Florindo Pucci was born in Cleto, Cosenza, Calabria in 1939. He is the eldest son of Antonio and Gilda Pucci and siblings to Armerinda Russo, Genoeffa Berardelli, Ida Pucci and Salvatore Pucci.
At the age of 21, Florindo arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at Pier 21 on July 30, 1961. He travelled by train directly to Kelowna, BC, where his oldest sister, Armerinda, was awaiting his arrival. In the years to follow, he worked hard and was so proud to sponsor his parents, both sisters and younger brother to immigrate and join him in Kelowna. Leaving his family behind for a better life was a difficult choice for him, but with patience and dedication, he was able to bring everyone together again.
At the age of sixteen, he owned his own workshop in his hometown where he was a furniture builder. He made many pieces that are still being used today. Over the years, Flori enjoyed creating many things and always worked with his hands as a meticulous craftsman. Upon his arrival in Kelowna, he was employed at Russo Sawmill. He worked at Kelowna Millwork as a cabinet maker and then Revelstoke Builders in the woodshop. In 1981, he started Flori Pucci Carpentry and continued to build cabinets and furniture for many homes and businesses in the valley.
Anna Filice was born in Aiello Calabro, Cosenza, Calabria in 1945. She is the eldest daughter of Rosario & Iolanda (Russo) Filice and siblings to Eugene Filice, Rosa Watkins, Mary Humble, Frank Filice and Albert Filice. In 1957, Iolanda, eleven year old Anna, and three younger siblings immigrated to Canada and landed at Pier 21 in Halifax. They travelled by train to Kelowna where Rosario was waiting for them. Anna began working at the age of fourteen at the White Heather Bakery and then Henderson Cleaners, where she met other Italians whom she remained friends with for many years.
Florindo and Anna married in August, 1965 and welcomed three children: Jilda (Gordon) Hotchkiss, Carla (Dean) Temme and Danny (Denise) Pucci. They are blessed with six beautiful grandchildren (Alanna, Lauren, Samantha, Stephanie, Shaelyn and Jeremy). They purchased their first home on Lakeshore Road in 1966 and to this day, still call it home.
In 1981, Anna, along with the support of her family, started her own catering company, Pucci’s Catering. Immediate and extended family worked together and catered many amazing Italian meals for weddings and celebrations.
The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club has always been a big part of the Pucci family. Florindo is one of the Founding members of the Club. He proudly sang at the very first Folkfest Canada Day celebration in 1974, at the Jubilee Bowl and was part of the KCIC Men’s Choir, who performed at Expo 86. The Pucci family was part of the ensemble representing British Columbia at the Multicultural Heritage Festival in Halifax in 1979.
As newcomers to Canada so many years ago, they will never forget the support and friendships they’ve found at the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club.
Jill Pucci Hotchkiss, daughter
770 Lawrence Ave.