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Donald “Don” Buonomo, age 84 of Bethel, CT peacefully passed away on Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Danbury Hospital. He was the husband of Josephine Yolanda “Yola” (Porco) Buonomo.
Born in Manhattan, NY to Dominic and Marie (Volpe) Buonomo, Don grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He was very intelligent and creative, graduating from Stuyvesant High School in 1955 at the age of 16. He briefly attended Hunter College before joining the U.S. Navy in 1957.
In the Navy, Don was an Electronics Technician aboard the USS Yosemite (AD-19). He served on active duty from February 1957 to January 1960, with his ship providing support during Operation Blue Bat, the 1958 Lebanon conflict. He was honorably discharged in February of 1963. He was very proud of his service to his beloved country and was never without his USS Yosemite hat and American flag pin.
Don first met the love of his life, Yola, in Pine Bush NY in 1953, when he was 14. They both spent many summers vacationing there with their families. Don never forgot her and, at age 19, a fellow shipmate dared him to write to Yola, thinking she would not respond. Surprisingly she did and that was the start of their 65 years together.
Don and Yola were engaged in 1960 and married in June of 1961. They went on to have two daughters who were the pride and joy of his life. Don was a strong and supportive father and his knowledge and guidance were the foundation of his family.
The family moved to Bethel CT in 1976 and Don loved every minute of living in the small New England town. He served on the Bethel Board of Finance and made many life-long friends in town.
After his Naval service, Don worked many years in Engineering and Manufacturing at several major corporations. He received a BA from Dowling College in 1974 and a Master of Science in Management from The Hartford Graduate Center in 1981. In 1988, while working at the Veeder-Root Company, he received the Society of Manufacturing Engineering Region II Award of Commendation. In 2006, he retired from Stanadyne, as their Vice President of Quality and Reliability.
Don loved to travel, especially to Italy, and was fortunate to be sent there many times while working at Stanadyne. He and Yolanda also traveled there several times to see the birthplaces of their families. Don’s Italian heritage was very important to him… especially all the Italian food of his childhood. Luckily Yola is excellent at preparing them.
Don’s other passions included carpentry and woodworking, creating beautiful moldings and flooring designs throughout their house. He also loved fly fishing, spending hours in the rivers of Connecticut and New York. He played the guitar from a young age (sometimes performing at bars in Pine Bush) and continued to play for many years, serenading his family with oldies and country songs.
Along with his intelligence and creativity, Don had quite the sense of humor. He always had a clever comeback and was funny until the day he died. He was a true Renaissance man who will be forever missed.
Don leaves behind his wife Yola, daughters Laurie Ann (Daniel) White and Jacqueline Buonomo (Edwin Byrnes); his beloved sister Rosemary (Carmine Joseph) Anastasio and their children and grand-children; his brother-in-law Vincent (Marie) Porco and their children and grand-children; and many beloved cousins.
The family will receive friends at the Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel on Friday, January 12, 2024 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Prayers will be offered at 12:30 at the funeral home followed by burial with military honors at St. Mary Cemetery, Bethel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the League of St. Anthony, at leagueofstanthony.org.
To read the complete obituary or leave an online condolence, please visit hullfuneralservice.com.