John (Jack) Joseph Vitali Surrounded by the love of his family, Jack passed away peacefully on Tuesday November 25th in his seventy-ninth year from cancer. Jack leaves to mourn his loving wife of 55 years, Frances Mary Vitali (Stonehouse). He is also survived by five children: Robert (Wilma), Sharon (George), Gregory (Heather), Mary and Philip. His eldest daughter, Susan (John) predeceased him in June, 2008. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, as well as two sisters, Anita (Gino) and Elena (Virginio) and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Jack graduated from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering (cum laude) in 1952. For a period of 15 years he worked in the field of advanced military electronics supplying the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. His responsibilities took him from his home base in Hamilton, Ontario to many military and electronic destinations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Jack made a bold change in his professional career in 1967 when he left the military electronics business and entered the retail automobile industry. He initially worked for 5 years as a Parts and Service Coordinator in a Ford dealership in Brampton. In 1972, he became a partner and general manger of MacDonald Ford in both Oshawa and Bowmanville. He then achieved his dream when in 1975 he purchased Highbury Ford Sales Limited where he won numerous Ford awards over the years and played pivitol roles in Ford Dealer Council ultimately serving as Chairman. Jack also had a very busy private life. One passion was travel and Jack and Frances travelled extensively to many destinations throughout the world and repeatedly to England where their second oldest daughter, Sharon is a doctor in Oxford. Jack also kept occupied by continuing to learn as well as teach throughout his life. With the advent of the personal computer, Jack enrolled in a number of electrical engineering courses at the University of Western Ontario to enhance his knowledge of digital technology. Later, Jack also decided to up-grade his mathematics and studied applied math for four years. He especially enjoyed taking his final course in mathematics learning Actuarial Science and the Mathematics of Finance along with his grandson, Patrick. Jack grew up in an Italian immigrant community in Copper Cliff where he learned a dialect of Italian interspersed with English words and phrases. He decided to learn the Italian language in its proper grammatical form, and in 1983 at the age of 53 enrolled in first-year Italian at the University of Western Ontario. This was followed by three additional years of Italian where Jack learned to read and write Italian. With this knowledge, Jack subscribed for, and greatly enjoyed reading, the daily Italian newspaper, La Republica. Jack also wanted to share his knowledge. He started by imparting his business experience to his sons and others fortunate enough to know him. Later on, he showed great patience and skill in tutoring many of his grandchildren with physics, math and English with some grandchildren receiving Jack's assistance for their entire high school-university years. He also mentored his grandson Peter in establishing a growing landscaping business using his business background and zeal for a perfect lawn. Jack also shared his wine making with friends and relatives over the years. Jack's other hobby and passion was photography. Jack initially took slide photography, then film, but he immediately saw the benefits of digital photography and bought his first digital camera in 1999. In order to be able to exploit all of the powerful features of digital photography, Jack took a course in Adobe Photoshop at Fanshawe College. Jack, and everyone who saw his photography, enjoyed immensely the many scenes and portraits he captured, especially those of his grandchildren. Jack was a very caring and generous person and will be missed by all of those that knew him. Jack was also appreciative of his medical team including Dr. Annen, Dr. Vinden, Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Khanna, Dr. Welch and especially Dr. Razvi and Dr. Harle. Visitation will take place at HARRIS FUNERAL HOME, 220 St. James St. (at Richmond St.), London, Ontario on Thursday November 27, 2008 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm. Prayers at 8 pm. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Peter's Basilica, 196 Dufferin Ave. (at Richmond St.) on Friday November 28, 2008 at 10 am followed by a reception. Remembrances may be made to the London Cancer Clinic or a charity of your choice.
CondolencesNo condolences yet.
Add Your Condolence
Complete 2 simple steps to place a Memorial Donation
1. Notify Family
2. Remit donation (a new browser window will open)
Note that donations must be made directly through the aforementioned organizations. Harris Funeral Home does not collect donations.
Step One: Notify Family
Complete and send the form below to notify family of your contribution: