THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Honourable Joseph Robert Comuzzi, at age 88 years, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2021, with his children by his side. Joe was born on April 5,1933 in what was formally Fort William Ontario and proudly called Thunder Bay his home for a lifetime.
Joe had a rewarding and diversified career as an entrepreneur, lawyer and politician. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Assumption University and achieved his LLB degree from the University of Windsor at age 45. High points of his community activities included being a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Directors, the Catholic School Board and co-leading the fundraising campaign to build the Bethammi residence. His passion was baseball and he coached the Port Arthur Nationals little league baseball team for a number of years.
Joe served as a Member of Parliament from 1988 to 2008 representing the constituents of Thunder Bay-Superior North and Canada. During his tenure he was the Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development in Northern Ontario (FedNor). He served in many portfolios over his twenty years in political life. Highlights include: Co-Vice-Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Canada-US Relations; Chair: Canadian Section, United States International Joint Commission; and Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. In whatever capacity he held, he always remained a fearless advocate for the people of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.
Joe was predeceased by his loving wife Janet Comuzzi (2014); his parents; two brothers and sister. He is survived and will be deeply cherished forever by his four children: Deborah Comuzzi (Lorne Firman); James Comuzzi (Jennifer Fairbairn); Mary-Catherine Comuzzi; and Elizabeth Comuzzi (Blaine Bell). He will always be the very best and protective Papa to his ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and a devoted uncle to his nephew “Georgie” Comuzzi. Dad is also survived by his sister Catherine Comuzzi and his nieces and nephews.
A private family Funeral Mass and interment have taken place. The family would like to express our deepest gratitude to the compassionate staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre – Floor 2B, Dr. Jacinta Oyella and Dr. Kevin Miller. Your gentle support helped our father and family through this difficult past week. To Dr. Jim Scali and his assistant Sally, you have been our lifeline for both of our parents health care journeys and words cannot express our deepest gratitude for your constant guidance and practical wisdom. To the Multi-Disciplinary Renal Care Team, we so appreciate your many years of specialized care for both of our parents. To the Nurse Next Door Team, sincere thanks for your expertise and kindness while caring for Dad at home.
A very special thank you to Msgr. Pat Stilla. Your lifelong friendship and spiritual mentoring for our family has and will continue to provide immense comfort in both good and difficult times.
Should you wish to make a charitable donation to honour our father, a gift to support the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) Palliative Care Team, through the TBRHS Foundation, would be greatly appreciated.