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Obituary: Peter F. Bonafide

Peter F. Bonafide, 97, died peacefully at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, NH on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 with family by his side.

Mr. Bonafide had been a resident of Meredith Bay Colony Club (MBCC) in Meredith, NH since April 2010, and had made many friends there. Previously he resided in Munsey Park, Manhasset, New York, where he lived for more than 50 years in the home he built.

Born on April 5, 1914, in Burgio, Sicily, Italy, he studied architecture and design at Leonardo DaVinci University. He emigrated to the United States in 1937 and married Antoinette Fazio in June 1938 in New York. Antoinette died in 1978. Mr. Bonafide was also predeceased by his second wife, Lucia, who died in 2009.

Mr. Bonafide had three sons. Peter R. Bonafide, M.D. predeceased him in July 1975. Mr. Bonafide is survived by his son, Philip, an attorney in Laconia, NH, and his wife, Jackie; and Andrew, a professor of English in Bologna, Italy, and his wife, Mara. Mr. Bonafide has two grandsons: Christopher Bonafide, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife, Elizabeth Valentine, MD, and Michael Bonafide, an attorney with Skadden, Arps in Washington D.C., who lives in Arlington, VA with his wife, Jennifer Thomas Bonafide.

Mr. Bonafide was a real estate developer in New York City and New Jersey. He continued to actively manage his commercial real estate until retiring in 2007. He designed and built over 700 homes—including an urban renewal development in Keansburg, New Jersey.

During World War II he served with the US Army 532nd Engineer Corps and following his honorable discharge he assisted in the relief effort to help the war victims in Italy.

Mr. Bonafide had a long and distinguished career. He traveled extensively and received many honors and awards. He worked with many prominent Italian-American leaders and U.S. government officials to strengthen ties between Italy and the United States. He served on the Joint Committee, which worked to have Italy recognized as an ally in 1945. For his service he received many honors from the Italian Government including the titles of Cavaliere and Grand Ufficiale. He was honored as Knight of the Grand Cross of the order of Piast and was named a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem by Pope Paul VI. Mr. Bonafide was a charter member and founding member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation in Manhattan. Mr. Bonafide is also survived by his sister, Rose Anselmo; and many other loving nieces, nephews and friends.

Calling Hours were held at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home in Manhasset on Friday, Sept. 23. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at St. Mary’s RC Church in Manhasset. Burial will be at the Cloister at St. John’s Cemetery in Queens.