It is with sadness that we announce the death of Anthony Gucciardo, on May 27, 2023, surrounded by family at the Jewish General Hospital. He will be profoundly missed by his parents Agnes Péter and Francesco (Franco) Gucciardo; his brothers Vincent (spouse Ursula, children Sonia and Teresa), Marco (spouse Veronica, children Rafaelle and Matteo) and John Paul (Pablo) (spouse Sierra, children Hailey and Keira); his grandmother Ilona Bodor; his aunt Beatrix Péter; his first cousin Attila (spouse Nora); his uncle Giacomo (Jack) Gucciardo; his relatives and friends.
Anthony’s summary bio underscores his diversified interests:
- Personal development came from Anthony’s uniqueness, Family, St. Luke’s Church, Loyola H.S., Cadet Corps 2806 Pointe-Claire (RMR), living his life.
- John Abbott nursing school graduate.
- Concordia University Graduate.
- Registered Nurse in Montreal QC, and in Whitehorse YT.
- Captain in the Canadian Forces, where, during his 28 years of service, he joined a few Regiments: RMR, Islanders, CGI, Black Watch, CIC.
- Amateur astronomer, co-founder of RASC-Yukon, YAS and Observatory.
- Founder of the Aurora-360 Experience.
- President of Consulta Meta I.M. inc. CM-IM.
- Community projects developer e.g. Castello Torre Salsa Antonio Meucci Centre Yukon Fist Nations Astronomy first (2017) Yukon Star Party
- A true friend to his dogs Laika and Riker.
Anthony was creative and full of energy, strong yet gentle, very proud of his roots.
In lieu of flowers, please offer a donation to the Rick Hansen Foundation in support of Spinal Cord Injury.
Visitation will be held at Voluntas Funeral Home, 4695 St-Jean Blvd., Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qc H9H 2A7, on Monday, June 5, 2023 from 4 to 9 p.m., with a religious service at 4 p.m.
The family wishes to acknowledge the care and support received from the Jewish General Hospital I.C.U. Team during the last weeks of Anthony’s life.
Anthony, your death is a great sadness that fills our heart, but we are comforted knowing you received Last Rites and are now resting peacefully with the Lord.
I love you very much, always!
My son Mimmo was a vibrant part of all that he has met … and,
beyond what he has encountered.
Anthony was a special part in all his relationships, a catalyst,
a friend, a brother, a son.
Mostly on his terms, yet always present when the needs arose or a challenge was at hand.
Creative and full of energy Anthony never pulled back: Always kind and loving,
though in his own way!
Mimmo, the void you leave in me is not measurable, it is not definable.
May you always be in my heart.
Tony, if there is one thing that I will always remember is that you lived your life your way, but were always willing to take on a straggler or two as you went. You led the way for many of our adventures, doing all those things first. I would love to have another day of repeating our favorite TV lines or just sitting around a coffee shop, but instead I will just take what I learned from you and add it to my life. That way a piece of you lives on.
I love you brother, rest now.
Eulogy by Typhanie Tobin
Remembering my friend
Situation: Retired Captain Anthony Gucciardo, passed, Jewish General Hospital, May 27th, surrounded by immediate family.
Mission: We are here to remember and reminisce about our friend and loved one.
Execution: There will be a gathering here at Voluntas. We will be grouped, members from his family, friends, nursing, military and cadet family will be present. From 16h00, to 22h00. We require fond memories, and memorable moments to be shared to ease the suffering of the attendees.
Services/Support: Transportation is to be assumed by the individuals attending, all equipment required is your gently bruised hearts and your memories. Smiles are encouraged.
Command/Signals: Please remember to sign the guest book virtually if you have not already done so. Share a memory, so we do not forget our comrade.
What can I say about Anthony Gucciardo? I met him when I was 12 years old, he was the training officer and Band officer at the 2806 Pointe Claire Cadet Corps, RMR when I started in September of 1993. I remember so much about those incredible days, but I will never forget the sparkling blue eyes, and the hearty chuckle, and genuine mirth radiating from this man. To be quite honest, I had a little school girls crush on him back in those days. I admired everything about him. His energy, his clear love of the military, all things camping, bushcraft, adventuring, First Aid, Music, and most of all, Leadership.
In truth, those early days of medical first aid training supervised by Anthony in conjunction with the St Johns Ambulance instructor are the first seeds planted in my soul to lead me to my current path as a Nurse and healer in general. So, I have him to thank for that as well.
In my day, the name Gucciardo, was synonymous with 2806, and RMR. Having Mr. Gucciardo as a leader, during his boys’ cadet days, Anthony as officer in the corps, Vince, a proud member of the RMR, and linked forever with the corps as well, Marco eventually joining our ranks, and finally, last, and definitely not least, Little Pablo, though his time was the shortest of them all.
Anthony used humour to get through difficult scenarios, while never seeming to take things too lightly. He was truly a man who cared. I remember him at various cadet camps as officer staff, and when it was my time to leave the corps, I considered coming back as a CI, because of the sense of family that the cadets had instilled in me and the friends that I had made there and this largely due to the influence of Captain Gucciardo.
