John Battista Bianchi
July 19, 1936 – September 11, 2019
After more than 36 visits back to his homeland, sadly this last trip would be John Bianchi’s last. John died peacefully in Avezzano Italy, close to his beloved town of Villavallelonga, surrounded always by family and friends. Beloved husband of Preziosa, father of Alex (Grace), Bernie and Jessie and nonno to Chantelle, Amanda and Jonathon. John was preceded in death by his parents Bernardo and Cesidia and his siblings Mariano and Colomba. He leaves behind his immediate family as well as his nieces and nephews and his beloved pets.
John was born in Villavallelonga (AQ) in the region of Abruzzo, Italy to Cesidia and Bernardo Bianchi. With his father and brother already here, he immigrated to Toronto in February of 1953 at the young age of 16 eager to do well in this new land and make a new life for himself. John returned to Italy in 1958 and fell in love with Preziosa Grande. They married in 1959 and had three children, Alessandro (Alex), Bernardo (Bernie) and Cesidia (Jessie). Like many immigrants of the time, there were many sacrifices and they worked tirelessly but, they were always surrounded by family and friends and have many memories of fun times shared during those early years. There was always visits and parties filled with laughter and wine and good food.
On his own, John started a contracting business in 1963, John Bianchi Grading Ltd. He was most proud of the success of the business and was proud to show his kids the many job sites and buildings he had worked on all over the city. With his sons by his side he worked into his seventies. His work ethic and passion for the business were unmatched.
John’s other great passion in life was his beloved Hockley Valley. It was where he went to recharge with Preziosa and where he loved to have his family and friends come visit for as long as they wanted to stay…the longer the better to him! He loved to work on his land, building ponds, gardens and roads, cutting wood and driving his many “toys”. He was most happy and calm driving his old bulldozer and cleaning up some part of the bush or building a fire. Hockley is where he spent the most time with his kids and grandkids, which he cherished more than anything. John had a natural ability to really connect with his grandchildren and was so happy to learn all the latest technology from them. He really loved the outside and spending time with his pets or spotting deer and other wildlife. He would always look outside the view from the kitchen towards his ponds and say that this was “paradiso”.
With his warm smile, John was not shy to talk to anyone and made many lifelong friendships over the years, whether in Italy, Toronto or Hockley Valley. He cherished these friendships and we are overwhelmed by all the support everyone has shown us this past week.
A service was held for John in Villavallelonga on September 18, 2019. Services in Toronto will take place with visitation at York Cemetery Funeral Centre, 160 Beecroft Rd., North York, on Sunday September 22 from 1-4pm and from 6-8pm. Funeral mass will be held on Monday September 23 at 10am at St. Gabriel’s Parish, 670 Sheppard Ave. East, North York. There will be visitation before mass from 8:30-9:30am at York Cemetery Funeral Centre. Entombment to follow mass at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, 7300 Hwy 27, Woodbridge with reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.