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Robert Bonadonna

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Robert Bonadonna Obituary


Black Mountain - Robert J. Bonadonna, of Black Mountain, NC, died on May 29th. He didn't "Pass Away" or "Go to be with the Lord." He just plain died! I know all about Robert and his opinions, because I am him, writing my own notice of departure.

I never liked the unctuous, syrupy obits that I occasionally read in the papers, so I decided to write my own. Those who knew me, will note that I never quite saw things the way that most people do, maybe that's how I became a "Consultant."

For starters, I had a fantastically wonderful and very lucky existence. I was born in the center of excitement and culture on Park Avenue in Manhattan, the Big Apple, New York City. I loved the museums, parks, skyline, and the stimulation of my fellow argumentative, outrageous, sophisticated fellow New Yorkers. Later on in life, I lived in Brooklyn and Merrick, L.I., but my heart belongs to Manhattan. My last residence was a wonderful penthouse apartment on the corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street, overlooking the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, and sunsets over the Hudson.

I worked for Macy's for twenty years, eventually heading up three departments with over 600 staff people and 45 executives. I got this far without a college education. New York street smarts and a penchant for innovative ideas were my credentials. I was seduced away from Macy's to be Exec. VP of a national consulting company, and then for my final 6 working years, I ran my own consulting business from the penthouse. The annual retainers from some of the country's major retail and chain stores paid my bills and increased my nest egg, but more importantly, it allowed for lots of free time to indulge my addiction to tennis.

After fully retiring in 1978, I lived for a few years at the largest Nudist Resort in the USA, with 6 tennis courts, 2 swimming pools, hot tubs, large lake, a beauty parlor, and shopping.

I married Joan in 1951. We had 20 good years and two wonderful sons, Reed & Ross. I then spent 6 years with Anita, 11 years with Carole, and the last 20+?? years with wonderful, brilliant, retired attorney, Eileen.

I was discharged from the US Navy after WWII, with tours on three ships, crossing both oceans, almost being swept overboard in an Atlantic hurricane off Cape Hatteras, and surviving the famous Pacific typhoon of 1945 on a Destroyer Escort.

After the war, I was motivated to make up for lost time. I succeeded in that objective. I have been healthy, happy, and financially secure, so far, and have had an extremely good time.

I do not want, or need, an eternity of floating around in the ether as a disembodied spirit for billions of years. After the life I have led, that would be….boring. I was nothing before 1922 and now that this body has been reduced to ashes, I am willing and happy, as I get ready to depart, to be nothing again.

As Sinatra sang, "Regrets, I've had a few…..but I did it my way." I was lucky to be born with brains, some talent, and "Lady Luck" cooperated to maximize these gifts. I have been indeed lucky, well until the cremation.

I hope my sons, Reed & Ross, and my three grandsons, Erik, Devon, and Luke will have as exciting a life as I have enjoyed. For a man who has been facile with words, I find none adequate to convey my gratitude, admiration, and love for my dear wife, Eileen.

This obituary was written by: Robert J. Bonadonna on November 11, 2008 (Veteran's Day)

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Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on June 1, 2014
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