Anibal Carvalheira Martins passed away on Saturday, August 8, 2020, after a brief but brave battle with stomach and liver cancer. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family. He was 78.
Anibal was born on May 26, 1942 in Bouças, Portugal, the youngest of nine children. Growing up in this small village in rural Portugal, Anibal helped his father to plant eucalyptus trees, work the fields and harvest crops from an early age. At 16 years old, Anibal left home for the city of Porto to study, and later to work for a brief period with the government. When Anibal was 19 years old, he was conscripted into the army and spent the next four years in Africa, serving in both Angola and Mozambique. He returned to Portugal for his mandated one year before moving to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to at last be reunited with his long-time love and future wife Maria Beatriz. He and Maria married on June 17, 1967 in Rio. The next year they joyously welcomed their first daughter, Monica. While in Brazil, Anibal partnered with his brother Fernando to build a very successful fish market despite the strained economic and political climate of that era.
Notwithstanding his business success in Rio, Anibal was not persuaded that Brazil could offer the future that he desired for his family, which was now set to expand as Maria was expecting their second daughter. In 1971, the family returned to Portugal where Anibal and Maria owned and operated a restaurant and a bed and breakfast in Aveiro. It was here that they welcomed Cintia into their loving family.
While in Portugal, Anibal had been offered a myriad of opportunities to relocate to various countries who were enticed by his astonishing array of skills, which included in-depth experience in management, retail, procurement, mechanics, machining, concrete, gardening, orchards, winemaking and cooking. In 1975, Anibal and his young family were offered the opportunity to emigrate to Canada, which was a country that offered Anibal the type of secure future that he had been seeking for years. The family of four dutifully settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Anibal worked hard to establish his young family in a new country where he had little knowledge of English and even less experience with the famous Winnipeg winter climate. He was not afraid to tackle any job, and put his skills to work in a factory, in construction and as a machinist at a mine in the Northwest Territories. He successfully conquered both the language and the climate challenges.
In the fall of 1982, after a cross-country summer camping trip to the Pacific Ocean and back with friends, Anibal, Maria and the girls were inspired to leave the Prairies behind and move to Penticton, British Columbia. A highlight among his many jobs while in Penticton was when Anibal consulted to successfully remodel and manage two previously underperforming vineyards. He ultimately found his way to work for many years at the Penticton School Board.
The concept of family was always at the heart of Anibal and Maria’s world, so it was not a surprise to anyone when in 2005, Anibal and Maria moved to Vancouver to be closer to their daughters and their first expected grandchild.
Anibal was a man of great faith, and that played a large role in his life. He loved his family and friends deeply, and was gregarious in demonstrating his passion for life with those he loved. He was passionate about his gardening, his unparalleled wine, his skill on the BBQ, and the times when he could go fishing or collecting seafood and shellfish. He loved to dance and socialize when the occasion arose. Many will have seen him tinker in his garage where he was endlessly resourceful, as he was a natural inventor and creator who always believed that he could find a fix instead of just purchasing a replacement. He loved the look and feel of stylish new clothes, and never failed to cut a distinguished figure at any gathering. He was good natured and always willing to give a helping hand to family and friends however and whenever he could.
For a man who lived on four continents and traveled such distances to work and live, there was a special place reserved in his heart for Portugal, and no place more so than his home village of Bouças and its surrounding area. He was fond of recounting how he was born into a place without electricity, where all of the jobs and daily chores were done the centuries-old way. Over the course of his life he had been confronted by technological advancements that required him to adapt seemingly across multiple centuries of change. He never lost his deep nostalgia for the times of his youth in and around his home.
Anibal was preceded in death by his parents António Martins and Cecilia Carvalheira; his brothers Manuel, Abel, and José; and by his sisters Celeste and Olivia. He is survived by his wife Maria Beatriz; daughters Monica (Michael) and Cintia (Mark); grandchildren Sophie, Noah, Hugo and Ophelia; as well as by his brother Fernando (Yolanda) and sisters Marta (Adriano) and Gracinda. He will be deeply missed by all.
The funeral service for Anibal will be held on Wednesday, August 19 at 2:00pm at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, 2025 Napier Street, Vancouver, BC. Please contact the family if you wish to attend, as there are requirements to register and attendance limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions.
People wishing to honour Anibal can make donations to the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program. Donations can be made by calling the toll-free line at 1-800-418-1111 and mentioning Equipment Loans or by visiting https://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/community-health-services-in-canada/bc-health-equipment-loan-program.
Date :18 Aug 2020
Tribute :I loved my Uncle , and losing him so fast is like a bad dream. The only thing that comforts me is to know that my dear Uncle is in heaven reunited with his deceased loving Parents, loving brothers and sisters, that loved him so much. Is hard for us down here but he is in such good hands. Knowing him and is character is already fixing the yard or something else up there in heaven. I miss talking to you my loved Tio, but my beautiful memories of you, will stay with me forever. You are a special person Tio and you will always have a special place on my heart . Love and have a great tripYour nephew Jorge Martins