Obituary of Joseph Bonitatebus, Sr.
Joseph D. Bonitatebus Sr., age 82, of Shelton, beloved husband of 20 years of Virginia Costanzo (Michalka) Bonitatebus, died peacefully on Thursday, December 21, 2017. Born in Bridgeport on December 22, 1934, he was a son of the late Casey and Mary Matera Bonitatebus. Joseph was a Central High School graduate, class of 1952 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Connecticut State University in 1956. His advanced degree includes a Master of Science in Guidance and a Sixth Year Certificate in Administration from the University of Bridgeport and Fairfield University.
Joe began his Bridgeport teaching career at Harding High School. At Harding, where the students fondly referred to him as "Mr. B", he was also involved in athletics, drama, music, and stage production and served as Class Advisor. Prior to teaching in Bridgeport, "Mr. B" taught at Hamden High School in Hamden, CT. As a Teacher on Special Assignment, Joe organized the Vocational Opportunity Center of which he was named Director. Later the Center was closed, and Joe was named the Director of Career, Vocational and Alternative Education with the responsibility of designing and developing vocational facilities in the three high schools. Subsequently, he developed a project in career education that served as a model for the State of Connecticut and won him National recognition through a national grant award. As a result, this project was replicated throughout the country. The final touch of Joe's career with Bridgeport Public Schools was his work in planning, designing and developing the Regional Vocational Aquaculture Program with six participating school districts. Also, recent among his many achievements are the planning and implementation of the Regional Vocational Business Magnet Program, a model education/business technology center housed at Bassick High School and the initiation of a Health Career Center at Harding High School. Joe accomplished these achievements as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Having been a longtime member the H.B. Brownson Country Club, Joe was an avid golfer who at the pinnacle of his games was a single-digit golfer. He further enjoyed his role as Club Secretary for many years. Joe retired after 35 years of public service. He now had time to travel and enjoy his growing family. Upon retirement, Joe and Angie moved to their ski home in Vermont. They enjoyed their many friends there, skiing, and family visits. The warmer climate lured them to North Carolina where they built a beautiful home on the Ocean beach in Wilmington. After some time they returned to Connecticut.
Thank you to the late Dr. Paul Mikan for his long, helpful and compassionate care; to the warm, caring staff in Benchmark at Split Rock for their attentive, light-hearted ways with Joe; to the Gardner Height wonderful staff who diligently cared with exceptional concern to satisfy Joe's many needs and kept him comfortable.
Joe was predeceased by his beloved wife, Angelina Artusa Bonitatebus, his brother, Peter Bonitatebus Sr. and grandson Christopher Tottenham. He is survived his children, Mark Bonitatebus (Susan), of Naugatuck, Janice (Paul) Longo of Stratford, Joseph, Jr. (Victoria) of Ridgefield and his grandchildren: Sara (David), Melissa, Jessica, Keith (Abbey), Rachel, Paul JR., Nicole, Joseph lll, Zachary and Miranda. He is further survived by his step-grandchildren: Sarah, Brian, Kevin, Johnathan, Carly, Alexandra and Tyler. He is also survived by his sisters: Dolly Coon (late Reggie) of Bridgeport and Ann (Pete) Izzo of Fairfield and sister-in- law Francis Bonitatebus (late Peter) of Shelton as well as several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Funeral services will take place on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Lawrence Church, Shelton for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be private. Friends may call on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull. to leave online condolences, please feel free to visit our website at www.abriola.com