Cveto (Charlie) Cetinski, 69 of Flamborough Ontario, passed away suddenly in his sleep at his house in Florida on Monday February 11, 2013. Predeceased by his loving wife, Gertrude, Charlie was blessed and very proud to enjoy a close and meaningful bond with his children, son Andy and his partner Karen and her son Joe; daughter Susan and her husband Terry. Charlie is survived, in his homeland of Slovenia, by only one of his 3 siblings, Bernada Skok and her family along with the many cousins, nieces and nephews who all love and respect their “larger than life uncle in America”.
Charlie was an inspiration to everyone he encountered. He lived his life by inner guiding principles of honesty, integrity and perfection, always striving to learn more, achieve more, experience and understand more. On his incredible journey through life he inspired his family and dear friends and anyone he met to join him and we were all taken to new heights never imagined to be possible. When you were with him you were surrounded by his circle of positive energy, life became more interesting and laughter would inevitably ensue. His strength of character saw him through all of his many trials in life and his positive, tireless spirit inspired all those around him to follow his lead to never give up.
Escaping communism before the age of 18 Charlie made his way to Canada to build his life and a family surrounded by very special friends all around the world. Charlie was ambitious and prosperous building successful careers that began with his trade skills as an electrician and lead to numerous successful business ventures and consulting on exciting projects like the 407 ETR and the Markham District Energy Project.
Charlie’s passion was flying and with the help of his friends built a flying community around “Charlie’s Air Strip” that forged life-long friendship filled with adventure and fun. A tragic plane crash left Charlie paralyzed in 1997. Through this pain and struggle the Golden Horseshoe Marathon and Wheel to Walk Canada were created helping innumerable people surmount the limitations of the their disabilities to achieve the unthinkable all the while discovering, developing and promoting the latest technologies designed to assist people living with disability.
Charlie’s family is proud of his many achievements including winning first place with friend Stuart Loten in the Alaskan Trans Canada Highway Float Plane competition, being presented with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation, Rick Hanson Medal Bearer, the Chamber of Commerce award for Community Service, setting the world record of 10 consecutive marathons with fellow wheelchair athlete Chuck Mealing. His family and friends are most proud of the legacy and memories of love, honesty, hope, integrity that he leaves behind with us all.
Our deepest heartfelt gratitude to the family of friends that helped us cope with Charlie’s untimely passing and special thanks to the home health care nurses at Bayshore Medical who have given Charlie outstanding care over the years.
Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday February 19 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at KITCHING, STEEPE & LUDWIG FUNERAL HOME, 146 Mill St. N., Waterdown. A memorial celebration of Charlie’s life is planned for April 19th, 2013 at “Charlie’s Air Strip” 377 Concession 6 East, Flamborough Ontario 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to spinal cord research.