Tommaso “Tom” Lorusso, October 15, 1929 – October 20, 2019
It is with broken hearts, the family of Tommaso “Tom” Lorusso announces his passing. It was only recently we celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends. Tom passed away peacefully with his family around him on Sunday October 20, 2019.
Tom’s life began October 15, 1929 in Modugno Bari, Italy, where he grew up along the Adriatic Sea as the youngest of four children.
Later in life, Tom worked at an almond crushing factory where he designed and engineered the machinery himself. He later served in the Italian military and was primarily stationed in Palermo, Sicily after the Second World War.
Rosina and Tom’s love story is one like no other and is a tale the family all enjoyed hearing. These two were first made aware of one another by photographs given to each of them by friends, all while being on other ends of the world -- Rosina in Nelson, Canada and Tom in Modugno, Italy. They wrote countless letters back and forth between Italy and Canada. Finally, after some time, Tom mailed Rosina a kilogram of nuts, along with a letter. Amongst one of these nuts was a walnut glued back together with an engagement ring nestled inside. She of course accepted, and Tom arrived in Canada to meet Rosina on a cold Canadian winters day, where they were married at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate on January 9, 1954 in Nelson, BC.
Nelson was where Tom and Rosina established their life together. Tom, using his own two hands, built them a home in 1960, where he continued to live until his passing. Shortly, thereafter, they filled this home by having three loving children, Michael, Esther, and Grace. It was always more than just a house, it was a place of good meals, great family get-togethers and where countless amounts of memories were made.
Tom was a very hard worker and built many homes and also repaired many throughout Nelson on his days off from work, helping out his many Italian friends. He worked for years at Kootenay Forest Products, and then worked at Canadian Pacific Railway as a Carman and a cook. The crew loved Dad’s cooking and great personality. Tom loved to garden and graft fruit trees, one bearing the Maglio plum, named and discovered by Rosina’s great uncle. He also loved fishing with family and friends, boating with his dog Brandy, children and grandchildren. Tom enjoyed hiking in the beautiful Kootenay mountains, where he could also find wild berries and mushrooms.
More than anything, Tom loved spending his time and joking around with his grandchildren, great grandchild and amazing friends. He was a very helpful and caring man and was loved by anyone who spent time with him. Tom loved his afternoon espresso at three o’clock with Rosina and the neighbours. He was extremely talented and intelligent and could fix anything and engineered all sorts of unique inventions. He had incredible craftsmanship and built many beautiful things, such as cupboards and cabinets which are enjoyed by his family today.
Tom was member of the Knights of Columbus and Nelson Italian Canadian Society until the end of his life. Tom loved dancing, singing, joking, telling stories and attending parties. The family has to admit, Dad was a great waltz and polka dancer and pretty good at the “two step” too! He loved listening to Italian music until his last breath. Tom was a spiritual man and had strong faith. He was a great teacher and especially enjoyed teaching his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He remembered so many Italian songs and riddles and shared them constantly and randomly. He had a riddle, song or poem for almost everything.
Tom is survived by the love of his life Rosa “Rosina” Lorusso “Maglio” also left to mourn his son Michael (Yvonne), daughter Esther (Cliff), daughter Grace (David), Grandchildren: Nicole, Ryanne (Ashish), Michelle (Alfonso), Anthony (Robin), Christopher (Dominik), Jessica (Andrea), Elysa (Mark), Mitchell, Mekenna. Great grandchildren: Kianna, Anika, Mila, Jackson, and Leonardo. Also, sister-in-law Maria and brother in law Alfredo (Rosetta). Tom was predeceased by his mother Grazia and Father Michele; his in-laws Armando and Esterina Maglio; brother Lorenzo; sister Rosetta (Lorenzo); Emilia (Raffaele); brother in law Mario (Dixie), Pasqualina (Siegfreid). Tom had many nieces, nephews and friends all over the world. He was a “Nonno” to so many of his grandchildren’s friends and both Tom and Rosina welcomed everyone into their family home. Nonno loved all the four-legged grand pets especially Cheeko, Ruby and Nelly. Dad, Nonno, Zio, Uncle Tom our hearts are saddened that you are no longer here, but knowing you are finally at peace in the arms of your loved ones in heaven we can continue on with all the beautiful memories we cherish of you. We know you will be watching over us each and every day, fishing in plentiful creeks and picking fruit and vegetables in lush gardens.
On behalf of Mike, Esther, Grace, and family we are grateful and blessed for the love and support shown to all of us during this difficult time. Special thanks to Dr. Mckechnie, all of the doctor’s staff, nursing staff, and care aids both at the hospital and at home. Thank you, friends and family who have supported us and helped us. Thank you for the beautiful cards, flowers, and special masses in honour of our father Tom. To our mom for always being his other half caring, loving, singing, and laughing with him throughout the years.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made. Thank you.
Diabetes Canada: www.diabetes.ca/donate
British Columbia Cancer Foundation: www.bccancerfoundation.com
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: www.heartandstroke.ca/donate
Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation: www.klhf.org
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence on the family’s online register at www.thompsonfs.ca