Anthony Bonagura, born to John “Jack” and Kathryn on January 13, 1946 passed away in the early morning hours of August 20th at 75 years old. He lived life fully and with abundant and contagious joy. Raised in Gardiner, NY he spent his childhood on a farm, on dirt roads, on baseball fields, at the Gardiner dump, in the Gardiner hotel, making the best memories in a small town with his friends and his three brothers John, Ronnie and Allan, affectionately known as the Bonagura boys. Their stories could fill a a book and leaves so much to be longed for. After graduating New Paltz High School, he graduated Orange County Community College before completing his health and physical education degree at Morehead State University. Right after graduation, he enlisted in the US Army and served in the Vietnam War, where he made the very best of friends, and met the love of his life and created a beautiful family. His entire career was spent as a recreation supervisor at Wallkill Correctional Facility where he would proudly say he ‘played basketball for a living’ with one of his best friends for a boss. He would host tournaments at the prison with teams that would come in simply because Tony B asked or sometimes challenged them. After 28 years, in 2001, he retired the same day as his boss, just like he wanted and planned for, likely for all 28 years. Embracing the inmates as friends, sharing our family with them once they were released, he just genuinely and purely lived and loved like Christ.
He leaves behind his wife, Snow, of 51 years and their children and grandchildren; Thuy and Madison; Snow Lynn and Lee and their children, Caleb Anthony and Kendall ‘full of grace’, and Tanya and Omar and their children Kaela, Abigail and Little “O”. He is thrilled to be reunited with his first grandson, Michael, on streets of gold in heaven. In addition, he leaves his three brothers John, Ronnie and Allan, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews, cousins, his CICV brothers and their families, and countless friends he has made along the way. Tony B will be cheering us on from the bleachers of heaven, there’s no doubt about it.
There will be no visitation and the family will celebrate together immediately, and every time we gather will be a celebration of his life. A New York celebration will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family will be creating a scholarship in Tony’s name, yet to be determined. Donations can be mailed to: Snow Bonagura, 225 Fischer Road, Fort Mill SC