THE HONOURABLE PETER MARIO CAFFARO
Q. C. 1 934 - 2018
It is with sadness that the family of Peter Mario Caffaro announce his passing, very peacefully, on Sunday, November 4, 2018 in Edmonton, days before his 84th birthday. Mourning his loss are his loving wife of 54 years, Patricia (née Crummy) and his children, Michael (Victoria), Maria (Brett), Leo (Tamara) and B. Paul. Peter is also survived by beloved grandchildren, Marco, Matthew, Julia, Luca, and Marcus, and Peter’s brothers, Dr. George (Sharon) Caffaro and Dr. Paul (Priscille) Caffaro. Peter was born and raised in Canmore, Alberta, his parents Attilio Caffaro and Caterina (née Giono) having emigrated from Italy following the First World War.
Growing up in times of Depression and then war, he came of age when the 1950’s brought new opportunities. He moved to Saint Joseph’s College in Edmonton and studied law at the University of Alberta, graduating with an LL.B. in 1957 and articling to Justice L.Y. Cairns. After joining the Bar, Peter practiced in Edmonton from 1958 to 1989, as a solicitor in the areas of corporate commercial and estates law, with firms from Friedman Lieberman, in the early years, to Witten Binder in the late 1980’s. Key to the growth of his practice was the support of new Canadians from post-war Italy, a proud and hard-working community whom he was privileged to serve as Italy’s ViceConsul to Edmonton from 1967 to 1982. For his work on behalf of survivors of the 1980 earthquake near Naples, Peter was appointed a Commander of the Italian Republic’s Order of Merit. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel, and received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2003) and the Alberta Centennial Medal (2005), recognizing his service to the community.
In 1989, Peter was appointed a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta, and in 1992 became Assistant Chief Judge for the Criminal Division of that Court in Edmonton. He served on the Bench through 2014, working in courthouses across the province, both urban and rural. Like so many of his generation, he never forgot his roots in a small town. He was a friend to his colleagues, and always grateful for their kind assistance, as well as the assistance of court administrators and staff. He appreciated the dedication of peace officers and the diligence of lawyers who appeared before him, on all sides. For litigants and witnesses, he reserved fairness, compassion and always a measure of hope: it pleased him immensely when, from time to time, he heard of offenders who had moved on and made progress in their lives. With Pat’s unwavering dedication, Peter’s many other contributions to his community included terms as Chairman and Director of the Edmonton Opera Association, Chairman of the Edmonton Public Library Board, member of the Senate for the University of Alberta, member of the Canadian Bar Association, and Executive Director of the Winspear Foundation. Peter’s great loves were his wife, children, and grandchildren. He always had a book in hand, sometimes musing that, had he not chosen a legal career, he might have studied and taught history. He enjoyed gardening and painting. Together and throughout their marriage, he and Pat travelled extensively, sharing experiences in places including the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, safari in South Africa, from Tierra del Fuego to Borneo to India. Peter admired the diversity of other cultures, and the richness that their peoples and stories brought to his life. Above all, he believed in learning and tolerance and, by his gentle example, he never stopped conveying those values to others. He was happy in retirement.
Peter and his family are grateful for the thoughtful care and support provided by countless health providers and care workers in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Capital Care Norwood, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, and Misericordia Hospital. Particular thanks go to Dr. Michael Nutting and his office staff for their decades of professional and respectful care.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Basilica, 10044 - 113 Street NW, Edmonton on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Catholic Social Services, 12431 Stony Plain Road NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 9Z9 ( www.cssaaberta.ca), or the charity of your choice.
To send condolences, please visit: www.connelly-mckinley.com. Connelly-McKinley Ltd. Downtown Edmonton (780) 422-2222