It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Mr. Nicola Pilat. He passed away peacefully at home with family surrounding him on May 22, 2023. Nicola was born December 14, 1935, in Tarzo, Northern Italy and was raised in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. At the age of 20, he immigrated to Canada in search of new opportunities, commencing in Winnipeg and then taking on work in Northwestern Ontario bush camps, settling in Port Arthur making it his permanent home.
It was here that he met the woman that caught his eye, his wife Stella. In 1958, they were married and soon afterwards started their family, welcoming daughter Erminia and then son Antonio. Nicola was a hard and strong worker. During his early work years in the bush, he cut and piled wood by the cord. It was during this time that he developed an appreciation for the wilderness and learned so much of what it offered. He later became employed at Brayshaw Steel where he learned to weld, subsequently working at Northwestern Structural Steel. He went on and obtained his carpenter/welder designation while working with Thunder Bay Harbour Improvements on heavy civil projects throughout the region. He retired from the City of Thunder Bay-Sewer and Water Department at the early age of fifty-six to pursue his outdoor interests.
His hobbies included foraging for mushrooms, gardening where he grew the finest radicchio, tending to his grape vines, and making sausage, capicollo and wine. He was a lifetime member of the Italian Society of Port Arthur where he spent leisure time playing cards with many close friends. He found the most joy in brook trout fishing and hunting, which was something he always did with his grandson Brennan, whom he had a close and special relationship with. He was blessed to travel back home to Italy several times with his family; those memories alone are a treasure. He spent many weekends with his family at his camp on Hick’s Lake making memories. Dad was an amazing father, nonno and bisnonno. He got to experience the gift of four generations of family.
Nicola is survived by his wife Stella, daughter Erminia, son Tony (Carla), grandchildren Brennan (Brea) O’Neill, Breanne (Frank) Nelli, Justin and Cristian (Kristen), and the newest love of his life, his great-granddaughter Leighton Sophia. He is survived by his sister Amabile in Italy.
He was predeceased by his parents Giovanni Pilat and mother Erminia Zanetti, brothers Rico, Agusto, sisters Gina and Ines.
We would like to thank the Emergency Department, TBRHSC, Dr. Scali, Dr. Sellick and the many coordinating teams that assisted in his care. Special thanks to Lisa Stein, NP for her patience, support and care of our father.
Dad, you will be missed more than words can say. We will forever talk about the special times we had with you. You are in us and will always be there. We love you dearly now and forever. Rest in Peace Dad. Ciao Nonno.
A Memorial service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2023, in the chapel of Sargent and Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street with Rev. Luigi Filippini officiating. A visitation for family and friends will be held one hour prior to the service. Those wishing to attend the service virtually may do so at the Sargent and Son Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Online condolences may be expressed at www.sargentandson.com.