Peacefully, on the afternoon of March 15th, Benito passed away at 93 years of age. He will be missed by his beloved wife of 60 years, Isabella, his children Guido (Marilyn), Alida (Jean), Amelio (Anu) and his grandchildren Benita (Steven), Carmen and Anisha.
Benito was born on January 7th1926 in Castiglione Fiorentino, Tuscany Italy to Guido Faralli and Giuseppina Magi the youngest of 10 children. In 1952, at the age of 24 he embarked on his voyage across the sea to Canada. You could say he danced his way across the seas (Dad was light on his feet and quite the dancer) and started his journey in Labrador and made his way to Vancouver until he finally settled in Winnipeg where he found work at the CNR. But it was not just work that he found here he also found a young southern beauty from Calabria, Italy. Her name was Isabella and that was it, not even our harsh cold winters could send him away as she had captured his heart. Love at first site for both of them and 6 months later they were husband and wife. In November of last year, they celebrated 60 years of marriage.
They began their married life together in Transcona in a tiny house they had purchased where Dad was able to put his great skills together to make it a home. It was there that they began their family. Guido, Giuseppina and Amelio. There were many family trips to Grand Beach where we would always take, not a yearly but monthly photo on “the rock”. (Dad liked to dabble in photography). Then there were the fishing trips with Amelio and Guido to Pine Falls and other places.
Dad loved his family and always wanted everyone together as often as possible and when our family started to grow Guido meeting Marilyn getting married and having three children, Daniela whom God took too soon, our beautiful Benita and handsome Carmen, well there wasn’t a prouder grandfather in the world. And as if that wasn’t enough Amelio later met his wife Anu and they blessed him with another beautiful granddaughter, Anisha. Dad loved his grandchildren and couldn’t have been prouder. He loved them so much he even let them play on the grass and if you knew my Dad, no one played on his grass. He loved his yard and vegetable garden and it showed. He kept a lush green lawn like none I have ever seen, mom even caught him once vacuuming the acorns off his grass… that was Dad and we loved him. Alida didn’t give Dad grandchildren but she did give him a son in law Jean that he loved. They shared many of the same interests and once spent 3 hours in Menards.
Even as Dad’s family continued to grow, his love and connection to Italy stayed strong. Italy was always home for Dad. He had fond memories of the countryside and the people. He often spoke of the birds, fruit trees and clear water streams. He often went back to visit his brothers and sisters, and continued to keep in contact with his nephews and nieces as the years went on. He spoke of his town often and always took pride in where he came from.
He was employed with the CNR for 25 years and retired at the age of 65. He was a general labourer. However, his real talents were on display at home. He had a gift for working with wood, electronics and solving building problems that he encountered. He was a perfectionist and would often redo projects he felt weren’t completed to his standards.
Dad had a special love for animals too, squirrels, birds and especially his buddy Comet (Guido and Marilyn’s dog) you could say that they were kindred spirits. Once he found a Hawk out in the field at work that had a broken wing, brought it home (not sure how mom felt about that) and nurtured it to health. He would give CPR to birds that had hit the window and when they took their first breathe and he was sure they could fly, he would set them free. He felt so much compassion towards animals that he eventually made the decision to put away his hunting rifle. You may have noticed that the program has a picture of a hummingbird on it. This couldn’t be more fitting because a humming bird once mistook him for a flowering bush and landed on his nose. That was Dad and we loved him.
In his later years, Dad had some health issues which he always overcame thanks to the love, care and support of his strong loving wife Isabella. It was her support and strength and watching his grandchildren grow that kept Dad going. In this last year, he spent 11 months at the Misericordia Interim Care and 6 weeks at Misericordia Place. While he was at Misericordia, he had some difficulty in that some of the female patients noticed how handsome he was and they followed him with offers of companionship and assistance. He was always respectful. Guido recalled one woman telling him, “You are a very nice man and very good looking”. He smiled and said “you too are also a very nice women and also pretty”. He then turned to Guido and said in Italian, “falle sapere di non prenderlo nel modo sbagliato”. Guido asked him to tell her and he turned to her and said, “but don’t take it the wrong way I am a married man”.
On his last day, he was sitting quietly in a lazy boy rocker, under a blanket, with the sun shining, some of us had just visited and shortly after he peacefully died. We would like to thank all the staff of Misericordia Interim Care and Misericordia Place for all the care and attention given to our Dad and to the support they gave to the family.
We are people of faith and know that this life is not the end. God is the creator of life and not death. We know that Dad is at peace with the knowledge that his family he leaves behind is taken care of. Although we are sad, we know that he is sitting in a garden, with a smile on his face with that glint in his eye, reunited with his family and friends.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
Charlie Brown said to Snoopy, “Hey Snoop, you only live once”.Snoopy says, “No, my friend, you only die once, you live everyday”.
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the Coutu Funeral Chapel, 680 Archibald St., Winnipeg, MB.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.