MR Dante De Vido, has died in Berrystead Nursing Home, Syston. He was 92.
He was born in February 1920, in Collalto di Susegana, a small village at the foothills of the Dolomites in Northern Italy.
He came to England as a Prisoner of War in 1943, subsequently working on several farms in Lincolnshire.
Impressed by the English way of life and the verdant landscape, he decided that when the war ended he would make England his home. In 1949, he met Pia Finzi, who had come to England for a year and was working at the Dower House, Easton. She originated from Belluno, a town not far from his birthplace and they shared a common interest in opera and a love for their families. They married in December 1950 at St Mary’s RC Church, Grantham, and lived firstly at Hill Top Farm cottages and then at Blackwell Lodge, where he worked for Bradley’s Farms until retirement.
Mr De Vido’s passion for horticulture and his natural ability to make toys, furniture, tools and ornaments from anything which came to hand, transformed their homes into places of fun and adventure for his children and, subsequently, for his grandchildren.
He had a particular talent for making beautifully decorated bird tables, nesting boxes and flower tubs - which he invariably gave away, either to friends or to raise money for charity. As a result, examples of his handicrafts are to be found in gardens across the UK.
He and his wife had three children, Lili, Lucia and Bruno. Tragically, Bruno died in a road accident in 1977. But the following year Helen, the first of five grandchildren was born, followed by Joe, Julia, Bianca and Angelica, each of whom brought much happiness into their lives. In turn he and his wife passed on to them all their love for the arts, the environment and Italian culture.
He and his wife’s shared philosophy was to help anyone in need and they worked tirelessly in the local community, supporting various charities and helping fellow Italian immigrants to settle in the UK. In 2003, in recognition of this work, he was awarded a knighthood by the Italian government - the Stella della Solidarieta. His wife died in 1999 and he carried on their work until ill health forced his move to Market Harborough, to live closer to his daughter, Lucia.
In March he moved to Berrystead Nursing Home, Syston.
The funeral mass was held at St Mary’s RC Church, Grantham, conducted by Fr Anthony Dolan.
Family mourners included: Lili Tabiner, Helen Tabiner, Joe Tabiner, Julia Tabiner, Lucia De Vido, Bianca De Vido, Angelica De Vido, Ant Needham and Flavio Burigo.
Other mourners included: Graham and Tracy Stafford, Eleanor Hirst, Evelyn Cupit, Ann McLarnon, Barbara Carey, Mr and Mrs Whincup, Geraldine Lockwood, Marilyn Smith, Prof K. J. Durrands and Mrs J. Durrands, Chris Overton, Sally Bradley, Alan Tabiner, Martin Sentence, Amanda and Nick Bradley, Mr and Mrs McKenny, Patsy Bradelyn, Caterina Daniele, Maria Daniele, Luciana Strommen, Pamela Holden, John Beaven, Pam Campbell, Philomena Davies and Dr David Davies, Susan Baxter and Alan Baxter, Sonia Elstone, Daniela Elstone, Sandra Magagnin, B. Pickering, Kitty Bergin, Glyn Jones, Pat Jones, Gary Thorpe, L. Rawding, Margaret Daws, Elizabeth Cole, Phil Duffy, Keith Meadows, Helen Bint, Seamus Duffy, and Janet Marshall.
Funeral arrangements were by Geeson Funeral Services, Westgate, Grantham.
Donations were received for Save the Children Fund.