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CAPDEVILA, John - April 16, 1922 - December 9, 2012 In the northeast corner of the Iberian Peninsula, close to the geographical center of Catalunya, the medieval castle of Cardona looms over the ancient town. Joan Capdevila Casals was born here in April of 1922, the son of Anton and Isabel. Responsibility came to him at an early age when after losing his father, he went to work to help his mother and sisters. In the neighbouring town of Manresa he found support and guidance and the advice that shaped his working life when he was told that "people will always need bread" and so Joan began his career as a baker. Always an avid sportsman he became a popular local soccer and basketball player, a passion for sports that he retained throughout his life. When he met the young Flora Solà, they fell in love and the pattern and devotion of his life was confirmed when they married in 1951. They settled in Manresa, started a family and ran a bakery business until 1963 when the young family immigrated to Canada settling in Toronto in 1964. To friends from the Casal dels Països Catalans (Toronto Catalan Club) in which he was a pivotal figure, Dominion Stores where he worked as a bakery manager and Marina del Rey, the condominium where he and Flora lived after their retirement, he was a well loved and extremely respected individual. To family, he was a loving husband, father, brother and grandfather. He was an extremely well read and highly intelligent person who was as passionate about politics as he was about sports. A lifelong fan of FC Barcelona, the Maple Leafs and the Argonauts, Joan fully embraced both of the countries that formed his life. While he adopted Canada as his own, Catalunya was always in his heart and thoughts and he instilled his sense of Nation and Culture in every member of his family. Both he and Flora returned home often bringing generations of family with them. Joan loved Christmas and its traditions, particularly the tree and the Nativity scene, and on Saturday he spent the evening decorating his room with his son. On Sunday morning, he passed away peacefully in his bed. Joan will be dearly missed by his son Antoni, his daughter Rose Alba, and his four grandchildren, Martin, Sean, Jessica and Julia. May he rest peacefully for he will surely be remembered fondly. Online condolences may be made through

Published in the Toronto Star on Dec. 15, 2012