In Memory of



Obituary for Donato Cianci

Julio Donato Cianci
May 13, 1935 - January 11, 2021
Born West Vancouver, British Columbia
Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Companion, Brother, Friend, Elder, and Teacher

Encouraging and proud father of Kae (and Patrick), Jeremy (and Kate), Michael (and Helene), Julia (and Kristopher), and Jonathan (and Kathleen). Beloved and fun grandfather (Nonno) of Colby (Bri), Braedon (Susannah), Nora, Anna, Livia, Milo, Elliot, and two grandbabes on the way. Great-grandfather of Dorothy and Myla. Best friend of Lisa Laflamme; special connection with Jean-Guy and Maya; Nicole and Colby.
Predeceased by his father Vito (1994)(Eryl) and mother Sybil (1993), and infant son Antonio. Loved brother of Michele (Diane) and Deryn.

Donato graduated from the University of British Columbia as a chemical engineer in 1956 and quickly took on new responsibilities as one of the first computer programmers in Canada at Shell Canada. He moved on in his professional career as assistant vice president at Manulife; an Independant Consultant of Business and Human Relations as a lecturer of Corporate Finance at the University of Waterloo.

Donato had a brilliant mind and a propensity for adventure and forever learning. Donato was known primarily as a poet, creative writer, and drum maker. He had an outgoing energetic outlook on life, and a compassionate heart for many, particularly Indigenous Peoples of Canada. As Donato travelled through life and across the land, he formed many heart-felt connections with a multitude of people and communities, some include The Art of Mentoring (Ontario, Salt Spring Island), The Men of Serious Intent Group (MOSI), Friends in the Pic River First Nations Community, The Elderberries, Sacred Harp Singing Communities, Ontario Regional Men's Group, Wilderness Awareness Group, The Green Party of Canada, Friends in Owen Sound, Durham, Peterborough, and those who supported him from his final home in the woods on Opinicon Road.

Donato loved the people of Pic River First Nation. Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. It is there that Donato offered to facilitate drum-making and in return, received his name, Travelling Deer. Heart-felt connections were created within the community, particularly with Sharon and Ken Desmoulin and their family. Donato returned many times to visit and share in special and sacred times.

We believe it would be Donato's wish that, any intent to offer a donation in memory of him, be directed to Julie Michano, daughter of Ken and Sharon. It is Julie's hope to create a spiritual camp on her father's trapline, in memory of Ken and Donato....a place of healing for youth and recovery for all in the community....a place for fasting and a tepee and of peace and safety. Please direct any donations to:

Julie Michano at Box 61, 30 Beaver Crescent, Heron Bay, Ontario P0T 1R0 or Official receipts are not available at this time.

Donato was buried in the green section of Coburg Union Cemetery where the land, in the future, will become a forest. His Goldstone/Hill ancestors are buried in the Heritage Cemetery near by, Donato returned to the Spirit World with gifts he had collected from Mother Earth, with tears and tenderness of those who loved him, with passionate drumming, and with a final salute from a raven above. To honour Donato in an ongoing way, please enjoy a piece of apple pie and be loyal to your local winery and or coffee shop.

Winter Solstice

I am
A Hospice worker
They come to me
For their dying
I visit them
For a few moments
At least daily
As their last few
Slide by
He has only hours to live
I know the signs
I sit quiet
Reflecting on the little
I know of his story
A poor hardworking
Farm boy
Become a groom
At the races
A talent for riding
Riding and winning
On some of the
Most fabled horses
Of his time
Then returned to poverty
He has had
No visitors here
No messages
I listen to his quiet
His eyes open and
Seek mine
He has a question
I ask
What can I do
For you
He speaks
Oh I would love
An apple
I have an apple
I can get that
I have one in my purse
I say
I slice it
Into pieces
Take them
One by one
Place each prayerfully
On his tongue
Between his lips
He chews slowly
Juice running down
The corner of his mouth
A look of utter bliss
Transforms his face
His closed eyes
Together we share
That bliss
How wonderful
To know
At this time of the year
The fading of the light
His time come
There may be
An apple
No longer
A forbidden fruit
But a doorway
Into joy

- Donato December 5, 2018