginning at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the TBRHSC – Northern Cancer Fund.

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