A recurring theme I hear said about Anthony Gucciardo is that “he never gave up on me, no one else wanted to give me a chance, He stood up, and reminded people how Everyone deserves a second chance”. This sums up the man I knew very well.
Anthony was involved in many ways creating connections with kids and turning cadets into family throughout Montreal: RCACC 2806 PCCC, RMR, RCACC 2709 CGG, RCACC 2497 Black Watch RHR of Canada, RCACC 2675 34th Combat Engineers 3FER.
I remember in particular one FTX, likely to ST Bruno, where Greg Beizing, Nilesh Ladd, Kevin Jones, Faith Rhodes, Ace and Richie Monteagudo, Richard Corneau and other cadet and officer names immemorial were involved. We were on a march, to a secondary location, we had packed up camp, and we were moving, full rucksacks, full sun. (It must have been the last FTX of the year, where the weather switches from freezing cold in the wee hours, to sweat off 8 lbs in the course of a day). It was Sunday, we were tired, we were getting demotivated, the bugs were awful, mosquitoes and blackflies, but the golden sun shimmering through the trees gave us a little life left. We had been learning “The art of Camouflage” from our senior staff, and details such as looking from right to left, and how to spot unnatural occurrences (for example, bushes/trees are NEVER evenly spaced in nature, and how to use more than one colour of camo grease to easier blend with ones surrounding,) stay with me even to this day. We were exhausted. But we needed to move. After roughly 2 or 3 hours of trudging, many of us regretting our decisions to layer that turtleneck under the combat tunic, canteens running low, he sat us down to take a break and gave us this great pep talk.
“I know you are tired; I know its long, but we are RMR (huah) and we’ve got just another 2 km to go” so we all screwed our motivation to the sticking point, and up we got, we refilled our canteens by the mountain brook (yes, we really did!) and we trekked some more. 3 hours later, we stopped, took another bearing and now the motivation speech went a little something like this : “ who are we? RMR! Great job guys, you are all doing awesome! We just have another 4km to go!!”
What the crap?! Who the heck gave this guy the map and compass and put him in charge of orienteering!? And it felt like every stop thereafter we added more numbers to the march! Somehow, we made it, there was never any doubt of course, and we have an incredible yarn to tell, and memories made, and you can be 1000% certain I never let him forget this event!!
After I turned 18 and was no longer able to be a part of the cadet corps, I thought that we had parted ways. Until, to my surprise, and distinct pleasure, the fates turned the wheel of fortune, and we realigned once again, this time, at John Abbot College, in the Nursing department. This was 2004. I was in my second year of Nursing school. And who do I hear singing out… “Tobin! What are you doing here?” Anthony, that warm, encouraging voice from my childhood, following me into the development of my adult life!
I was a struggling single mother in the nursing program. Confidence in the tank, bordering on near empty on most days, giving my everything though, every single day. Encouraging as he had always done in cadets, I now had a peer, friend, and confidante, who bolstered my motivation, and my confidence on the daily. Our relationship moved from Officer -cadet, to peers, (where the roles had now changed, as I was the one a little higher on the campus totem pole being a year ahead). We spent endless days together, his pure love for children was obvious as he never minded if I had no babysitter, for studying, and often even suggesting activities we could do where we could easily include my 4-year-old daughter. He brought panettone in the winter, and sparkling apple cider in the fall. I made French toast from the panettone, and because I didn’t drink in the day, I added that lovely apple cider to a roast pork that was so tender and delectable. (But Typhanie, this is not cooking wine, its for drinking!!), He would start making sets of extremely organized study flash cards while I would make dinner as we easily discussed everything from student politics/ national/provincial politics, to local bands playing in Ste Annes, and movies. He endured my Michael Bublé and Diana Krall obsession, we shared an appreciation of 90s dance hits, and I bugged him about his love of Star Trek. He was always trying to teach you something! To the untrained eye, he may have come across as a know it all, but to me, I knew it for what it was, a love of teaching, from his years spent with youth and sharing his passions. But good luck trying to win a debate!
Anthony was living on the res on campus and very quickly became well known among not only his peers, but the other classes as well, and the staff. His natural lean towards leadership shone brilliantly through to the intense benefit of the JAC Nursing progam as he became actively involved in the student activities, as a class rep, and the one to whom many turned to find resources, help, counsel and friendship. He could always be found studying in the lab, discussing anything with Lynn the lab tech (unfortunately her last name eludes memory me these 19 years later), and supporting his classmates, leading study sessions, and organizing many fundraising activities. Always these fundraisers underscored the FUN of raising money, and engagement was always high. I remember one such event, a “scrub party” where we all showed up in scrub uniforms, and the “shots” were served in syringes cleverly identified with humourous names (as all medications require being properly identified with name, date, medication, and dosage and route.) It was a huge hit. The last photo I have of us together is from this party. There was also consistently an element of giving back. A portion to this or that organization which he thought was a good selection as a recipient of funds from the Nursing program, and how it would be appreciated to those organizations. His advantage as a mature student gained him direct links to the teachers whom naturally fell in with his good nature, gift of gab, and enabling excellent student teacher liaisons for all.
