Paolo Antonio Mazzon
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Paolo Antonio Mazzon in the early
hours of June 25, 2021 after a long battle with CHF and diabetes. He was surrounded by his
wife and children, in his home and went quickly and peacefully.
He leaves behind his loving wife Rhonda, of almost 23 years (26 together) and their 4 children.
Gabriella (Trevor), Paolo, Sofia and Isabella. He is predeceased by his parents Lino and Livia
Mazzon. He leaves behind his sister Catia Sacidis (Jim), brother Frank Mazzon and sister-in-law
Laurie Mazzon, nieces Stephanie Parsons (Brian) and Brittany Mazzon, as well as his great
niece and great nephews whom he didn’t have the chance to see much but he loved regardless.
He was blessed to have a second set of parents in Julia and Angelo Murru and Michael (Tracy)
and Maria Murru who were as close to siblings as you could get. Paul loved Mike and Tracy’s
boys as his own nephews, as Mike was like his own brother.
Paul’s family comes from the Veneto region of Northern Italy. His parents came separately to
Canada about a year apart in the 1950’s. They got married and bought a home in East Van that
they lived in until their passing. It was a sad day when the family home sold as it was the end of
an era. Lino came to Canada with $30 in his pocket and $300 in the bank and turned their
Canadian dream into a reality. They provided for their 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 3 ½ great
grandchildren by the time Nonna left us. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t talk
about The Don and the impact she had on our lives. Paul always felt guilty about not being with
his mom when she passed but he was also in the ICU and couldn’t go to her. He got to say
goodbye on the phone. It was something he carried with him but I'm glad he’s with them now,
but I wonder how long he can put up with her now!!!
In 2014 we decided to go to Italy, although we were there only 17 days they were life changing. I
(Rhonda) was talking to his cousin Claudio Tosato about plans and he said “just get here, You
will always have a bed to sleep in and food to eat.” He wasn’t wrong! Our trip was amazing
mainly due to Claudio’s hard work. He arranged dinner with Paul’s dad’s cousins that we met for
the first time and also showed us his 17 warehouses of jukeboxes which included the actual
Happy Days jukebox!! Paul and Claudio were 2 peas in a pod! Sadly we lost Claudio on New
Year’s Eve 2020 and Paul could never get over it. We’ve all been shocked and saddened by his
loss (Claudio) and think about his family every day.
We decided to take our kids to Europe in 2017 to meet the relatives. We knew it would be a
major expense and a difficult journey for Paul, but he wanted to ensure his family met his kids.
He wanted to make sure we all knew we were family and even after he was gone we would be
comfortable returning to Italy there without feeling out of place.
We never felt more at home than when we were in Italy. While I and the kids were walking
around Verona he could be found sitting in the Piazza Bra with a bottle of water taking in the
sights. His zia in Verona is his last living aunt and he loved her to bits! He talked about her
endlessly and how sweet she was to our family.
We drove from Verona, Italy to Annecy, France to spend time with Zio Severino and his family. It
was a very memorable trip, especially when I (Rhonda) crashed the rental car, had to have it
towed and squished all 6 of us and our luggage in the fiat 500L just to go get a new rental car!
Thankfully we had insurance and it didn't affect us too much!!! He loved France, but he would
always say there were too many French people there!!! His cousins made him feel so at home
and he felt as if he had never been apart from them. His biggest regret is that we didn’t visit
them earlier in life, because once we had, our desire was to move to Italy when we retired.
Paul always said he was a rich man by all the close friends he had, whether he saw them in the
last day or year. He was able to meet with a lot of his very close friends and reminisce about the
good old days. In the past few months he was able to spend some quality time with his buddies
and shed some tears together. He and his buddy Vinnie even got to share a nap on adjacent
chairs one afternoon while I knit and laughed at the two tough guys napping together! This is
one of my favorite memories!! (Sorry Vin!)
Paul grew up in East Van, went to St. Pat’s and graduated from VanTech in 1990. He always
said he loved his time at high school. He talked often about how much he loved his classes;
shop class and automotive and becoming Jr. BC Wrestling Champ!
He met me through my sister, Pam, in 1995 and our courtship began while he was bouncing at
the Boo pub! Paul could often be seen “showing someone the door” or following a lead singer
through the crowd to make sure they were safe! He was often underestimated for being the “fat
guy” but those people quickly found out he was more than that, and often regretted their
choices, too late! It was a sad day when it shut down.
