Around 900 people attended Anne Marie D'Amico's funeral Mass at St. Clare of Assisi Roman Catholic Church May 2. Photo by Michael Swan

Van attack victim Anne Marie D’Amico remembered for her ‘big heart’

  • May 2, 2018


The warm, generous, loving and happy young woman who was the first among the 10 Toronto van attack victims to be revealed to the public was laid to rest May 2 in her family’s parish with 900 friends and supporters crowding St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church.

“Anne Marie had a big heart. We have faith that Toronto does too,” said D’Amico family friend John Simonetti in a statement to the media on behalf of the family. “And we hope that going forward, as broken hearts heal, we will have conversations — conversations about how we will collectively learn from this tragedy, not in hate or retribution, but with understanding and respect, if only because that is what Anne Marie would have wanted.”

In a tearful eulogy delivered before the Mass, Ms D’Amico’s older brother Nick D’Amico, spoke of his sister’s character, competitiveness, generosity and gentleness. He also spoke of the family’s deep, searing grief.

“When it’s brought to this personal level, it’s so much more difficult to comprehend,” he said. “There are so many levels we have to go through to find our new normal.”

D’Amico’s little sister grew up a shy girl.

“She never intended to be the centre of attention,” he said. “Through her volunteering, she learned how to have an impact on people’s lives. She brought so much warmth and comfort to others. She did everything with her whole heart.”

annemarie 02(Photo: Anne Marie D'Amico/Facebook)

The 30-year-old Ryerson University graduate and employee of an investment firm located near the attack faced her last moments with a stranger at her side on the Yonge Street sidewalk trying to comfort her. The family particularly wanted to thank the stranger who did all he could for their daughter.

“To Rob Greco, who lay there comforting Anne Marie,” Simonetti conveyed the family’s public gratitude. “We had the honour to meet Rob and he will forever be entrenched in our family. He was another shining example of all the kindness that Anne Marie and this beautiful city has to offer.”

Ms D’Amico was an amateur athlete who competed in Tae Kwon Do and organized pool, and who volunteered with Tennis Canada and many other causes.

Presiding at the funeral Mass, Fr. Vito Marziliano had some advice for the church full of young mourners.

“The most precious gift we can give Anne Marie today is the gift of our prayer,” he said. “Sometimes, in situations like this, people will ask, where is God? Here, crying with the rest of us.”

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