After a courageous battle with cancer, on July 31, 2017 José passed away at the Health Sciences Centre – Winnipeg at the age of 75 years old.
He is survived by his spouse Emília De Oliviera Vieira Batista, sons; Fernando (Rui), Luis (Cristina), Gil (Tiffaney) and Reverend Father Leonel and grandchildren Joshua, Briana and Samuel and his brothers Armando and Luis.
José was predeceased by his parents Emília Pereira Neto and Manuel Lopes Batista, and his brothers Manuel Batista, Abilio Batista and Albertino Batista.
José immigrated to France at a tender age, where he lived for 5 years. He married Emília on April 10, 1966. In his early twenties, he finally immigrated to Canada on July 17, 1966. This past April, they celebrated 51 years of marriage. They gave birth to 4 boys, Fernando, Luis, Gil and Leonel. He is grandfather to 3 wonderful grand children, Joshua, Briana and Samuel.
He worked up north on the railroad and devoted much of his life to the area of construction in Winnipeg. He worked for Maple Leaf Construction for many years and retired from the same company.
In his early years, José helped sponsor many family and friends to Canada. He believed that opportunity was for everyone. He helped newcomers adjust to the new way of Canadian life by being an interpreter, support in finding employment and/or housing. He was very well known in the Portuguese community. He often attended special gatherings at the local associations or the Immaculate Conception Parish. His contribution to helping build the community and see it develop to what it is today is something he was most proud of.
He took pride in all he did. He was not one to shy away from lending a hand with any task that needed to be done, and no job was too big or too small. He was hard working and a determined individual. He loved to fix things and was always eager to find a new project to venture on.
His passion for Portugal was evident right up until his last days. Recently, home was shared between Portugal and Canada. He longed for the day he would eventually call Portugal his and mom’s permanent home. He spoke highly of a place where he felt free to tend to crops, garden and do maintenance around the home he had built for when both he and mom were married. He cherished visiting properties handed down to him. Looking after these properties was his comfort and relaxing place. The highlight for him, was to reap the benefits of his painstaking labour of his vineyard and fruit trees.
Family was very dear to his heart. This was most evident in the quality time he spent with his grandchildren whom he loved very much. He often joked and laughed with them at his side. He enjoyed family gatherings and often played cards with his brother in laws and close friends over a glass of homemade red wine. He was always friendly to everyone around him. He cherished the time to speak to his nieces and nephews about their families and life. Helping his children, brother in laws and anyone who needed help was his happy place. He was proud of his 4 boys who went on to accomplish great things and who have found the same passions in life as he had. He was a wonderful husband, caring and nurturing father and loving grandfather and above all a friendly individual.
José brought passion, integrity and above all rest for life to the work he did and to the people he met along the way. He was a provider and ensured that his family was well taken cared of. He believed that hard work was needed in order to move ahead in life. His great deeds and kindness for all will forever be remembered.
A special thank you to the Oncology team of great doctors and nurses at the Health Sciences Centre. Their continued support to dad and the family over this difficult time was truly appreciated and to CancerCare Manitoba for their dedication to dad and support to the family during this journey.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be to CancerCare Manitoba in honour of dad!
Prayer Vigil will be on Tuesday, August 8 at 8:00 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 181 Austin Street North. Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00 a.m. also at the parish. Interment will be in the Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery, 3990 Portage Avenue.