Industry original, Mike Lobraico, will be missed

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We sadly note the passing of Michael Augustine Lobraico at the age of 90 on April 4th. A stalwart in the industry, he had a long association with trucking in Ontario and the OTA. Mike was born into a trucking family: his father Peter purchased Okeefe Express from his brother Bill in 1919 and changed the name to OK Express, the same year Michael was born. Along with his brother Vince, Mike did the maintenance on the company vehicles in those early years. Mike was later to become vice president and look after maintenance and purchasing for OK Transportation during its middle era when it was located on Howden Road in Scarborough..
I got to know Mike when OK acquired Taylor Bros. Tspt. of Markham and Janton Leasing in the mid-70s. I’ll always remember him as a sunny guy with a joke and a smile who had time to listen to your problems. My friend Ken Helliwell called me with the sad news Sunday morning Here’s the obit as it appeared in the Toronto Star
MICHAEL AUGUSTINE LOBRAICO December 18, 1919 – April 4, 2009 Peacefully on April 4th, surrounded by his family. Michael, in his 90th year. Beloved husband of the late Olivia Marie Gardner. Dear father of Marie Hagerty (the late William), Nora Sullivan (Paul), Rose Locking (Norman), Michele Lobraico-Perkell (Gregory) and Kathryn Lobraico (Karen Anson). Beloved grandfather of Michael-Paul (Heather), Nicole (Michael Starcevic), Christopher, Kate, Justin, Anne, Nicholas and Andrew. Dear brother of the late Theresa Cuviello (the late Michael), Rose Paterson (Robert), Vincent (Helene) and Patricia Burnett (James). Loving uncle of many nieces and nephews in the Lobraico and Gardner families. Special thanks to the doctors and nurses in the Palliative Care Unit at York Central Hospital. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 7th from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. at the R.S. Kane Funeral Home (6150 Yonge Street, at Goulding, south of Steeles, 416-221-1159). Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 8th at 1:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church (39 Green Lane, Thornhill, 905-881-2786). Cremation to follow. A private burial service will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery at a later date. Donations in Michael’s name may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or York Central Hospital. Condolences Rest In Peace Dad

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Harry Rudolfs has worked as a dishwasher, apprentice mechanic, editor, trucker, foreign correspondent and taxi driver. He's written hundreds of articles for North American and European journals and newspapers, including features for the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and CBC radio.

With over 30 years experience in the trucking industry he's hauled cars, steel, lumber, chemicals, auto parts and general freight as well as B-trains. He holds an honours BA in creative writing and humanities, summa cum laude.

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  • Dear Marie….I am so sorry to read about your wonderful Dad passing away. I remember him well, surrounded by all the girls in the family. You may not recall who I am but we were friends during our teens at Notre Dame in Toronto.
    I wish you all the very best. Your family made me feel welcome at all times. It was one of the most lasting memories of my youth.
    Take good care Marie….you were a wonderful friend.

  • Dear Marie…I forwarded my incorrect email address previously (age I suppose). I hope I have not disturbed you.