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Roger John Cristofoli

Posted By Castlegar Funeral Chapel On April 16, 2020 @ 2:29 pm In Obituaries | 4 Comments

Cristofoli Roger obit pic InPixio

We are sad to announce the passing of Roger Cristofoli on April 12, 2020. After a lengthy illness he  finally succumbed to kidney failure and died peacefully at home in Castlegar with his wife and daughter in attendance.

Roger was born in Trail hospital on September 17, 1948. At the age of 2 he moved with his family to Castlegar where he grew up and attended Stanley Humphrey’s Secondary School, graduating in 1966.

He enjoyed many occupations in his life time. From the ages 6-12 he was a delivery boy for the Castlegar and Nelson newspapers in North Castlegar, including to  the house where he eventually died. He became a Journeyman Carpenter and,  following the footseteps of his father, did his apprenticeship at Cominco in Trail. While being Security Guard and First Aid Attendant at Selkirk College, he was president of the PPWC and respresented many workers in their struggles for employment rights. To quote Tom Wayman, a long-long friend, “Roger was a great soul: absolutely true to his principles, while never losing sight of both life’s practicalities and the need for humor to give us perspective and the inspiration we need to keep going. In those wonderful qualities of his, he was an inspiration himself: original, forthright, perceptive, and a top-of-the-line shit disturber.”

Building on his carpentry skills, he attended the Fine Woodworking School in Nelson where he created many beautiful pieces of furniture. At the age of 40 he returned to academia, finished his Grade 12 requirements, and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. On return to Castlegar in 1994, his first teaching job was ironically at SHSS.

Since jobs for teachers or carpenters in the West Kootenays were scarce,  in 1999 Roger and his wife left Canada to teach English overseas. For the next 10 years they lived and worked in Korea, Thailand, Oman and China. Roger was a popular teacher with all of his students, using humour and music as a method of instruction, and always showed a deep respect for both students and colleagues.

In the course of his life he also worked as a Real Estate Salesperson, Resident Manager of a high rise complex in Edmonton, a musician, and a pulp mill worker in Prince Rupert.

Roger was predeceased by his father Giacomo, mother Florence, brother Brian, and sister Yvonne (Magee). He is lovingly remembered by his wife Judy Smith, daughter Erin Cristofoli (Sal Couling), siblings Caren Brookes (Joe) and Richard (Arlene). He will also be remembered fondly by his 2 grandchildren (Iyra and Asha), previous wife Kathy Loxam, stepdaughter Jessie Smith and step-grandchild Akie Leesmith, 6 nephews and nieces (Kathy Brookes (John), Lori Gerrard (Phil), Glenn Magee (Lori), Tara Cristofoli, Tim Cristofoli (Christina), and Marty (Anna) Cristofoli. Many friends have shared significant life experiences with him, including Karl Koerber, Rob MacArthur, Terry Kaufman,  Bo Melnick, Craig and Gayle Barnsley and more.

Thank you to his physician, Dr. Lee MacKay and to the Palliative Home Care nurses for their sensitive and generous support throughout his illness.

A memorial will be held after the ban against group gatherings has been lifted.

Roger was a staunch supporter of those less fortunate in life. A donation to the Castlegar Food Bank on his behalf would be greatly appreciated.


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Condolences for the family of “Roger John Cristofoli”

Condolence from Diana Liddle on April 17th, 2020 1:12 pm

To All the Cristofoli Families:

Our sincere condolences for your loss.
We were neighbours in our childhoods.
Our love and prayers are with you.

Diana (Franco) Liddle & family

Condolence from Virginia Landucci on April 22nd, 2020 12:28 am

I was so saddened to hear about Roger’s passing. He was a very favourite grad mates and will be remembered by so many of us who cared so much about him. May God grant his wife Judy and family peace and comfort in the days ahead knowing that he is now in a better place.

Condolence from Marilyn Loxam on April 22nd, 2020 2:13 pm

My sympathy to you Judy, Erin, Sal, Iyra and Asha. Roger’ s other family members, relatives and friends.

An Italian Proverb: To mourn too long for those we love is self-indulgent. But to honour their memory with a promise. To live a little better for having known them. Gives purpose to their life and an easier acceptance of their death. No one ever grew poor through giving alms.

I remember Roger’s smile, his soft and clear voice and he didn’t talk too fast, and his laugh. When I think of him I smile and feel okay. I am glad I knew Roger.

Condolence from John M. Laing, Delta, BC on April 27th, 2020 11:10 pm

Condolences to Roger’s family.

Though we first met in our Grad Year at SHSS, me having come from Edmonton, Roger was one fellow who shared the same dreaded disease of getting to school on Monday mornings and some Fridays too. I had always hoped that we would meet again in Castlegar as I hoped to be through that way over the last few years just to “shoot the breeze” and reminisce.

I see a note from him in my copy of our ’66 SHSS Grad book where he penned, “If you run into a doctor who can cure our disease, shoot him!”. Glad to have made his acquaintance. God speed!

He will certainly be missed.

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