It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph (Joe) De Fabrizio. Born in Poggiardo, Italy on October 1st, 1927, Joe led a full and active life until his passing on Saturday, September 28th.
Joe’s life was full of challenge and adventure. His mother passed away early in his life and his father left for the War. He also served until discovered that he was underage at which point he joined the Italian Resistance (Partisans).
On Christmas Eve 1947, Joe married Elena Marinelli and remained married to her until his death. In the early 50’s, Joe immigrated to Canada and ended up for a brief time in Sudbury. Being an adventurous sort, he listened to a visiting priest’s advice about how nice Bracebridge was and, in 1954, he moved to this town. Overcoming the challenges of limited English and a lack of family and friends, Joe quickly assimilated into the community. He became a proprietor in town where he ran Joe’s Billiards for many years. Despite the fact that he had never skated or experienced hockey, he became an executive in the Bracebridge Bears organization. He built community as part of the Lion’s Club, where he was President and a member for many years, and proudly belonged to the Knights of Columbus. As one of the founding members of the Bracebridge Soccer Club, he ensured that one of his life’s passions would thrive in town. He dabbled in Town politics and campaigned on behalf of the Conservative Party for many years. Joe’s tenacity and willingness to take on challenges allowed him to help build a strong community.
Joe leaves behind his wife Elena, children Tony (Ulla), Lou, Frank, George, Robert (Mila), John (Christa) and Lucy (Doug) and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Thank you to the many health care professionals (including Dr. Cross, his physician of 35 years) who assisted Joe as his health began to fail. He was very grateful for the assistance given and valued and enjoyed his life to the fullest.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to either of two organizations that Joe was very passionate about: South Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Bracebridge Soccer Club.