Eugenio Bonano-Fuentes, 81, formerly of Bridport
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Eugenio Bonano-Fuentes passed away peacefully on Feb. 16, 2020, at the age of 81, after a brave battle with cancer. He was born on Dec. 13, 1938, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, son of Gabriel and Ines (Fuentes) Bonano.
Eugenio began his military career by enlisting in the Puerto Rico National Guard in 1954. He married his high school sweetheart and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958. His 24-year military career included a tour of duty as an artilleryman with the 9th ID in Vietnam from 1966-1967. Eugenio was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm (Unit), Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star (Individual), and the Purple Heart. He was stationed around the world, including tours in Alaska working on a ski patrol; Dugway Proving Ground in Utah supporting nuclear testing; and Frankfurt, Germany, running a postal operations center.
After retiring from the military as a Sergeant First Class/E7, Eugenio began his second career with the United States Postal Service in Chicago, Ill. It was during this time that he pursued advancing his education with evening classes at Chicago State University. He majored in History. Eugenio was a master historian full of knowledge, especially regarding wars. Watching war movies was a favorite pastime.
Eugenio always filled his life with music. He loved every genre of music and possessed quite a collection of albums, tapes, 8-tracks, and CDs. Along with this love of music was his passion for singing. He could have had a professional career. He was gifted with a strong mechanical aptitude. Eugenio enjoyed tinkering on anything with his hands, mainly older model cars and his lawn tractors, though he shared many stories of things he built for his squad members in Vietnam.
He lived 16 years of his retirement on his 10-acre homestead in Bridport, Vt., and then the last three years in Wesley Chapel, Fla. His most prized possession was his family. Eugenio treasured above all his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He leaves a wonderful legacy.
Eugenio is survived by his wonderful and beloved wife of 66 years, Mrs. Alma Rosa Bonano-Acosta; his children Eugenio A. Bonano (Susan) of Oswego, Ill., Lisette Bonano, of Tampa, Fla., Jaime L. Bonano (Sandra) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Bryant L. Bonano (Sheri) of Cleveland, Ohio, Kenneth D. Bonano (Amy) of Salinas, Calif., and Nanette B. Carpenter (Brian) of Middlebury, Vt.; brother Arsenio Bonano (Gladys) of Ponce, Puerto Rico; and sisters-in-law Ana Luz Acosta Delgado of Ponce, Puerto Rico and Irma Rodriguez-Comulada, of Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was honored with sixteen grandkids and twelve great-grandkids.
Funeral Services will be held on Feb. 24, at Our Lady of the Rosary, 2348 Collier Pkwy, Land O Lakes, Fla. 34639. Mr. Bonano will be laid to rest at the Bushnell National Cemetery, 6502 S.W. 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Fla. 33513. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla. Use the following web address to donate online: volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/#learnmore.◊
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