Adrian (Art) dePorto

We are very sad to announce the sudden passing of our father, grandfather and great grandfather Adrian (Art) dePorto on May 2nd, 2019 at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Center.  Art was born on April 5th, 1927 in Texel Holland.  He is predeceased by his parents Adriaan and Klasina dePorto, his siblings Cornelis, Timotheus, Jan, Theodora, Catharina and Willem, his wife Norma, daughter Maryellen, son Kevin and special niece and nephew Karla and Adriaan.  He is survived by his brother Klaas (Holland), his children, Bev (Tom) Beach, Tim dePorto, Janice dePorto (Dan), Charles dePorto, son in law Dymetro Bordynuik and stepson Martin Portier, his grandchildren Justin Otesken, Christy Bordynuik (Chris), Teresa Olson (Jason), Wendy Bordynuik (Jason), Ryan Hall (Janna), Michael Bordynuik, Erin Beach and step grandson Kyle Collins and his great grandchildren who knew him as Big Papa,  Kyle Moreau, Ciara Olson, Riley Olson, Hannah Read, Taylor Bryant, Rowin Olson, Olivia Bryant, Hayley McDonald, Tucker Groshak, Libby Hall and Lucy Hall, and “the best cat ever”, Phoebe.

Art lived on a small island of Texel in the north sea of Holland.  His youth and teenage years were not easy and the liberation of Holland by the Canadian forces influenced Art’s decision to immigrate to Canada at the age of 21, in April of 1949. Art remembered his roots but was a fiercely proud Canadian. He worked on a farm in Saskatchewan and decided after the unbearably cold first winter on the prairies to move east.   He settled in Sioux Lookout, Ontario where he worked for Patricia Lumber.  He also worked briefly further east for Ontario Hydro and at the Madsen Mine.  He then moved to Kenora, working for Paul Lawrence and finally for the Kenora Pulp and Paper Mill where he retired in 1988.  In recent years he often told us he collected a pension (32 years) from the mill longer than he worked there (30 years).

While living in Kenora, Art met and married his wife Norma on April 26th, 1958 and they started their family soon after.  Norma and Art were foster parents for 38 years and cared for many children in those years.  They loved those kids and kept in touch with many of them. Sundays were always the most important day of the week for Art.  For 38 years, all the kids, grandkids and great grandkids would invade his house for the afternoon and he would cook dinner for us all.  Anything goes at Big Papa’s, you got to eat candy and cookies before dinner, and if you didn’t eat dinner you could still have ice cream for dessert.  We celebrated all the big holiday dinners at his house too, so much food, so many of us and such great times and memories.  He often told us there is always room for one more at the table.

Art’s hobby was to build fix and design things.  He was a master of all trades; carpentry, wiring, plumbing, welding, and mechanics.  He was self-taught and was always willing to lend his expertise around the neighborhood with his favorite being, a good cement pour.  He was very generous with his time and talent and built many houses in Kenora.  The windmill he built is a landmark on the shore of his former home on Black Sturgeon Lake.

Life will be forever changed with our dad, grandpa and big papa gone from our lives.  We will miss him forever and never forget how happy and proud of us all he was.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the Kenora paramedics, doctors and nurses at Kenora and Thunder Bay Regional hospitals for the excellent care, kindness and compassion shown during Art’s brief stay.

A service will be held on Saturday May 11th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Notre Dame Parish.  In lieu of flowers you can make a donation to the cat shelter, Special Olympics or a charity of your choice.