It is with great sadness that the family of Mario Bertok announces his peaceful passing at the Chatham-Kent Hospice on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 at the age of 73 years. Beloved husband of Jenny Bertok (nee Delise) of 50 years, cherished Pac (father) to Julie Bertok (Lenny Gonzales) and Rick Bertok (Shannon O’Neil) and proud Nonno of Luca and Rocco Gonzales and Mila and Alva Bertok. He will be missed, remembered and loved by his sister Nerina Udovic, along with his many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Aldo Bertok.
Mario was born in Capodistria (Koper), Slovenia, on January 25, 1947, to father Mario Bertok and mother Vitoria Bertok (nee Bosic). In his early years, Mario grew up professionally racing skull boats, where he was number one in his country of Yugoslavia. Mario served in the Yugoslavian army as the gunner inside the tank. He also developed his lifelong passion for gardening on his family’s property in Izola. At the age of 22, he embarked on a new phase in his life. In 1969, he immigrated to Canada where he met Jenny, married in 1970 and planted their roots in Chatham-Kent. Together, they built a successful trade business, their dream home on the water and created a beautiful family.
Mario very much loved the outdoors, among his favorite activities were hunting, fishing and boating. He loved traveling the world and visiting ‘back home’ with his wife, Jenny, and they enjoyed many winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Mario was an avid gardener and valued each opportunity to entertain family and friends by enjoying a meal together, created with fresh ingredients from his garden and a glass of wine straight from his own cantina.
Mario’s charismatic spirit and animated story telling always lit up a room, he loved to regale a crowd and serenade his grandchildren with his harmonica. He was truly a unique soul - a trusted confidant, a practical mentor, an enjoyable friend who was always willing to lend a helping hand, and a loving husband, Pac, and Nonno. We are all so very lucky to have had the time we had with him, and our lives forever blessed for it. May his spirit continue to live on in all of us for years to come.
We would like to extend a very sincere thank you to our friends and family who have reached out over the past few months with love and support.
To Dr. Chandrasena and all of the nurses and professional care workers at the Chatham-Kent Hospice, the work you do is so important and we are so grateful for the love and care you took of Mario.
A private family gathering will take place to honor and celebrate his life.
In a final generous and selfless act, it was Mario’s wish for his remains to be donated to the School of Anatomy in London, to enhance the skill sets and expand knowledge of future medical professionals. Due to COVID-19, his wish will unfortunately not occur.
Friends wishing to remember Mario are asked to consider a donation to the Chatham-Kent Hospice.
The Hinnegan-Peseski Funeral Home 156 William St. S., Chatham (519-352-5120) is in charge of arrangements.