Luigi Cannella died at the home of his daughter, Josephine Cannella-Krehl, on Jan. 14, 2014 at 5:55 p.m.

Gino, as he was affectionately called by his family and friends was born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily on Dec. 13, 1929. He joined the Italian Merchant Marines at the young age of 16. “Captain” Gino navigated the high seas for better than a decade.

He then immigrated to Canada to marry his longtime sweetheart Caterina. After 17 years, he moved to California to be closer to his father and his brother Vito. From there, Gino relocated his family to Long Island, N.Y. where he joined his childhood friend in working as a brick mason.

In 1993, his daughter Josephine and son-in-law Mike introduced him to St. George Island. Gino instantly fell in love with the island, as it was reminiscent of his native home, and he immediately purchased a home there. For over 20 years, Gino and Caterina split their time between N.Y. and Florida.

He spent the final weeks of his life in celebration. He celebrated his 84thbirthday surrounded by family, Christmas and New Years were spent on S.G.I. with family and his dearest friends, and he was blessed with the opportunity to attend the wedding of his first grandchild to be married. At the time of his death he was surrounded by his loving family, both in presence and in spirit.

Mr. Cannella was under the care of Dr. Nancy Chorba up until the time of his death. In lieu of flowers family is requesting a donation be made in loving memory of Luigi Cannella to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32308.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Apalachicola on Saturday, Feb. 1 at noon. All are invited to attend.

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all who had the privilege to be loved by him.