Joe Bonanno
Joe Bonanno

Obituary of Joe Bonanno

Obituary Joe (Linuccio) Bonanno passed peacefully in his home on June 3, 2020, surrounded by his family who love him dearly, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Joe was born on July 12, 1943 in Marettimo, Sicily to Alfonso & Antonina Bonanno. Joe’s love of the ocean and passion for the sea was something he was born with. As a young boy he enjoyed fishing & swimming through caves in the Mediterranean sea. He ran the streets of his home town Marettimo with his childhood friends, making his mark wherever he went. He loved being the center of attention and always wanted to be around family and friends. Joe’s young adult life allowed him to serve in the Italian Navy and work on oil rigs. As much as he loved his native island of Marettimo he knew opportunity awaited him in Monterey, CA. It wasn’t long before his travels led him to the San Francisco airport, where his family eagerly awaited his arrival. As Joe walked through those airport doors, he was holding a record player in hand, loudly playing “California Dreaming.” Through a series of pen pal letters and short, yet costly international phone calls with Beatrice Demaria, who after a short period of time, became his “Lady Bea” and love of his life. Joe and Beatrice were married on February 15, 1969. They later started a family with three children, Alfonso, Antonina and Cathy Bonanno. Joe started his fishing career as a Captain on a drag boat in Monterey Bay. In 1980 his love for fishing led him to Bristol Bay, Alaska where he acquired his very first salmon fishing boat and named it “Lady Bea.” He was able to add to his fishing fleet and purchased a boat locally, named it the “Victory,” another boat named “Sunrise,” and a light boat named “JT.” Joe commercially fished many oceans that included Monterey Bay, San Francisco, Morro Bay, Halfmoon Bay, Santa Cruz, San Pedro & Bristol Bay Alaska. He fished for different kinds of fish like Salmon, Squid, Sardines, Rock cod, & Herring. Joe never met a fish he didn’t love or an ocean he couldn’t fish. His second home was Naknek Alaska, formerly Red Salmon Cannery, where he spent every summer for over 42 years of his life commercial Salmon fishing. One of his highlights that he was so very proud of, was making high boat in 1987 & 1989. Joe’s love for his family was strongly linked to his fishing career which he built an amazing legacy. His family was his life, his friends were his family and fishing was never a job, but his greatest passion. After semi-retiring from commercial fishing, he loved spending time sport fishing locally with his friends. He would organize many cioppino lunches inviting his “Cumpares” over. He was a simple man, never needed much and was happy just tinkering hours on end in his garage at home. He was a master of the art of mending fishing nets on the off season. That was a special skill, he was so great at, and all that knew him, knew he did it well. He spent many days laying his nets out on the streets of Hannon ave where he lived. He used it as his workspace, even if it spanned throughout the whole street. Anything that Joe did, it was with purpose, it meant something to him. He was the type of man who would bring home a full load of fish and give it all away to his friends and family before he even kept one for himself. He loved salting and smoking his Alaskan salmon that he would catch in those summer months in Alaska. He would always want to BBQ with his family his “king Salmon” as a tradition of the success of each Alaska salmon season. Joe loved vacationing with Bea and their close friends. Whether it included cruises, Mexico trips or just weekend trips to San Pedro or Santa Barbara to eat sea urchins at the beach. Most of his mornings included gathering at local coffee shops with his Sicilian fisherman friends to talk about fishing and their lives. He would frequent the wharf #2 to just watch and chat with the local fisherman to see how the catch was for the day. He loved his daily stops to Palermo Bakery where he would get his fresh bread for the week. Family dinners were his favorite, and his smoked salmon would always make an appearance at the table. He was always proud of his family, proud of his heritage, loved being around his people. Joe was a proud grandfather (Nonno), he loved his grandkids with all his heart. Even at the craziest times, with kids running around the house, that was when he was at his happiest. It was like music to his ears. Family was his strongest medicine, it made him feel young and loved. Joe was proud he could continue his legacy and love for fishing through his son Alfonso, grandson Joseph Bonanno, son in-law Buck Nuovo, nephew Salvatore Maioranna, and departed Brother Antonino Bonanno, who all either fished or continue to fish on the Lady Bea II. Even though he couldn’t be on the boat with them he would be in contact with them over the phone. Joe’s strength and determination was admired by those who knew him. He never stopped and never let his Parkinson’s disease affect his life. He was known as a “beast, strong as an Ox” out at Sea. In 2008 he got an opportunity of a lifetime to be featured in the Documentary “il mare di Joe (Joe’s Sea From Sicily to Alaska). In this film you see a peek into Joe’s life and how Salmon fishing played such an important role. It was through the documentary that he was named “the Legendary fisherman,” a title and name that will forever follow him and his legacy. He was and will forever be the “legend” to us all. The documentary won many awards Including Best Film at the “Blue Ocean film festival” and Best Documentary at the “Sicilian Film Festival” in Miami, Florida. Joe is preceded in death by his mother and father Alfonso and Antonina Bonanno, his brother and sister-in law Antonino (Anna) Bonanno. He is survived by his loving, devoted wife Beatrice of 51 years of marriage, and three children Alfonso (Shanti) Bonanno, Nina Johnson, Cathy (Ian “Buck” Nuovo) and eight grandchildren; Joseph, Analee, Jolie & Jovani Bonanno, Jacob & Milania Johnson, Giada & Ciana Nuovo and sisters Enza (Joe) Aliotti, Ninetta (Gaetano) Galuppo, as well as many nieces and nephews. Joe’s life was a full life of love, and many blessings. He passed away hours shortly after his son and grandson left for Alaska. He departed this world right along their side, just like he always did every first week of June, for over 42 years. He always wanted to go back to Alaska and relive his best memories. His devoted wife Bea also went with him for a couple years, where she was right by his side, fileting Salmon and setting nets under the pier. An experience she will never forget as she always took care of Joe and was his “first mate.” He always said “he could breathe better there and be free of pain.” We know that our beloved Joe is at peace now, and will always be in our hearts. We know he’s never gone or forgotten, just simply “Gone fishing.” We want to thank all our family and friends from the bottom of our hearts, for all your love and support in this difficult time. We plan to lay Joe to rest on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 12pm at Santa Rosalia Chapel at the San Carlos Cemetery, along with a ceremonial procession to his grave site. Donations may be made in Joe's memory to:T he Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Grand Central Station P.O. Box 4777 New York, NY 10163-4777 or visit: to arrange a flower to be delivered to the family To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joe “Linuccio” Bonanno, please visit our floral store.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joe Bonanno, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Joe
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Bermudez Family Cremations and Funeral
Share Your Memory of