It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Rino Antonio Piva of Kamloops B.C. on February 5th, 2024 at 90 years of age.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dina Piva, children Mario Piva (Cindy), Laura Piva-Babcock (James Babcock), Dennis Piva (Amber). He was nonno to his grandchildren Kailyn Kozub (Derek), Lindsay Piva (Reid Plasterer), Tiana Heichert (Eric), Alana Babcock (Graham Scott), Claire Babcock, Alex Piva and Joey Piva. More recently, he became a “bisnonno” to great-grandson Myles Kozub. Also surviving him are his brother Loris Piva, nephews Rob (Cheryl), Dino (Leanne) and his siblings in Italy Giuseppe Piva and Carmela Piva and nephew and nieces, Mauro, Cristina, Rosanna and Lucia. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Angelo and Irma Piva.
Born on September 17, 1933 in Crocetta del Montello, Nogare, Treviso, Italy he was the oldest of four children. As a child he loved to work on the small family farm and insisted his mom set the alarm clock so he could be up with the adults when they went to work in the fields. Always pragmatic, in 1952 at the age of 18 he decided to venture to Canada knowing that the family farm that he loved was too small to sustain him and his immediate and extended family in post-World War II Italy. He sailed to Halifax and took a train across Canada to Kamloops where he lived and worked for 13 months on his Uncle Joe Piva’s ranch in Pinantan. He then worked on pipelines and at sawmills in the interior often living in camps. He joked that he went to the “University of Savona” because, despite having a minimal formal education, he learned a lot from his work and living experiences in his 20’s.
In 1958, he returned to Italy for a few months to visit his family and met his future wife, Dina. After a year of writing letters, she too took that courageous trip to Canada and they were married in the fall of 1960. Eventually they purchased the Vendome Rooms where Dina looked after the rooming house and the kids while he continued to work as a labourer. Rino was a lifetime member of the Colombo Lodge and would help Dina when she was cooking for the banquets by lifting and pouring out the large copper pots of pasta.
He grew a bountiful vegetable garden and enjoyed the outdoors. He loved nothing more than fishing the many lakes around Kamloops with Mario, Dennis and James or with his Italian fishing buddies. The most special days were when they “brought the frying pan” and enjoyed the catch on the ice or at the lakeshore and washed the meal down with homemade wine.
Summer Sundays at the picnic at Mount Lolo were always a highlight for him where families gathered to play bocce, tell jokes, bbq over a woodfire and end the day singing folk songs from the old country. Although most of his family were thousands of miles away, he and Dina built a family of friends in Canada.
In his retirement years when he wasn’t gardening or fishing he could be seen riding his bike along the Rivers Trail – remarkably, something he did until he was almost 90. He was an avid reader, particularly of current affairs, and would spend many hours on the couch reading MacLeans or The Economist, broadening his world view and building upon his “University of Savona” education.
He was funny, authentic, practical, and straightforward to the very end and will be deeply missed by his family who loved him very much.
Monsignor Jerry Desmond will celebrate the Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (635 Tranquille Road, Kamloops BC) on Saturday, February 10th at 11 a.m. Reception to follow at the Parish Centre.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his memory to the Canadian Cancer Society or Royal Inland Hospital Foundation.
Condolences may be sent to the family from