Egisto was one of five children of Angelo Bigattini and Sofia Martellini. He was born on August 9, 1884 in Santa Fiora, Grosetto, Tuscany, Italy. In 1909, he left Italy, as there was no work. After eighteen days, he landed on Ellis Island and was quarantined. From Ellis Island, he travelled to Fernie, BC where he set up a bakery. He married eighteen year old, Rosa Lozza, in 1912. They had three children: Alma, Elya and Gino. Gino died at age twelve, after running a fever for only one day. Rosa passed away in 1921.
Egisto moved to Cranbrook, BC, where he married Erminia Vanoni. Egisto owned a hotel, and a bowling alley. He also operated a bus line that ran to Fernie. Egisto and Herminia had three children: Joseph, Reno, and Erminia. Joseph and Reno were soldiers in WWII. Joe was an entertainer and Reno a soldier. Reno died in 1944, at age 19, in Flanders Fields, Belgium. The City of Cranbrook named Bigattini Mountain in his honour. Erminia died during the birth of baby Erminia.
In 1941, Egisto married Florence Rodwinski. They had Alexander, Florence, Reno and Marino. In 1947 Egisto and Florence moved to Rutland (Kelowna, BC). They built a bakery with living quarters at the corner of Highway 33 and Kneller Road. The large white building is still there. Egisto had plans for a hotel and bar, but the neighbourhood vetoed that. He was a baker and store owner, who gave charge accounts to many struggling neighbours. He made wine, imported cheese and other items from Italy. He also played the accordion and wrote music. Kelowna’s Remi Picco, a child in Cranbrook, road his bicycle to Mr. Bigattini for lessons.
In 1960, Egisto opened a second bakery in Lumby, BC, where he became a large part of that community, entertaining in the evenings with his accordion. His wife, Florence, ran the bakery in Rutland. Egisto passed away in Kelowna, on April 29, 1963 after a short illness. He is interred at Lakeview Memorial Garden Cemetery, Kelowna, BC.
3/2/2023 06:23:56 pm
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