Sometime, Life Just Hands You A Huge Curve Ball

Good morning everyone. Yesterday I received the heartbreaking news that my dearest and best friend, Franca Creati Fortner, died after a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Even though I was expecting the call, it still came as a tremendous shock. The loss and the void that has been created with her passing is truly irreplaceable. She was a gift from God, one that I will always cherish.


About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

11 Responses to “Sometime, Life Just Hands You A Huge Curve Ball”

  1. I’m so sorry. My mother recently lost a friend to a long battle with cancer, so I know how heartbreaking it is, sometimes even more when you see it coming.


  2. rereader- thank you so much. I have been really depressed today. The only thing holding me together is knowing that she is no longer suffering or in pain. Her family is really hurting and my husband and I plan on spending time with them this summer.


  3. I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend. My deepest sympathy.


  4. That’s sad to hear. I’m sorry for your loss, MCL. *Hugs*


  5. Hey everyone. It’s been a tough week here, as I lost my best and dearest friend to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    She is no longer suffering – this is the only thing that comforts me, but the void created by her loss is excruciating.


  6. I’m so sorry about your loss. Many prayers sent.


  7. MasterClassLady,

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.


  8. Rosanne,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  9. Lil, zazzy and Jeannie – thank you so much for your supportive messages. It provides such comfort to me.

    The weekend here was awful – it hit me like a ton of bricks that Franca was really gone from this life. She is certainly in a better place and that is what is so consoling.


  10. I think what our head knows isn’t always translated into what our heart feels. You knew her passing was upcoming, in your head – but someone forgot to tell your heart.

    The only support I can give is to remember that it hurts the most when we loose those we love the best … she must have meant an awful lot to you MCL. I know you treasure how special that kind of friendship is.

    Gentle Hugs


  11. Anita – thank you for your very kind , timely and reassuring message. It was so thoughtful.

    You are so correct – as much as I knew Franca was going to die, I always hoped that a miracle would happen.

    I will treasure the years we had together. Such beautiful memories.

    Thanks so much. Gentle hugs back.


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