Waterford - Viola (Frederick) Bonanno, 96, formerly of Fort Trumbull, New London, and Pine St., Waterford, passed away on Jan. 25, 2014, surrounded by her family. She was the loving wife of Biagio "Skinner" Bonanno, who preceded her in death. Viola was also predeceased by her brothers, Ernesto Minucci, Alexander and Otello Frederick.
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Viola is survived by her five children, Victor Bartolucci of Waterford, Paula Jessuck and her husband, Anthony, of Waterford, Susan Richardson and her husband, Lawrence, of Niantic, Linda Boushell and her husband, Michael, of Griswold, and Thomas Bonanno of Waterford; her sister, Charlene Muscarella of New London; and her sister-in-law, Virginia Frederick and family. Viola also leaves a legacy of 16 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Viola was born March 10, 1917, in Fort Trumbull, "The Fort," in New London, the daughter of Vittorio and Giuseppina Federici (Frederick), who emigrated from Fano, Italy. Viola attended Harbor School, Charles B. Jennings School, and Chapman Technical High School in New London.
She married Biagio "Skinner" Bonanno on Oct. 4, 1940. They were blessed to spend 66 adventurous years together. They made their first home in the Fort, and spent many happy years there raising their young family. In 1957, they moved to Pine Street in Waterford, where they lived for 40 years.
Viola was a lover of life; she loved sports as a child and played softball in the City of New London League. She was a true world traveler; she especially treasured her lifelong trips to Italy to visit family. She was an authentic Italian cook and passed her skills and recipes on to her family.
In the 1950s, Viola and Skinner also ran the Crescent Spa on Crescent Beach in Niantic. Those days on the beach were so special to her. She loved all of the time she also spent at Ocean Beach and enjoyed her winter trips to warmer places. She loved her family, every child and grandchild was a blessing and a joy. Her home on Pine Street was a gathering place and the center of the family. Viola worked in retail her whole life, starting at the Casual Shoppe, D & L in the New London Mall, and JC Penny in Waterford, and loved every minute of it. Viola always had a keen sense of and appreciation for fashion. She was our fierce and feisty fashionista.
She was a lifelong member of the Italian Dramatic Club in Fort Trumbull and St. Joseph's Church in New London. Viola loved her time volunteering for Special Olympics, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, and St. Joseph's Church.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut and to the staff of New London Rehabilitation Center for their dedication and care.
Her family will receive relatives and friends from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London, and will proceed to a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 p.m. at St. Joseph Church. Entombment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home
84 Montauk Ave. New London, CT 06320
Published in The Day on Jan. 27, 2014