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5295 Thickson Road North
Whitby, ON L1M 1W9
Phone: 905-655-3662
Fax: 905-655-9992
About An Amazing Life|Help

Giuseppina "Pina"
Fox (Pedota)

May 5, 1947 – September 17, 2018

Giuseppina Fox
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Obituary for Giuseppina "Pina" Fox (Pedota)

FOX, Giuseppina "Pina" (nee Pedota) - On Monday, September 17, 2018, at 71 years of age, Pina Fox passed away peacefully at Lakeridge Hospital in Oshawa, with her three beloved children, Mena, Dean and Frank Canonico, by her side. Predeceased by her parents Francesco and Carmela Pedota. She is survived by her adoring husband, James Fox, loving sisters Francesca DePalma (Domenic), Graziella Loconte (Ambrogio, deceased) and Tonia Colagiacomo (John); grandchildren Justin Gagne (Mena), Steven, Sam and Dana Canonico (Dean); as well as nieces and nephews Paolo DePalma (Melissa), Francesco DePalma (Katie), Tony Loconte (Maria), Rosa McPhail, Angela Kershaw (Mike), Joe Colagiacomo (Raziah), Frank Colagiacomo (Andrea) and their families. At Pina's request, there will be no visitation or funeral. Condolences may be expressed during a reception on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 3pm - 5pm at Amica at Whitby, 200 Kenneth Hobbs Avenue, Whitby. A private 'Celebration of Life' dinner for Pina's immediate family will follow. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation to St. Michael’s Angel Fund’ or any charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Born on May 5, 1947 in Bitritto, Italy, Pina Pedota was the third of four daughters born to Francesco and Carmela Pedota. She loved to PLAY from early on, and when she played too hard, sometimes she would get sick (she would discover years later that she had rheumatic fever) and not knowing then, the doctors simply ordered her to stay in bed. This never stopped her and in fact, it became a pattern in her life, as she defied the odds in hospitals over and over again. To name a few of her nine (or more) lives, she survived a blood infection, a mitral valve replacement, a broken back, a mini-stroke (the doctor told her she wouldn't be able to walk again and she said, F#$% that! and walked out 3 days later), broken ribs and back from a head-on collision, congestive heart failure, a broken arm, a 6-hour surgery for an ICD (similar to a pacemaker) that was not successful in January 2016, followed by a 5-hour surgery 5 months later that was. In November 2017, several doctors told her there was nothing else that could be done for her medically and that it was just a matter of time for her. She was not satisfied with this and was exploring going to the US for yet another opinion. Until she met Dr. Abdul Al-Hesayen, a Cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, who looked her in the eyes and promised her that she would feel better. She believed him and during 6 weeks away from home, they would drain 40 pounds of fluid from her 4'11 body. She never believed she'd see her 71st birthday on May 5th and she knew without a doubt that her prayer for more time to enjoy life had been answered through this special angel. By the time she was enjoying her stay at the peaceful rehab hospital, she remarked proudly, while shaking her head, "Well, I did it again." She would allow nothing to break her spirit and her will to LIVE was remarkable; she was a hero in my eyes, although it took me many years to appreciate her since we butted heads so often.
At the age of 6, while playing at a friend's house, Pina would observe her friend's mother doing women's hair. She loved watching the transformations and that's when she knew she wanted to be a hairdresser. When she failed Grade 3, and realized she had to do another year with a teacher she hated (she had issues with rules and authority figures), she rebelled and refused to return to school. Her mother wrote to her father who was working in Venezuela, and let him know about the problem. When her father learned that instead of going to school, she wanted to be a hairdresser, he approved, saying that she could make money and do the work anywhere. Knowing she had her father's support, she did just that (we’ve seen her doing hair outside, in Florida, etc.). At the age of 8, she was learning how to do hair, and by the time she was 11, she had a sense of style, was independent, and was taking the bus to the city of Bari, Italy to work. At 16, she and her mother and sister (Tonia) came to Canada (Oshawa, Ontario) by boat, and without knowing how to speak English, she got a job at a hair salon in the Oshawa Centre. Her customers would point to pictures in magazines and she would create their desired transformation. Pina had a gift for doing hair and always strived for excellence - in anything she did. She worked her magic and was determined to succeed in life. It helped that she was born a Taurus and was stubborn with a 'testa dura' - also a trait inherited from her father.
