Guido, beloved husband of Marie and father to Tim and Andre, passed unexpectedly on October 16, 2021, in St. Catharines, after a short period of illness.
He was born in the small village of Rocko Polje, Istra, Croatia on May 13, 1937 to Maria and Franjo Rabak. Growing up in a large family he learned to be resourceful, taking on a lot of responsibilities at an early age, including working in construction and food preparation.
By the time he was 15, he oversaw food purchasing, preparation and serving for a company with over 200 employees. When he approached the age of 18, he and his older brother, Gildo, and a few friends planned their escape from the former Yugoslavia to Italy seeking new opportunities. From there they made their way to Paris, with many adventures and near escapes (farmer with a pitchfork and train conductor), where they worked hard, long days in an automotive forge, until his papers arrived allowing him to join his oldest brother, Dario, in Canada.
After settling in and learning the English language, he started repairing small appliances in Sudbury but eventually settled in Hamilton where he met his wife of 58 years. He held several different jobs, including working under the tutelage of a stationary engineer, which led him to seek training as a refrigeration technician, including many years of night school and factory training, all while having started a family. Over the years he started several successful businesses and he and Marie raised Tim and Andre to follow in his footsteps.
Some of his favourite activities included hosting barbecues, family dinners, entertaining friends, playing Triestine (cultural card game), chess with his grandsons, solving mind puzzles and was an active member of the local Istra Mirna Cultural Club in Hamilton. An avid animal lover he will be missed by his special friend "Siva".
Family and friends were very important to Guido, and he was blessed with a large extended family in the Hamilton/Niagara area, as well as cousins spread around the world and many friends. He enjoyed time with his sons and their families, as well as those of his many siblings who came to Canada after him.
He leaves behind his wife, Marie, sons; Tim (Andrea) and Andre (Lynne), his grandchildren; Brittany (Emily), Aaron, Matthew, Tyler, and Thomas Rabak, Shannon (Richard) Rehaume, Garrin (Crystal) Topp, and Erik Lemberg. Five great-grandchildren; AndrA©a, Calysta, Martina (Topp), Colette and Eliott (Rehaume). He is survived by sisters; Ondina, Irma (Pino), Maria (Frank) and brother, Angelo, sister-in-law, Marica, brother-in-law, Peter (Pauline) Iversen.
He will also be missed by his many nieces and nephews and has rejoined his sister, Valeria, and brothers; Dario and Gildo.
In honouring Guido's wishes a private family graveside service has taken place at Victoria Lawn Cemetery. There will be a Celebration of Life gathering in the future. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Niagara Children's Centre or Red Roof Retreat would be appreciated. Arrangements entrusted to Considerate Cremation & Burial Services, 26 Nihan Drive, St. Catharines (between Lake Street & Scott Street).
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