elevated lHnd5 February 13, 1933 ~ December 29, 2020
elevated lHnd5 It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Michael Potalivo, at the age of 87 on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. Beloved husband of the late Mary Potalivo (nee Sgro)(2005) and the late Angelina Potalivo (nee Martino)(1958) . Cherished father of Joanne (Michael Frustaglio), Susan, Nick (Cynthia Giannobile), Christina (Fred Ostermann) and the Late Gino (Debbie, nee Shaleen). Caring Nonno to Angela, Samantha (Perry Tonus), Samuel, Sophia, Espen, Nicholas, Daniel, Gabriel, Sebastian and Matthew. Proudest Bis-Nonno of Jayden and Isabella. Dearest brother of Irma, Linda, the late Amalia and the late Mary. Michael will be dearly missed by his sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, many nieces, nephews, extended family and cherished friends.
elevated lHnd5 In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society or Diabetes Canada, in memory of Michael.
elevated lHnd5 Due to Covid 19 restrictions, there will be a private family viewing on Monday, January 4th and private Funeral Service, on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 at 12:00 pm Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home.
elevated lHnd5 To view the service, please click on the link below.
elevated lHnd5 Michael Potalivo Life Story
elevated lHnd5 It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our loving father, Michael Potalivo. Whether you knew him as Michele, Mike, MP, Mikey, Toronto Mike, Nonno or his personal nicknames of Mister Magoo or George Washington, you were certainly touched by his happy go-lucky, forever smiling, gentle soul.
elevated lHnd5 In 1949, Nicola and Filomena Potalivo packed up their only son Michele and their daughters Amalia, Mary, Irma and Linda, immigrating by boat to Halifax from Montenero di Bisaccia, Italy. The family settled in the Niagara Falls region where Mike made lifelong friends, and they were reunited with Potalivo and DiPaul relatives that helped them settle in their new country. As a young adult, life in Niagara Falls offered many family events and wonderful memories with young cousins and friends. Mike met and married Angelina Martino in Niagara Falls and they had his first daughter, Joanne, with his young beautiful wife who sadly passed away a month after her birth.
elevated lHnd5 Years later, Mike’s sister introduced him to Mary Sgro from Toronto and they hit it off right away, starting a new life together in the big city. It wasn’t long before the family grew and Susan, Nick, Gino and Christina were added to the pack. Despite all his children, Mikey was the biggest kid of all, often joking around with others and encouraging shenanigans. Much of our family time was centred around sport – whether it was taking in a game at Maple Leaf Gardens, Skydome, watching a game on tv or coaching us in hockey or baseball, Dad was instilling a lifelong love of sport and physical activity in all of us. Although he was a New York Yankees fan, his love of the Blue Jays and Leafs came first. Another love that Mike and Mary enjoyed was travelling with family and friends to destinations like Hawaii, Italy, Vancouver, California, Florida, and Honey Harbour which led them to purchase cottage property in Lafontaine. The cottage provided decades of good times, hundreds of get togethers, surrounded by dozens of cottages with close friends/family, and countless poker games, pig roasts, pizza parties and bocce tournaments.
elevated lHnd5 Even though they had property on the Gulf in Florida and 200 metres from the shores of Georgian Bay, Mikey was not one for the beach and instead was happiest enjoying a glass of wine or cold Labatts Blue after a long day of physical labour on the cottage property with Compare. Dad certainly was a workhorse, often spending hours in his vegetable garden even after a full day’s work as a skilled body man. After decades of owning MP Auto Body, many of his neighbours and friends in the Junction were sad when he decided to retire, missing his giving spirit, camaraderie and ever-friendly disposition. Post retirement, doing nothing provided a challenge and although MP tried to keep himself busy by helping out around the house, he eventually decided to start a new career in the film industry. There were so many relatives at F.I.L.M. Inc. that “work” was more of social time, which comes as no surprise since Dad loved surrounding himself with others. No matter if you were a neighbour, an employee, or a customer, you soon were a friend. Whether getting together with family to make wine, tomatoes or sausage, socializing with bowling pals, attending countless dinner-dances, Gagliato Social Club events, or Niagara Falls family picnics, Mikey loved to catch up with old friends. Even after mom passed away, Dad took on the tradition of writing and mailing out his own Christmas cards and made a habit of sitting down with his phonebook on Christmas morning to check in on all his close relatives and wish them a Merry Christmas.
elevated lHnd5 Celebrating holidays and his Roman Catholic religion was very important to Mike, this was reflected and appreciated by the many people who chose him as Godparent and Compare. He was a man of deep faith, volunteering his time as an usher at Immaculate Conception Parish in Toronto for many years, continuing his faith at All Saints Church in Etobicoke for decades and later at St. Clare Church in Vaughan. Volunteerism was something that Mike prided himself on, and was recognized by the City of Vaughan for years of service on the Executive Council of Vellore Village Seniors Club. Dad helped organize the monthly bus trips around Ontario, weekly bingo events and daily card games for all the local seniors. Playing italian cards helped keep his mind sharp, slowing down his dementia; and fortunately, he continued to play cards when he moved to his retirement and later nursing home. Over the years, many amazing nurses, caregivers, PSWs and activity coordinators continued to keep Dad active and entertained each and every day, treating him like their own father and we are truly grateful that they were there when we couldn’t be, especially since last March. Mikey touched the lives of many, filled the world with sunshine and inspired us to be the best version of ourselves. He will be dearly missed, but we can take comfort in knowing that he will be greeted in heaven by all his loved ones that have gone before him – strike up the band and pour him a glass of wine, cause Mikey’s got his dancing shoes on!
elevated lHnd5 Michael’s Video Tribute – https://youtu.be/Pxa9iAwr0X8