Dino DiGiuseppe

Dino DiGiuseppe

Saturday, October 30th, 1954 Monday, March 23rd, 2020

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Obituary for Dino DiGiuseppe

It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of a dear husband and father, on Monday, March 23, 2020. We say goodbye with deepest gratitude for having had him in our lives and for knowing with certainty that he held us closely at his core.

Born in Port Arthur in 1954, Dino was the youngest of four siblings, raised in a loving and joyful family home where, fittingly, there was a significant focus on food … delicious Italian food, much of it grown in the backyard garden. When Dino first started Kindergarten, he marched proudly off with two small meatballs stuffed carefully into his jacket pocket. Food remained a central theme of his life.

Dino attended local Catholic schools before heading to Lakeview HS, where he excelled both in sports and academics. As a gifted and respected student, he was asked to teach French classes when a qualified teacher couldn't be found. After high school, Dino played football for the University of Western Ontario, and so excelled at his studies that he gained early acceptance into the University of Windsor Law School. There, Dino established a cadre of lifelong friends, men and women of the legendary Law Flames hockey team, to whom he remained loyal and connected in the decades ahead. Hockey played an essential part of Dino's life: he was a devoted Red Wings fan, a Thunderwolves loyalist, a keen student of sports minutia, and a regular player. It was in Thunder Bay that Dino formed new groups of friends, like the Schemers and the Wedco Family, for whom hockey was a common passion. Dino continued to play, two or three times a week, right up until this month. He played with enthusiasm and pleasure, always heeding his wife's parting salvo: “Have fun, Honey … and don't get hurt!”

Dino often said that his life really began when he met Joan. Although the two lived blocks from each other as children, they didn't meet until years later, on a blind date in Toronto. After sharing a drink, Dino suggested that they go for dinner, during which he admitted that he had already eaten dinner … but enjoying a second meal was no problem for a man who prided himself on his gastronomy talents! Dino and Joan were married shortly after that date, and they immediately started a family. Dino adored his children, Max, Martha and Sam, and he was always happiest in their company. He loved to talk with and about them, to encourage their dreams, and most importantly, to spend time among them. When the kids began to leave home, it was Dino who travelled by their side, helping them set up their apartments, and loading their fridges with more food than they needed.

Dino was very proud of each of his children and equally proud of the life partners they chose. When Max became engaged, it was Dino who initiated weekly Sunday dinners to get to know Samantha and usher her into the family. He adored and admired Martha's husband, Mike, who is himself a knowledgeable and keen fan of hockey (Go Wings). And he was thrilled when Sam found Adam, a calm and loving man that Dino saw as the perfect match for his outgoing youngest.

Even though Dino never really wanted a dog, he grew very attached to Jack, the family's Jack Russell. Despite the multiple personality distortions that plagued the dog, Dino walked Jack faithfully two or three times a day, and he always insisted that Jack was his best shovelling companion.

Dino achieved a great deal in his career. Following law school, he earned a Master's degree in Mediation at Osgoode Hall; he was a Bencher for the Law Society of Ontario; and he was appointed to the Judiciary in 2000. Dino was a highly intelligent, thoughtful, loyal, humble and deeply caring individual, and he brought all these qualities to his service on the bench. He was committed to restorative justice and, true to form, he treated each person who entered his court with dignity and compassion. It was obvious that Dino was well suited to his calling; he enjoyed his colleagues, respected the lawyers who appeared before him, and held police officers in high regard. In particular, he loved the courthouse staff.

If Dino were to write his own obituary, he would forgo all attention to himself and focus instead on the family he treasured, the good people he worked with, and the friends he loved. His newest band of pals called themselves The Nonnos. Dino was honoured to be part of this group following the birth of his precious granddaughter, Elizabeth Allegrina. The grandpas met regularly to talk about life and, especially, about family.

Dino was predeceased by his beloved parents, Allegrina and Francesco. He continued to grieve the loss of his dear friend, Tim McFarlane. Left to mourn Dino are his siblings, Tony and Gayle DiGiuseppe, Guido and Rita (Elda) DiGiuseppe, Maria and Enzo Santin; cherished nieces and nephews too numerous to list; and the entire Powell family. He will be loved and remembered forever by many dear friends, and most especially by his wife, Joan Powell, his son, Max (Samantha Roth), his daughter, Martha (Mike Thibert) and his youngest, Sam (Adam Charles). Sweet baby Elizabeth will not forget her Nonno.

Cremation has occurred, and on-line condolences may be made at

A service will be held when the world allows. As one sister-in-law advised, a great man deserves a great celebration.

Expressions of sympathy may include donations to Our Kids Count, a charity close to Dino's heart, or to a local food bank.

Say not in grief that he is no more,
But in thankfulness that he was.

To plant a memorial tree in honor of Dino DiGiuseppe, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Donations are being accepted for: OUR KIDS COUNT OF THUNDER BAY INC.

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Heartfelt Sympathies and Lois Hacio have planted a memorial tree for Dino DiGiuseppe.
Planted in the area of greatest need

Bruce Astle

My deepest condolences to all of Dino's family. I have fond memories of Dino from high school. It was always a pleasure to run into Dino in town and have a quick conversation and catch up. Will miss that and his pleasant manner. Rest in peace Dino, you were one of the good Ones.
Comment | Posted at 03:34pm via Condolence

Dear Joan and family , I am so very saddened to learn of Dino’s passing. I know this will leave a terrible hole in your hearts but , as you said in the paper, I am so very glad that you had him , as a husband , father and friend. Sincere condolences, Ellen (Johnson ) Lalonde
Comment | Posted at 02:11pm via Condolence

Tammy Blatchford

Joan, Sam and Family,
I was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of your husband and father. May you treasure all the great memories you have of him.
Thinking of you,
Tammy Horde-Blatchford
Comment | Posted at 01:13pm via Condolence

Joanne and Steve Kranyak

Our deepest condolences and sympathy to you and your family, Joan. Will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as you make your way through this difficult time.
Joanne and Steve Kranyak
Comment | Posted at 12:01pm via Condolence

Louis Vesprini

Dear Joan and family
At these times, words fail us. Our deepest condolences. We are so sorry for your loss.
Diane and I were fortunate enough to see Dino recently and, as always, he was beaming with joy and pride as he recounted stories of each of you. May his endless love live in your hearts and bring you peace. God bless you.
Louis and Diane Vesprini
Comment | Posted at 11:11am via Condolence

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