Giuseppe But (Joseph Butt) was born in Sediliis, Udine, Italy to parents Biaggio But and Teresa Balloch. He immigrated to the Okanagan in 1919, via the United States. Joe's occupation was listed as a marble and terrazzo worker. He settled in Westbank and worked clearing land and building homes. On October 24, 1923, he married Marie Caroline Joyal, daughter of David Joseph Joyal and Celina Colleaux Ducharme of Kelowna, BC. Shortly after their marriage, they made their way to Seattle, Washington, where they made their home. Joe and Caroline had two children: Linda Mary and Joseph Hubert. One of Joe's greatest work accomplishments was working for the MWAK Company, as a cement construction supervisor, during the building of the Grand Coulee Dam.
At his older brother's calling, Giovanni But (John Butt) and his wife Maria, Franz, immigrated to Canada in 1921. John was born in November, 1892 in Sediliis, Udine, Italy. Maria was born in October, 1897 to parents Ottavio Franz and Anna Foschia in Ciseriis, Udine, Italy. Upon their arrival to the Okanagan, John and Maria made their home in a teepee on the First Nations Reserve near Westbank. For the first few years, John cleared land and built homes alongside his brother Joe. They often spoke of the cold winters and crossing the iced-over Okanagan Lake, into Kelowna, on a horse drawn sleigh.
In the early 1930's, John and Maria moved to Kelowna. They built the first home at 1428 Bertram Street. John became employed as a labourer for the Kelowna Sawmill Co. from 1936 to 1943. He then opened a shoe repair shop on 518 Bernard Street in 1944. The repair shop moved to 1390 Ellis Street, in 1951, where it remained until his retirement in the early 1960s. John had gained his skills as a leather craftsman, during his service in World War I, working with the cavalry.
Maria worked alongside her husband at the shoe repair shop. She was well known for her cooking, needlework and for being a very sociable woman. They were well known and liked in both the Kelowna and the local Italian community. They actively participated in community social events and were great fans of the Kelowna Packers hockey team.
In the 1950s, they welcomed Maria's niece Elsa and Arrigo Cimbaro, John's nephew Giovanni Ferruccio Manzocco and John's cousin Teresa and Gino Cimbaro, into Canada from Italy. Although John and Maria had no children of their own, they proved to be loving substitute grandparents for the Cimbaro children who fondly remember them as their zia Maria and zio John.
John died in 1985 and Maria in 1992. They are both laid to rest at the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mary Anna Cimbaro
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