Former RyeSACer buries murdered father

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By Allan Woods

Bright morning light filtered through the orange, gold and rust-coloured stained glass windows of Saint Edith Stein Roman Catholic Church on to the face of Barbara Lozano, her four-year-old brother and mother.

The Lozanos, surrounded by friends and family, gathered in the East York chapel Tuesday to say goodbye to Dante Lozano.

On Oct. 9, the 54-year-old father of Barbara Lozano, RyeSAC’s former v.p. finance and development became a tragic police statistic: Dante Lozano was Toronto’s 52nd homicide of 2001.

He was shot and killed early that morning as he left for work.

On Tuesday, people came to remember Dante Lozano as a father, grandfather and a man of his community.

Wearing white gloves, pall bearers carried his casket in the church behind a framed picture of the youthful looking man.

They carried him into the same church where he attended mass each Sunday afternoon and served as an usher.

“Hereafter, we are going to miss him,” said Rev. Monsignor Ouano at the beginning of the funeral mass.

Barbara Lozano, a fourth-year Ryerson engineering student, said she was reminded of her father even at the funeral because he wasn’t there to keep order and give direction to the congregation.

Dante Lozano was killed shortly before 7 a.m. when he opened the door of his Torrens Avenue home and was hit in the chest and hip by blasts from a shotgun, Toronto police said.

He had been renting a room in the basement of the house for the last few months after separating from his wife, Buena Lozano.

The gunman then shot and killed 35-year-old Jerry Soriano, a family friend of the Lozanos, who live in the house with his wife and two children.

Police have charged 41-year-old Gregorios Laberakis, the next door neighbour, with two counts of first-degree murder.

Neighbours were quoted as saying there had been a history of noise disputes between residents of the two houses.

“In situations like this you get angry and you don’t understand why,” Barbara Lozano said after the funeral.

“I think the fact that we’ve been together as a family [since the murder] helps a lot.”

She said she’s taking comfort in a chance meeting with her father the Sunday before his death.

“I bumped into him going in to church,” she said. “[After], we went shopping and had lunch together. We just hung out.”

She said they hadn’t done that in years. Then, she drove her father to see her brother, Danny Lozano.

The two children were reunited for the last time with their father. “It was definitely a gift,” she said.

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