In 1966, Pina married Settimio (Steve) Canonico. She already had a reputation for being a gifted hairdresser, had grown a solid customer base and opened up her own salon before getting married. While she loved her work, she also knew she wanted kids. She had 3 children with Steve and wanting the kids to be close in age, gave birth to Mena, Dean and Frank from 1967-1970. She continued to work in the salon and would bring Mena to work so she could watch her (Mena was helping at a very young age, offering customers magazines; she would assist her in the salon again when she was 16). Pina loved her husband and children more than anything and in 1973, she took a hiatus from working at a salon, and moved with the family to a 10-acre hobby farm in Bowmanville, where she would be able to stay at home and focus her energy on raising their children. During these years, she also fed her soul by applying her passion for creation and transformation in even more ways. She worked hard on the farm, breaking rocks to be stuccoed on the house they were building, growing flowers and vegetables (she had a green thumb), hatching chicks from eggs, feeding baby lambs, and even saving a puppy's life by giving it mouth to mouth resuscitation.
Once the kids were old enough, Pina decided to return to her beloved career and bought a building that she transformed into a salon called Perm Palace in her mid 30's. Again, once the kids were old enough, after some unhappy years, she and Steve divorced, which was a very unpopular decision in those days. Being true to herself, led to her feeling more free to fully express who she was and she began to expand and experience more empowerment and success. She bought a brand new home and her first investment property on her own and was disciplined at excelling in her work and growing her business. Not only did she transform her customers' appearance, she was a 'therapist' to anyone who sat in her chair, so she uplifted them in more than one way. She was highly skilled, personable, outgoing, warm, and everyone loved her.
In 1987, Pina married her second husband, James (Jim) Fox. This allowed her to experience another side to life, which included fun vacations to tropical destinations. She also enjoyed Jim's adoration and his unwavering support buoyed her so that she could do even more as she became the successful businesswoman that she was destined to become. While they enjoyed vacations in St. Lucia and Barbados, she loved Florida and purchased a vacation home with Jim. When she stumbled upon the second one in 2007 (near her sister Francesca), she saw the added benefits of a social club since she was social butterfly, and once again, KNEW she wanted it, saw the potential even though it needed a lot of work, and was overjoyed when she learned that her deal went through. She then transformed it into a condo that she absolutely loved and was proud of.
One could never tell Pina what she could or could not do. She followed her own heart religiously and did not care about the consequences or other people’s opinions - which is why she would tell you exactly what she thought, with no filter. She was smart and tough yet had a soft spot, and she treated people well, which earned her much respect. If you made her angry though, watch out! If she was told she couldn’t do it, she’d say ‘watch me’. She did not allow anything to stop her, including her Grade 3 education - or her heart problems. She knew what she wanted, she was sure of herself and she went for it, with all of her heart. She was an alchemist and anything she touched seemed to turn to gold. She loved the process of nurturing and creation; she would see the potential in her mind and she would go to work to transform it, regardless of what it was. She could do anything she put her mind to and was the perfect role model for her children. She instilled in them a strong work ethic (along with their father Steve) and inspired in them the passion and drive for excellence. In addition, as a free spirit, she knew the importance of allowing them the freedom to follow their own hearts' desires, and in them, she leaves a legacy that will continue on for years to come.
As the black sheep of the family, and as it is with family/children, Pina was often misunderstood and judged. While she may not have been perfect in our eyes and she had her vices, as we all do, it was only because she did not see or understand how amazing and brilliant she was. Now it's clear why she would proudly show the Christmas gifts she received from her customers. While some were jealous and resentful (namely yours truly, because of stories and limiting beliefs) that she never seemed to enjoy our gifts, now it is easy to appreciate how remarkable it was that she touched everyone's heart so deeply that they were inspired to give her these heartfelt treasures. It is only in her passing that it has been possible to connect the dots and see the perfection and the blessing of this soul's beautiful, well-lived and inspiring life.
When she was facing death nearly three years ago, after several years of struggle and frustration, Pina came to a place of acceptance, saying that she was ready to go if it was her time. She shared that she had really accomplished all that she came here to do: she had her 3 children, she experienced the joy of having grandchildren, she achieved success in her business and in real estate, and she watched her daughter realize her dream of helping transform people's lives by working with her horses. She also knew that she taught her son Dean to follow his own path, no matter what others thought, and she was beyond proud of her son Frank who received a Recognition Award for building the first 100% in spec vehicle in the history of General Motors. “What else was there?” she asked.
