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Joseph John Bonelli “Poppa Joe”


oe died peacefully on Friday March 10, 2017  at 9:37 pm while in hospice care in Dunedin, FL surrounded by those that loved him. He was 82.


Joe is survived by his children Joseph, Dominick and George; his grandchildren are Brian, Michael, Joseph, Patrick, Vitina, Derrick, and Dominick; and his great-grandson Evan. Joe lived with us for 82 years and was married to Patricia Ann until her passing in 1992. Joe never re-married. Richard his second son didn’t survive a car accident and succumbed to his injuries after a period of time. Married to Patricia Ann for 35 years they lived in Northern New Jersey spending a majority of their time as a family in Toms River, NJ before moving to the west coast of Florida where they remained.


Joe is a veteran of the Korean War where he spent his time in Africa as a communications officer. He received his honorable discharge on April 30, 1962 at the rank of Specialist. At the time of his discharge he would have been eligible to wear the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. 

Personal Life

Joe was a career USPS Letter Carrier and delivered mail to over 700 people a day for well over 20 years. He was loved and adored by his mail customers evidenced by the deluge of gifts every year at Christmas time. Joe shared his love of family, home and cars with his children. Joe also had a love of model rockets which also became a very memorable family activity that has yielded a plethora of wonderful memories. Joe loved his family, nuclear, extended and otherwise and was able to hear loving words, thoughts and remembrances from all his children, grandchildren and great-grandson prior to his passing while holding hands and feeling the touch of those at his bedside.

Special Acknowledgements

The family extends a special thanks to the staff at Bayou Gardens who provided loving care for Joe during the two plus years that he spent there. Joe wished to be cremated and a family service will be planned in the coming months at a time and place where his geographically diverse family can be in attendance to pay respects and honor his life.

Friends and family are invited to share a memory and sign his guestbook below. 

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  • Joe Bonelli says:

    Dad, I will always miss you. You were my best friend and laughing buddy. Rest in peace knowing your family legacy will carry on and your love will lead the way. Love you.

  • George Bonelli says:

    Love you Poppa Joe. You were a model for me growing up. I will miss you greatly. Thank you for showing me what it was like to be a good man, brother, son and friend. I love you dearly.

  • Ariel J Quintela says:

    Joe, my deepest sympathy for you loss. Your father was blessed to have had a son
    such as you. Im sure he will be missed. We are losing the greatest generation that served our country . God bless you and your family.
    Ariel and family

  • kathleen Abo says:

    To all the Bonelli Boys and their families, Uncle Joe was a special father, brother ,uncle , grandpa and friend……..He will be missed so much but all the stories of all he did with everyone will stay in our hearts and we will treasure them forever……Love you Uncle Joe

  • Tina Khowaylo says:

    My deepest sympathy Joe, Dom, George and families. Uncle Joe was a great man and always made me laugh. I have fond memories of times spent with him and all of you. He will be truly missed. Love and miss you all. Xo

  • John Kurnik & Family says:

    Dear Joe and family, I had the pleasure of knowing your dad. I always enjoyed talking with him and got a big kick out of the fact you two are so alike in many ways. Thanks for being a good friend and what a legacy your dad left with your beautiful family. Love and prayers for you all. John.