Stewart, Michael Alexis Bruce #1221 *

Honoured by his Family and Friends

Michael Alexis-Bruce Stewart – 1981 – 2012

Michael Alexis-Bruce Stewart was born December 21, 1981 in Timmins, Ontario.

An active child with a magnetic smile, his childhood focus was on drawing cartoons.

By the age of 12, Michael’s work in black and white was inspired, masterful, and remarkably detailed.

His adolescence brought the dawning of his love of music.  He spent hours teaching himself to read music, learning to play the guitar and listening to Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, Pearl Jam and more.  He perused guitar magazines until they crumbled in his hands.

In high school, Michael connected with other musicians, jamming and dedicating himself to becoming a bass player, listening and adopting the skills of renowned guitarists past and present.

It was when Mikey moved to North Bay to attend a Graphics program at Canadore College that he felt he had found a home.  With a young, vibrant musical community, North Bay appealed to Michael as a place he could hone his talent, live the life style he chose for himself and be appreciated by like-minded people.  Michael also loved the Nipissing waterfront, walking and skateboarding for miles.

At the time of his tragic death at the age of 30, Michael was teaching himself classical guitar, playing a 5 string bass in three different bands, intending to complete his college education in graphic arts and wanting to learn several different languages.

Michael was an intelligent, humourous, independent thinker who read the likes of Chomsky and who inspired those around him with intelligent, thoughtful discussions on all manner of topics.

It was, however, Michael’s deep and abiding love that set him apart from others.  He accepted and protected the weak, the downtrodden, the forgotten people in society.  His empathy and openness to all who asked made him a beloved figure at home and in North Bay.  The following poem was written by his mother at the time of his death to capture his spirit:


Look into my eyes – find kindness

Look into my heart – find love

Look into my head – find knowledge of the ages

Look into my soul – find the music that reverberates through the dimensions.

Look at my hair – it ripples of generations

Look at my face – a cherub of Reuben’s kind

Look at my hands – the tools of creation reaching out with electric heat.

Look at my name – the angel who sits on the right hand of God.

Look at my body – dust to dust, ashes to ashes

Look at my life – and remember me

remember me

remember me.


Brenda Elizabeth Stewart, an adoring mother; September, 2012

Scarfone, Santo & Anna #225 *


The story begins in 1953 when our parents, Santo and Anna Scarfone, left their homeland in Santo Stefano D’Aspromonte, Provincia di Reggio Calabria, Italia, to come to an unknown land in Canada in search for their dream for a better life.  Our parents were married in Italy in 1949, after our father served in WWII.  Our parents endured many struggles in their young life, having to work extremely hard everyday.

In 1951, their son, Rocco was born, and when he was only two years of age, they immigrated to Canada, traveling by ship for eighteen days aboard the SS Conte Biancamano, across theAtlantic Ocean, leaving their family behind.  This was truly a very difficult time.

Arriving first in Halifax, and then reaching their final destination in North Bay,Ontario, our father soon began working for the CPR Railway. He also took any job that came his way to help provide for his family.  Even with a language barrier, our parents persevered and in time, they were able to help bring other family members to Canada.

In 1955, their second child was born, Giuseppina (Josie) and then in 1957, twins, Rosa Maria (Rosemary) and Giuseppe (Joe).  Our parents showed us much love and shared tradition with us, teaching us the importance of respect and hard work.

Our parents have a love for gardening, and still, after 63 years of marriage, are planting seeds, reminding us how people survived back in their day.

Our mother’s love is expressed best through her cooking and baking.  You can always smell the sweetness of her baking when you enter their home. Nobody can beat our mother’s skills in the kitchen, “So what does Nonna do to make her meatballs taste so delicious!?” ask the grandchildren.

Our father has such a love for music.  He sings all the time and plays the harmonica.  We have all danced to his music and now even the great-grandchildren are doing the same.

Our parents became involved in the Italian Club, the Davedi, where our father was President and served his title well.  He worked diligently to keep the club in good standing.  They enjoyed many activities, celebrations and danced many tarantellas!

So today, we honour our parents, for their example of strength, love and compassion, for teaching us love and respect, morals and values, for sharing tradition with us and stressing the importance of keeping it up.

Our parents have celebrated 63 years of marriage, still live in their own home, have twelve grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and no doubt many more to come and to love.

After retiring from the CPR, having worked 31 years, there sits a Silver Leaf at the very heart of the station where life began for our parents.  This is a “Leaf of Inspiration” and that is what you are to all of us, Mamma e Papa/ Nonni, an inspiration.

We will always treasure you, as you are the most precious jewels in our treasure box.

Vi Vogliamo Bene!

We Love You!

Shankland, William & Mabel # 1324

Honoured by Linda McCarthy & Susan Brown.

Thank you for purchasing a Leaf of Inpsiration for William and Mabel nd for supporting your Community Waterfront Park project. Story to follow.

Sasyniuk, Garret Hawk #205 *

Garret Hawk Sasyniuk

   Feb. 5, 1994 – January 6, 2009

Garret Hawk Sasyniuk, age 14, began a new adventure on January 6, 2009.  He will be sadly missed by the many people he inspired to think outside the box.  Garret embraced life unconditionally and lived with his heart wide open.  He taught more people about caring, respect and integrity by example than he could have ever realized.  He saw life and experienced true joy as he “danced like no one was watching”. Garret would latch onto a new passion and explore it full tilt. He would leave no stone unturned in his relentless exploration of his new fascination.  Garret loved his family more than anything and their tireless love and support provided him with the anchor he needed to explore his world.  Jan, Randy, Jason and Harley enjoyed many great adventures together with Garret that filled his heart with the love and exuberance he shared with others.  He always made sure that he got a card for everyone for each special occasion. He would spend months from the occasion that just past until the next occasion occurred planning the event in its entirety.  Garret started school at Centennial Public School.   It was during the time he was at Centennial that he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.   He started a new journey at JW Trusler before spending a brief time at Marshall Park P.S. then at Sunset Park P.S. before returning to his original school Centennial.  Garret’s gentle kindness made him a sought after friend as he made his way through his educational journey.  Garret always knew he was different but did not know why.  As he struggled with his own challenges he developed empathy for others who were in similar situations.   Students who were touched by Garret while he was at Centennial this time spoke of his caring ways to ensure no one was bullied, everyone was included, and that everyone had a friend.   From the day he visited Centennial and met “Smith” wearing his special shoes, Garret knew he had met a friend that he could trust.

As if looking through the lens of his father’s camera Garret saw things that often in life we miss.  Garret became that lens that enabled everyone who met him to see the world full of wonder.  To honour his memory we need to look for that joy as we struggle in our grief.  He is watching over us with his grandmother and saying “I’ll be okay”.    When we think of Garret we picture him with a smile on his face, his headphones and his turquoise shirt.

Garret will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by his family and many friends.

 “Miigwech” to All!

Honoured by his family and many friends

Soper, Mary Jane #1918

Honoured by Jennifer & Jim Soper.

Thank you for honouring Mary Jane Soper with a Leaf of Inspiration and for supporting your Community Waterfront Park project. Story to follow.

Sherry, Ann & Frank #196 *

Honoured by Mark, Gina, Max, Sami and Steven Sherry.

“Our parents/grandparents have been married over 50 years. Their love, family values, sense of humour and commitment are truly inspirational and worthy of honour”.