Joseph (Juozas) Kristolaitis
(Jan. 28, 1921 – Feb. 28, 2022)
Juozas was born in a small village in Lithuania. Pre-deceased by his brothers Justinus, Antanas, Jonas and Vytukus, his sisters Brone and Juze, his wife Gaile, his grandson Tomas, and his daughter-in-law Debbie. He will be sadly missed by his daughter Ramona and her husband Ray, his son Edward and his wife Nadia, as well as grandson Michael, along with Lindsay and Ryleigh, and step grandchildren Marina, her husband Roberto, and their children, and Denis, Dai and their children.
Joseph was a Canadian citizen for 75 years and worked for the Steel Company of Canada for 33 years as a mechanical foreman. He was a strong and active leader in the Hamilton – Lithuanian community and played a vital role in various activities and programs at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Juozas loved to sing and was a long term member of the church choir. He was also active in Hamilton – Lithuanian financial affairs and was a member of the board of the Talka Credit Union.
Juozas was an upstanding leader of the Canadian – Lithuanian Foundation and played a key role in fighting for and achieving Lithuanian independence when he became President of the Lithuanian – Canadian Community in 1990. Juozas launched the very successful ‘One Million for Lithuania’ fundraising drive that helped fund the Lithuanian political struggle to achieve independence from the Soviet Union. He worked on gaining the support of the Canadian government for this political cause and travelled to Lithuania with Canadian government officials, members of ‘SOS Lithuania’, LCC officials and lobbyists in 1990 to meet with, offer support to and create a strong bond with Lithuanian political leadership. He received a plaque from the Lithuanian ambassador in 2021 to recognize and show appreciation for his tireless work in fighting for the liberation of Lithuania.
We thank the seniors’ apartment building, Rambynas, located in West Hamilton which provides secure and comfortable accommodation for reasonable rental rates for seniors. Juozas lived there until he turned 97 years of age. We’re also most grateful to St. Joseph Villa in Dundas Ontario where he has lived from 97 until his death at the ripe old age of 101. The compassionate and professional staff provided excellent care. We applaud St. Joseph Village staff for their dedication and care in safely dealing with the additional challenges of the Covid pandemic and are especially grateful for fine work provided by the Cedar Grove staff and to Dr. Anna Emily for her outstanding medical care.
He was a vigorous, intelligent, gregarious and proactive man who lived a full and very eventful life. Juozas never lost his sense of humour and faced the end of life with peace and dignity.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life in spring.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Lithuanian – Canadian Foundation by using this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/lithuanian-canadian-foundation/