Bell & Burnaby Funeral Chapel

4276 Hastings Street, Burnaby, BC


Umberto Garbuio

January 9, 1930March 13, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear father. After spending a beautiful day toiling in his garden our Lord embraced him and took him home.

Born in Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Berto immigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal in 1957. Having no immediate family in Montreal, he quickly made some life-long friends. In the late spring of 1961 he travelled back to Italy unsure of his future. Here he met, Cecilia Gazzola, and within 3 months they were married and heading back to Montreal. After doctors had told them that they would not be able to have children, they were blessed with their first child in 1965. Within the next 6 years they were blessed with 3 more children.

Having grown tired of the harsh winters of Montreal, Berto moved his family to Vancouver in 1969 where he could enjoy gardening all year long. Having been introduced to the world of ceramic tile while working in Montreal, he soon started his own business, Venice Ceramic Tile. “Bert, the Tile Man” was known throughout the Lower Mainland for his amazing workmanship.

Retirement came in 1995 and it never slowed him down; now he could his spend his days expanding his garden. He grew an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, cared dearly for his two towering fig trees which would produce succulent fruit every season, and tended to his awarding wining fuchsias, begonias, and exotic plants, to name a few. As a member of several flower clubs, and a life-long member of the BC Fuchsia and Begonia Club, he hosted annual garden tours at his home. He always welcomed passersby to enjoy the view and to stop and ‘smell the roses’, with our mom stepping in to offer treats with a smile. Since the mid-1990s he had organized annual tours to Seattle for his friends to enjoy the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. This past February he organized his final trip to Seattle for over 40 friends. A life-long member of the Italian Canadian Wine Club (a founding member), he became a wine judge at the age of 80. He would travel throughout the Lower Mainland, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island to participate in competitions throughout British Columbia. He was always on the go. He strived to make the best wine he could and was proud of his accomplishments. He even learned to make wine with his figs which he loved sharing with his friends .

We often hear nowadays “I’m too busy”, “I can’t possibly find the time to help”… these words were never spoken by our father. Always one to volunteer to prune a neighbours’ trees, to help out his church by handing out lasagna flyers around the neighbourhood or transporting care packages destined for Central America, our dad always stepped up and asked “how can I help”. In recent years he enjoyed coming to the rink to watch his grandson play hockey. He may not have understand the game in its entirety, but he loved spending time with his family.

Along with countless family and friends throughout Canada and Italy, Berto is lovingly remembered by his children Sonia (Doug), Vania (Jerry), Ronny and Denny, and his grandchildren Alyssa, Sophia and Matthew. Predeceased by his loving wife, Cecilia in 2017, and his brothers Angelo, Luigi, Giuseppe, and sisters Erminia and Clara.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, a small private family service will be held. When we are able to gather again, a celebration of Berto’s life will take place with all his wonderful family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

And when the gentle fragrance of a flower catches our attention, we will know it is you papa reminding us to appreciate the simple things in life.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Umberto Garbuio

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Julie and Riccardo Pellizzari

April 1, 2020

We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Berto. Berto was such a wonderful person - kind, generous, warm and interested in others. Even with us moving to the Okanagan we would get a phone call to ask how we were doing and how the wine season was coming along. Richie gave Berto that fig wine recipe, so he could get rid of the massive amount of fruit his tree produced. We would go to wine banquets and often sit together. He would say how tired he was and that the legs hurt…but when the music started he danced all night long! He did love his flowers…we got a beautiful lemon geranium from Berto quite a while ago which we put outside each spring. Its fragrance will surely remind us of him. Both Berto and your mom were special to us and will always be in our hearts and memories.

Please accept our sincere sympathy and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Julie and Riccardo Pellizzari

Valentino Citton

March 28, 2020

I still can not take this sad news out of my mind, Berto was such a good man and a good friend I have hundreds of good memories with my dear friend Berto we go back since 1981 when we started the Italian Canadian winemakers club he was one of my group founders members he’s been many times presidents one of the best festivity Organyser he sold the most numbers of tickets for our fundraising banquets, Berto was also one of the best organizer for all our wine Competetion and the best wine tour organizer in California , Okanagan ,washington and Vancouver island ,he would not stop phoning all the members till we fill the bus Berto in the same time was also a champion winemaker ,his wine won many gold and silvers metal , he also share his excellent skills in winemaking to many friends and club members which improve to all the quality of their wine ,I know that Berto was not only a champion winemakers but also e very good Tilesetter and always ready to help all his friends, I know we lost not only a good quality man but a good contributor for our Italian community , a real gentleman and a very good friend that I will never forget.
I want to express my bes sincere condolences to Sonia and all the Garbuio family.
Ciao Berto

Sonia Tolusso

March 21, 2020

Berto was a very special friend to my father and our family. He will always be remembered fondly. Please know that on behalf of my mother Alicia and family our thoughts and prayers are with you, and that we extend our warmest sympathies to the Garbuio family.

Sonia & Nelly Tolusso