Photography

     


Michael "Mickey" Bonasera

January 2, 1932 ~ January 31, 2018 (age 86)
Obituary Image

Michael “Mickey” A. Bonasera, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Valerie Manor in the afternoon of January 31st, 2018.  Mickey was born in Torrington, CT on January 2nd, 1932.  He was the youngest of four siblings and the son of the late Lillian (Mangione) Bonasera and Salvatore Bonasera.  

Mickey is survived by his daughter, Kim Bonasera Bickford of Torrington, and son Todd Bonasera of Fort Walton Beach, FL.  He is also survived by his granddaughter, Ashley Bickford Karger and her husband Wesley of Boston, MA and his grandson Elliot Bickford of Torrington, CT.  Mickey boasts two great grandchildren, Brooks Karger and Savannah Karger, both of Boston, MA.  He was preceded in death by Berenice (Decker) Bonasera whom was a beloved wife for several decades.  Additional family includes Mickey’s sister Gloria Siddell, several sister in laws as well as several nieces and nephews.  He is also survived by lifelong friend George Cerruto. He is predeceased by sister Grace Banelli and brother Angelo Bonasera.

Mickey’s legacy lives on strongly through his two grandchildren, whom he was exceptionally proud of.  Ashley, a former Miss Connecticut USA, and Elliot, a Torrington firefighter, brought much happiness to his life.  This was clearly evidenced by the way his smile lit up larger than life when they came to visit.

Mickey lived a joyous, vivacious and gratified life. In the words of one of his favorites, Frank Sinatra, he truly “lived life his way”.  Outside of family, Mickey’s greatest passion in life was baseball.  Mickey was a true talent and star of the diamond, a southpaw pitcher who lived his life at the fullest when on the mound.  At 5’9” and 140 lbs, Mickey was touted as having tremendous pitching ability and as being one of the top in the state.  A 1950 graduate of Torrington High School and 4 year letterman, Mickey was a standout lefty during his tenure and is a member of the THS Athletic Hall of Fame.  Mickey pitched on the 1947 American Legion Team which that year won the zone, state and regional championship, a first for Torrington.  During the championship, there was a game where he retired 20 consecutive batters.  Mickey was subsequently invited to the 1949 World Series by the Ford Co. as he was voted MVP in the American Legion regional tournament in 1947.  Mickey then went on to play professional baseball for the Sydney Pier Pirates in Nova Scotia for the next two years.  An outstanding pitcher and a very good hitter, Mickey was drafted by the New York Yankees farm team system and was headed to Norfolk to play in 1952 when he was drafted by the United States Army. From there, his talents lead him to continue play baseball as part of the Army.  For two years during the Korean War, Mickey entertained the troops overseas in various parts of Europe including England, Germany and France.  Mickey then returned home to play semi-pro for the Winsted entry in the Interstate League where he went on to lead his team in capturing the title of American Legion State Champion. 

In 1964, his playing days over, Mickey continued his love for baseball long after his professional career, and is credited for the rebirth of American Legion Baseball in Torrington.  The backbone of the American Legion Post 38’s Team, he served as team coach for six years, heralding them into the state finals two times and winning four additional zone titles.  Mickey took up golf at age 36, and has three hole in ones to his credit.

Mickey was always an iconic steward of baseball, defined by his dapper and meticulous uniform and emblematic attitude of sportsmanship that he exuded every time he walked onto the field.  He is forever remembered by those he coached for being a maverick of the sport, leaving his impact on them through setting an unforgettable example of how to be a true athlete.  Mickey was named Jaycees “Man of the Year” in 1964 and “American Legion Baseball Man of the Year” in 1970.  In 1980, the Mickey Bonasera Award was first given to the Post 38 MVP.  Truly a well-respected ball player, he was admired by many and was a great, “the best!”, coach.

Mickey loved the Torrington community very much.  A lifelong resident of the city, Mickey called the Spears Street neighborhood his childhood home.  He later relocated to the East end of town, where he spent many years raising his family.  Mickey was a 15 year foreman for the O&G Company and worked on many notable building projects with them including the Torrington Towers, and additions to the Torrington Company and Turner & Seymour.  Mickey then went on to serve as Superintendent of Streets for the City of Torrington for 20 years.  During his tenure, he was head of a 32 man department where he was a diligent crusader for the care of all of the city’s streets.  Mayor Mike Conway was quoted as saying of Mickey’s appointment, “He is one of the best foreman types we’ve ever had.  Mickey’s like gold.  He knows how to work with people, he’s responsible and an extremely capable supervisor” when he plucked Mickey away from O&G Industries. 

Mickey will always be remembered fondly for his unforgettable personality and sense of humor.  Always a social person, Mickey was an avid member of the Greenwoods Country Club, the Forrester’s Club of America and the Sons of Italy Club.

Many heartfelt thanks to the wonderful caregivers who gave so much love and kindness to our dad through these past two years at Valerie Manor and those who came from the VNS of CT.  Their compassion and care were a crucial part in ushering our dad into a peaceful and well deserved eternal rest.

Calling hours will be held from 6-8PM Monday, February 5th at the Cook Funeral Home, 82 Litchfield St., Torrington.  A celebration of Mickey’s life will be held at Hillside Cemetery at the convenience of the family in the Spring.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the VNS of CT (www.vnsct.org) or to a charity of your choice.  Kindly visit www.cookfuneralhomect.com to send the family an online condolence.  

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