As life tends to move in cycles, waves if you will, when I graduated in 2005, the pressures of working full time, being a single mother, and trying to juggle everything took a greater portion of my time, and the same forces that had driven us together for a second time, escorted us gently into our next chapters, with text contacts dwindling but still there, a lifetime connection built on the most solid foundation of Love and Respect and Friendship. He was more than a friend to me. Always, platonic, but Anthony was Family.
As I started my Nursing Career, He pursued his own: RN at the JGH Internal Medicine (7W), Family Medicine (6N) and Active Geriatrics (6NW) were lucky to call him one of theirs from 2006-2012.
The Whitehorse General was also lucky to have him among their ranks from 2014 as RN on their Medical Unit.
He left Montreal to go to Whitehorse, Yukon, in 2013-2014, where he further fell in love with the stars and the skies. His posts on Facebook, always read as announcements, educating the audience, always providing something to the reader, to share in the childlike delight for the things that made him happy! The many photos, videos and discussions about the mystical Aurora Borealis, seeped into his bones, his essence. It was love at first sight!
So much so, that he became Co-Founder of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Yukon Center in 2015, and Founder/Organizer of the Aurora-360 Experience in 2017. His involvement with these agencies continued forever.
If you are unfamiliar with either of these last organizations, please look them up online, you are in for an incredible treat!
After his Car Accident in 2018, Anthony struggled to maintain contact with his friends. I think he didn’t want anyone to think of him or see him as weak, but how anyone could do that is beyond my wildest imaginings. Anthony was never a victim, always a survivor, and one of the most incredibly positive people I ever knew. He fought to climb back into a functional state, from where many people never do. And not only that, but he continued to pursue his interests and passions, and promoting his business, and share with all who would listen, a love of The North, and the Aurora Borealis.
January 1st, I received a text from Anthony, he was heading back to Montreal, awaiting confirmation of transportation. The place he was heading, is 10 minutes from my home… “Hey! That’s super close!!” him: “yup, I know, and we can hang out”, me: “I can’t wait! Let me know when you are all set up! I’ll bring the coffee”. I messaged him again in March, checking in to see when we could catch up, I had so much to share with him, my recent venture into Northern Nursing, where I had caught the bug of the Auroras and I couldn’t wait to discuss with him, my message was seen, but never returned. But it was often like this. I knew to give him his space, when he was ready, he would connect.
The next time I got to see my friend was May 26th. Wild Horses could not keep me from his side even after all of these years. As I arrived to the unit he was on, I announced as I walked in “Anthony Gucciardo, you are a TERRIBLE penpal and you left me on read for months!!” Those beautiful cerulean blue eyes flew open, and stayed open for hours, while I droned on and on, potentially annoying Mr and Mrs Gucciardo, Marco and Pablo with my inane babble. I couldn’t help it. This was the way it had always been with Anthony, though he was usually a much better conversationalist. His hair had silvered dramatically, elegantly, but his face was the same. I held his hand, and stroked his hair, and reminisced, I told him how the little 4-year-old tazmanian Devilesse he had spent countless sunny day walks and impromptu scavenger hunts with, now had a 3-year-old Tazmanian devilesse of her own…
When I received the anticipated, but dreaded notice the following morning, my heart was shattered, but so full knowing that I had gotten to see him, hold his hand, talk to him and tell him just how much he meant to me. I was able to share with him the names of everyone who was thinking of him and sending their love across from every direction. And silently sated knowing that those gentle waves had allowed us to be together at least one last time.
It was my first priority to advise as many of his friends and colleagues from both Nursing and Cadets as I could, as he WAS a terrible penpal, and had fallen out of contact through the game of life since he left Montreal back in the day. And the first person I thought of who would best be suited to help me get this organized was of course Anthony. He SMESC ed everything in life. Cadet trips. Nursing events. Movie nights and daytime picnics. He would have been the perfect event organizer. Instead, I am trying to fill his incredibly impressive shoes, and failing miserably. But I am giving myself an A for effort, because I am certain, that is what he would tell me.
My 5-year-old asked me the other day, Mom, I remember you said that your friend was dying. Yes, baby I replied. He did pass. Mom, maybe you shouldn’t be sad. Maybe you should remember all the good stuff and that you loved him and that he loved you. And then my baby sang Remember me from Coco. And he could not have summarized loss in a more profound way, nor acknowledging grief in a more healthy way.
I’ll share the lyrics:
Remember Me, though I have to say Goodbye
Remember Me, don’t let it make you cry
For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you, each night we are apart
Remember me, though I have to travel far
Remember me, each time you hear a sad guitar
Know that I am with you the only way that I can be
Until you’re in my arms again, remember me
So Anthony, we WILL remember you. We will remember all of your amazing interactions, your incredible legacy of leadership, and we will preciously hold on to all of our memories, and hopefully they will be able to fill a tiny piece of the enormous void you leave behind.
I will see you in the stars each time I look up, I will hear your voice in the Nordic winds blowing, and I will feel your warm and gentle soul, like a hand on my back in every sunny ray that comes across, through clouds, or unhidden, in short, I will find you and remember you in every opportunity given by the lord.
With so much love and heartbreak,
Typhanie and everyone.