When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, Gabriella, Paul was over the moon! It took
him overnight to process it, but after that he was never happier! 2 weeks later he proposed to
me! His parents were thrilled at becoming grandparents again, but Nonna’s classic response
was “Just make sure you pay your bills!”
He loved being a dad. He would tell me in the last few years that he wished he could have been
a better father. More hands on and more easy going. But he didn’t know any different. He was a
difficult man to live with, but he’s also a difficult man to live without. And one thing he always told
me is that he would defend his family with his last breath. He changed a lot in the past few
months alone. He would apologize for things in the past and tell us everyday how much he
loved us and how proud of me and the kids he was and even accepted Gabby’s boyfriend as his
His children were his world. Poor Gabby ended up being the “test child” for a lot of it, as it
usually does with the first born! But she was also like a second mom. When Paolo Jr was born
she was the most doting big sister to him, until he got big enough to be a pain and the fighting
didn’t stop until 5 minutes ago!! We hadn’t planned to have more kids but we also didn’t do
anything to prevent it!! When Sofia came along we all knew she was going to be the boss from
the get go! Isabella rounded out our family and made us complete. She was my little shadow
until Paul retired and then she got quickly attached to him. They could be found cooking in the
kitchen at any time!
Paul loved to cook. He was very much a foodie. He was constantly watching food shows for
new recipes, his cooking was amazing as none of us are skinny!! He passed along his love of
cooking to us all. He made sure all his kids knew how to cook properly and to always use the
best and freshest ingredients.
Paul started his career at CRA as a mail delivery driver in the warehouse. He worked his way up
to office guy, HR assistant and eventually Union President. He was so proud to be able to help
his coworkers when they needed his expertise. He could be found telling many stories of how
he had to school a manager on their own policies! He was so proud of where he came from and
ended up at work. He always wanted to get to management but wasn’t able to. He would have
been amazing at it.
Paul retired from the CRA in 2014 mainly because of his declining health. He loved what he did
and hadn’t planned on retiring, but he got an infection that turned into sepsis and was in a coma
for 3 days. The drs didn’t think he could overcome it, but we knew differently. Paul was a fighter
and that wasn’t about to stop him! He was never the same afterwards but he was here and
going to enjoy his life.
He loved our trips to Las Vegas and we were hoping to go again once the pandemic was over.
He always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and we were never able to get there. He loved the
lights and sounds and heat of Vegas. He loved that he looked normal there. Here he was
always the big guy but in Vegas he was just another guy.
Paul and I got married on Halloween as it just happened to fall on a Saturday that year. But it
was so fitting for us! We always loved halloween. I would take the kids around the neighborhood
and he would hand out the candy. He loved seeing the little kids in their costumes! He was so
sad when we moved to this neighborhood and we hardly got any kids. I put an ad out on
facebook telling people to come to our complex and we got around 15 kids last year and that
made him happier! We may have actually been able to go out for dinner on our anniversary this
year for the first time!
Paul had a great last month. Gabby and Paolo organized and paid for our family pictures, which
has brought us all endless joy. You can see in his face how hard he was trying to not break
down and cry. He was so proud that they could come together and organize this and he
absolutely loved the photos.
He was able to reconnect and have some special times and phone calls with his friends. He was
always grateful when a friend could come over and just hang out and not have to always be
talking. Just hanging out.
Paul was not an angel but he was a great guy. He was an amazing provider, husband and
father. He was my best friend. He told me that a lot and that he was going to miss me when he
was gone. I always shrugged it off because he had lived through so many things I couldn't
believe he was actually going to be gone one day. We always wanted others to realize that life
was short and to not take your loved ones for granted. I sure wish we had 5 more minutes for
me to tell him he was also my best friend and I'm going to miss him terribly.
We have been so blessed by the many people in our lives disguised as angels. Our greatest gift
was Dr. Gil Kimel. He listened to Paul and helped him at a time when others didn’t agree with
him. Thank you to Cindy Nordquist and the Drs at St. Paul’s HFC who kept him alive for 20
years when no one thought he could survive the initial diagnosis. Dr. Gavin Chalmers, his
podiatrist, was always an amazing conversationalist, ready with a new italian word or phrase for
us and a discussion about the happenings in football! Gavin and Jackie, his receptionist, were
always understanding about Paul's tardiness, missing appointments or squeezing him in at the
last minute! If it wasn’t for Gavin, Paul would have been in big trouble with his feet. Diabetes is a
horrible disease and thankfully Gavin knew how to help. If Paul had actually listened to him
more, he might not have lost so many toes!!