Apparently, there was still more to do, including further preparing, guiding and strengthening her children for similar success; continuing to inspire; and manifesting a speedy move into a beautiful and luxurious retirement home called Amica in Whitby in July (just a few short weeks after getting out of the rehab hospital). Here, Pina enjoyed the good life as she allowed others to do her hair and pamper her, challenged herself to go to the pool, and even joined in activities where she could experience joy (I heard from Jim that he found her playing the tambourine one day)! In a very short time, she also made her way into the hearts of the other residents at Amica.
Even when it came to her death, Pina knew what she wanted and would orchestrate it perfectly. In the end, the fall that broke her hip would bring her to her last surgery, as her heart was working at only 20% capacity. She was not afraid to die 'on the table' as she had already experienced what that was like (having had 2 'code blues'). She knew she had fulfilled her promise of enjoying whatever time she had left, and since she recognized the window of opportunity on the table, she took it, knowing that she had accomplished ALL that she had come her to do. Before going in, she adamantly expressed her desire to be back at the retirement home for the special Italian dinner by Thursday, and this was a demonstration of her unwavering love for her family, as she did not want us to fret or worry as she went into her last surgery. She had asked to be resuscitated and in so doing, gave her 3 children an incredible gift - the opportunity to gather around her in her final hours – and to come together and unite in a way that they had never done before. A mother’s love never dies, she said to me just before Mother’s Day this year. And in this experience, I have come to know the truth of this.
Pina touched and blessed the lives of many during her time on earth. She was often the life of the party and she loved and enjoyed life in spite of all the challenges it presented her. She loved beauty in all its forms, and worked hard for the thrill of proving to herself what she could do as she challenged the status quo - always with a certain amount of humility and surprise. She also loved going 'shopping' at the casino, as she would call it - again for the thrill of the win, and sometimes to shift herself out of feeling down about her health situation. Throughout her life, Pina busted out of the mould, broke the 'rules' and did it HER WAY. Even to the end, where she wanted no visitation, no funeral, and no ceremony. She wanted to be cremated and her request was that we take her immediate family to dinner as her treat! She also knew she could trust her daughter to stay true to her wishes, since she had modelled the way, instilling in her the necessary strength and courage.
On behalf of Jim, my brothers and myself, we would like to thank Dr. Al-Hesayen at St. Michael's for answering her prayers for a little more time to enjoy life (and giving me a little more time to prepare for her eventual passing), as well as Dr. Chhabra, Dr. Leitch and the team at Lakeridge Hospital for their care and compassion on Pina's last day with us. We would also like to extend gratitude to the staff at Amica at Whitby, including a special thank you to Debbie in the salon (for pampering her by doing her hair - she almost always did her own, so this was a real treat!) as well as Natalie who gave her manicures and pedicures. These experiences helped lift her spirits and she received the gift of allowing someone else to help her feel beautiful again. To Chef Michael and Lisa, thank you for your heartfelt words and desire to create a beautiful dinner that Mom would have loved. To the Concierge staff, specifically Marcel and Deesa, who she would have extensive conversations with - and to the residents, thank you for making Pina feel welcome and helping her return to herself as she made the transition to their new home after 31 years.
Thank you all for your love, kindness and support at this time when we honour and celebrate Pina’s remarkable and triumphant life. May anyone who reads this take inspiration from this unbelievably tough, feisty, fierce, stubborn, loving, authentic, spunky, street-smart, driven, vibrant, beautiful and passionate, incredible WOMAN that I was blessed to call my mother. Mom, you provided a fine example of how to LIVE LARGE. Thank you for your ultimate and undying love, for seeing the potential in people, for being YOU, and for staying true to YOU - no matter what. You will live on in our hearts forever. Until we meet again, fly FREE!


When Saturday, September 29th, 2018 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Amica Whitby
200 Kenneth Hobbs Ave
Whitby, ON L1R0G6
Location Information
Some parking exists underground at Amica, in spots not reserved for residents. Additional parking is available across the street at the Plaza.
Additional Information In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. Michael's Hospital Foundation or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.