Tony Poeta (March 4, 1933 – May 2, 2004)
Tony was the eldest of four children, born to Filomena (Mayme) Demarco and Frank Poeta in North Bay, ON.
Early on in life, Tony discovered his first love…hockey and for that matter all sports. He would pursue his hockey dream with great passion. While chasing his dream, Tony traveled extensively and it was while playing with the Galt Blackhawks that he met his true love, Margaret Rivers. Marg would follow Tony from city to city in their early twenties as Tony pursued his dream. He did fulfill that dream in 1951 while playing in one game with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tony and Marg were married on April 24, 1954. The following year, Angela, was born, followed by Debbie, Lori and David. As much as Tony loved his hockey and other sports, it was his family, grandchildren and friends that provided him with the most joy. This is quite evident as Tony made friends wherever he set foot, whether it was at the local hockey arena, baseball diamond or on a beach in Florida. Tony had friends worldwide because of his magnificent flair for making others feel welcome in his presence. Family members can all attest to being away from home introducing themselves as a “Poeta”. Quite often, the first words we would hear in return were: “Hey, do you know Tony?”
These words are a true reflection of Tony’s vibrant personality; no matter where he went, he always made himself known through his friendliness, generosity, great sense of humour and caring. All our lives, there was a reflection of that in how our home was a social hub, whether it was for hosting family gatherings at holiday time, billeting young athletes who were in town for tournaments, Sunday afternoon barbeques around the pool or appreciation for the guys who played on teams he sponsored. Tony’s love of sport earned him huge respect in the sporting community.
Tony had strong moral standards and he was an amazing example of true love, honesty, loyalty, integrity and he endeavored to have those around him behave in the same manner.If you did, you would be his friend for life.
A true testament to how much a person means to others is when it is time for others to pay their final respects. A week after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with Marg, Tony unfortunately passed on. At his funeral, we saw first-hand how many people actually “knew and respected Tony”. The line up at the funeral home extended beyond the front doors and the church was packed as hundreds of people bid their final farewell.
One of the greatest compliments we ever received was in a card we received after his passing. The message was that Tony’s kindness and love shone through his eyes – and that we also had that shining light in our eyes – we all got that from our Dad, and truly what a beautiful life gift that is!!
Marg, Angela, Debbie, Lori, David