Dr. Alistair Younger was his amazing surgeon. We didn’t realize how important skin preservation
was until Paul met a man in the iv clinic that had a similar operation with a surgeon who didn’t
have the same priorities. His assistant Maureen was equally a miracle worker, as evidenced
when I called her from Italy in 2017 and she fit him in with the dr as soon as he landed!
Thank yous go out to Dr. Colwill, Dr. Mackenzie-Fedder, Dr. Hiralal and Dr. Constantine. We
couldn’t have managed these last few years without the amazing support of our wonderful
family dr, Dr. Hester Vivier. A true lovely human, always ready to help. And the health nurses in
Surrey and Langley. Jodi, Liz and Michelle have been the sweetest ladies to Paul and myself.
No judgement, only assistance. Our pharmacy girls at Safeway, Randi, Maddison, Eileen and
the many others that were always there to listen and help (and I can’t think of their names right
now! sorry!). Thank you for the hugs girls. I needed them. Sorry you may lose your jobs as
Paul's prescriptions probably kept you employed!!
Paul didn’t want a big church service or a costly funeral. He is to be cremated and his ashes
planted with a japanese maple in the future. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July
10th at 2pm at The Calabria Cafe 1745 Commercial Drive in Vancouver for his friends to come
visit with me and our kids, tell stories, laugh and cry and have a coffee for the big guy. A beach
picnic will also be held at Cultus Lake Provincial Park Picnic Area on Sunday, July 18th at noon.
This was his favorite place to go in the summer and watch his kids play in the water. His dream
was to be able to sit in his chair and put his feet in the lake, but because of constant foot issues
he wasn’t able to.
Paul’s only desire was to make sure his family was taken care of. Many of you have reached out
asking how you can help during this difficult period. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and we
ask for prayers of peace and strength.
In lieu of flowers you may consider a donation to the family as Paul's loss has been a huge
financial hit as well as a personal and emotional one. Feel free to send through paypal or any
other way to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This has been a very emotional time for our family and we will appreciate any way you choose
to honor Paul.
Paul was loved by so many people that I couldn’t possibly mention them all here. He had so
many friends that were like family to him. You know who you are!
I would like to thank all of you who have reached out to offer condolences, flowers, food, gift
cards, etc. We appreciate your kindness.
July 8th, 2021
Absolutely gut wrenching, in a beautiful way Rhonda. I always knew Paul cared about his family more than anything, he told me that all the time.
He didn’t have to tell me, his actions always spoke louder than his words.
I will always regret the times I SHOULD’VE and COULD’VE with Paul and Rhonda. Way too many good times to put down on paper…I still remember playing ball hockey in the underground parking lot in the condo near Lougheed Mall. It was the first time we had played, and Paul said to me “ So your an ice hockey goalie, how’s this” he then wound up and unloaded a slap shot directly into my nut sack😳( no jock strap ) Frank, Paul and myself had a moment of shock and silence, then erupted into an explosion of laughter. As I lay on the ground laughing/crying the two brothers approached me kinda proud
of taking down the ICE HOCKEY goalie, but still concerned for my well being. I knew then, I was ONE OF THE GUYS…Van Halen concerts in 07 and 2012 will be forever locked in my memory bank. There is way too many good times to mention here, but the time I cherish most is recently watching the Italy soccer game a couple of weeks before he passed.
Like I said, my only regret is, I should’ve spent more time with one of my few TRUE FRIENDS, I’m truly sorry for this and will always miss what could’ve been, but will never forget the times we had. I love you guys, it’s not an excuse, but I wish my everyday battle with depression hadn’t stopped me from seeing you and Paul more often, for this, I am truly sorry. Give my love to the kids and I will see you Saturday…one question, is a 62 year old hairy bastard allowed to sun tan at the beach party🤷♂️😂😂😂😂or would that be a little too much😂😂😂
My love and thoughts are with you and the family. See you Saturday.
July 7th, 2021
I am glad you were able to spend time with Paul throughout the years. You supported him well. Knowing you would lose him this way had to be so hard on you and the kids, and made it no easier to finally lose him. I am happy I had the chance to meet Paul. My love and sympathies to you and your kids, and all Paul's family and friends.
July 7th, 2021
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at A Simple Cremation
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