Warwick mourns loss of cherished grandfather, selfless volunteer
Friends and family are mourning the shock loss of grandfather and loved Warwick figure Concetto "Con" Lo Giudice.
The 73-year-old passed away peacefully on Saturday, 20 hours after he suffered what is believed to be a stroke while on holiday.
The Warwick resident was well-known and respected for decades of contributions to the Warwick Lions club over the past 20 years, including serving as president.
Con's devastated wife Santina said she was still in shock after losing her partner of 46 years.
"It happened so quickly," she said.
"He said he had a bad headache, which was unusual but we thought it might have been the flu."
Santina will have a lifetime of wonderful memories with her late husband to hold on to.
"We've always been happy, never once had an argument," she said.
Daughter Rosie Corney said the whole family was reeling from the loss of a treasured dad, husband and 'nonno' who "always wanted to help others".
"Mum's just absolutely heartbroken, she's lost her best friend," she said.
"They do everything together.
"He just loved everybody. He loved his family, he loved my mum's family. Anyone who came in to our house, he welcomed them and just wanted them to stay."
Con grew up in Sicily and immigrated to Brisbane in 1965 when he was 17-and-a-half years old, sponsored by his uncle.
In Brisbane, he worked as a stonemason helping build some heritage locations like the former Treasury building before heading to Warwick to the house he has lived in ever since.
However, he didn't forget his Italian heritage, passing on those special traditions to his beloved grandchildren.
"Every time the kids came here, his face would light up," Rosie said.
"The first thing he would ask is, 'Is everyone OK? How are the kids?'
"They were his life.
"To this day, they remember him always popping them on his knees and singing little Italian songs."
In the wider Warwick community, Con made his mark with the Warwick Lions, where he was awarded the club's highest honour, a Melvin Jones Fellowship.
He also extended his charitable hands to St Vincent de Paul, the Gladfield Driver Reviver and the Warwick Visitor Information Centre.
"When we were all at school at St Mary's he was part of the P & F," Rosie said.
"When I went to Assumption he joined the P & F, my younger brother went to Scots and he helped out there.
"I think once we left school he went, 'What can I do next to volunteer?'"
His selflessness and kindness is something Lions secretary and friend John Griffiths will remember dearly.
"He had a heart as big as Phar Lap," he said.
"He's what you call a dedicated Lion. Apart from his family, the next thing he cared most about was his country.
"He loved Australia. He attended every Australia Day with his flag flying out the front of his house, attended every Anzac Day."
"He lived for being a Lion".
Con is survived by wife Santina, their three children and seven grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are to be made in the coming days.