DANTE MATTHEW De MONTE Q.C., L.L.B., former M.P.P. Peacefully at the Humber River Regional Hospital -- Church Site, Toronto, on Friday, October 23, 2009, at the age of 83. Beloved husband of the late Elvira De Monte and loving father of Mary Anne (Michael Whelan), Joan (Jeffrey Chrusciel), Cecilia (Andreas Bahr), Dante Jr. (Le-Anne), Antionette, John (Shelley) and James (Natalie Evans). Grandfather of Sean, Elizabeth, Chantal, Christopher, James and Andreas Jr. Brother of Lucy and predeceased by Danilo, Leda and Dominic. Dante was born in Toronto on May 6, 1926, on Symington Avenue. After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, he obtained his B.A. at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. Dante graduated from Osgoode Law School in 1955 and he practised law in Toronto for 40 years. He was active in Liberal politics, serving as Vice-President of the Toronto and District Liberal Association from 1963 to 1967. In 1967, he was elected Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Dovercourt -- the first member of the Ontario legislature of Italian descent. His special interests were immigration, citizenship and labour and he was named labour critic for the Opposition. His support and advocacy of the Italian community in Toronto included service as Executive Vice-President of the Italian Immigrant Aid Society, and he was active in Famèe Furlane Society, which was formed to assist immigrants from the Friuli, from whence his parents had immigrated. He participated in the founding of the Famèe Furlane Club, now part of the Friuli Centre in Toronto's west end. A consummate organizer and fundraiser, Dante served as President of the Michael Power/ St. Joseph's Dad's Club for eight years and successfully raised large funds for the school community, for which he was presented with a special award of appreciation from the Sisters of St. Joseph and Basilian Fathers in 1986. His organizing skill carried over into neighbourhood life, and he helped organize the annual Games Days for the Baby Point Club, especially in the barbeque department. His roast pigs and half steers soon became part of local lore. Dante was the refined and enthusiastic host, convivial raconteur and lover of the family barbeque, the latter often including many neighbourhood kids. He adored his seven children and the memorable image of the De Monte brood piling in and out of Dante's stylish 1966 Mustang has survived the test of time. He was a devoted husband and tirelessly supported his beloved wife Elvira as advisor and campaign manager throughout her long and distinguished career as Separate School Board Trustee and Chairman. He was also a man of the arts, lover of the ballet, opera and symphony (to which he introduced his children), a voracious reader and amateur military historian and an excellent cook. This was balanced by his love of sport. Dante was a devoted fan of the Toronto Argonauts, and held season's tickets for decades, being a fixture at Argo games with his sons and nephews. He will be sadly missed by all those touched by his rich and accomplished personality, and especially by his admiring and doting children and grandkids. Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W. (east of Jane Street), on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. and on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass to be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3055 Bloor St. W., on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. Interment Park Lawn Cemetery. The De Monte family established the Elvira De Monte Scholarship Fund on the death of Elvira in 2000. Donations to the fund may be made in lieu of flowers and in continued recognition of both parents' contribution to the community. Forward donations to TCDSB Communications, 80 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, M2N 6E8.
Published by Toronto Star from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2009.