William and Dorothy Muzzatti were both born in 1928 in Windsor, Ontario. Bill, the only son of immigrant Italian parents, Giovanni Baptiste Muzzatti and Faelia Martinuzzi, had two older sisters, Elsie (Carpene) and Joyce (Favot). Dot is the only daughter of Roy and Julie Dennison and had three younger brothers, Donald, Kenneth and Raymond.
Bill and Dot met in Jackson Park when they were both 16. They married the day after Bill turned 21, on August 13, 1949. Bill was a pattern maker by trade having graduated from W.D. Lowe. While working at Green Giant he founded Bill Muzzatti Woodcraft in the basement of the couple’s small home and would build small furniture items in the evenings, leaving Dot to paint and stain them through the day. They delivered The Windsor Star out of the back of a pick-up truck for many years to supplement their income, even after the birth of their first child.
Between 1951 and 1954, Bill and Dot welcomed three children, Marcia, Laurie and Bud (William) and after losing a son at birth in 1958, decided to adopt their son, David, from the Catholic Children’s Aid Society in 1964.Through these children, Bill and Dot were blessed with eleven grandchildren.
Bill went on to join Essex Cabinet Makers and then founded Trend Millwork in 1964, an internationally successful mill working business that has provided state-of-the-art designs and woodwork throughout the world. In 1969, the young couple travelled to Antigua, West Indies and fell in love with the island, the people and the culture. Antigua became their second home and Bill’s passion. There they met and made many, many lifelong friends. Bill developed a love for boating and after buying a beautiful home on the island, bought his first of many boats.
As devout members of the Catholic Church, Bill and Dot were devoted to the building of the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral in Antigua and worked tirelessly to see it completed and beautifully furnished. The cathedral boasts fabulous hand crafted stained glass windows (the thousands of glass pieces were cut in Windsor and shipped to Antigua) and amazing woodwork (columns, beams, doors, windows, pews and kneelers) all made at Trend and, again, shipped to Antigua at Bill’s expense. Bill and Dot were successful in many diverse business ventures in Antigua which employed many Antiguans. They promoted education and helped many young Antiguans go to college both in Antigua, the US and Canada.
During these busy years, Bill found time to serve on countless committees and boards. He was a South Windsor Lion for many years, and proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Linen Board and the Speech and Language Therapy Board at Windsor Western Hospital. Bill was the President of the Board of Essex Morterm Railway and an anonymous donor to many clubs and charities over the years.
Together, Bill and Dot enjoyed travel with friends, a love of MG sport cars and annual car trips with their growing family, boating and family gatherings, especially in Antigua where they welcomed friends and family by the dozens.
In August 2002, Bill and Dot’s love for children financed the creation of Dot’s Place at the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society’s new building on Riverside Drive. The outdoor playground was designed for family visitation and therapeutic play in a quiet, safe and comfortable setting. The couple continued to be dedicated to the Children’s Aid Society over the next several years.
Late in 2005, Bill contracted a virus, which, after a lengthy illness and multiple struggles, ultimately claimed his life on the seventh anniversary of his mother’s death, July 09, 2007.
Dorothy has continued to contribute to the Children’s Aid Society over the years and more recently decided to “go for the gusto” and contribute the necessary funds to build the Bill & Dot Muzzatti Child & Family Centre, on the site of Dot’s Place. This Centre allowed for the expansion of child development programs and services and facilitated a more comfortable and intimate family visitation atmosphere.
The Centre is an incredibly useful space and a physical testament to a couple who have lived well, loved much, and given generously.