Nov. 14, 1925 – Dec. 6, 2015
Joseph G. Bonadonna, a retired auto dealer from Williamsville, died Sunday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 90.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Burgard Vocational High School and attended Millard Fillmore College at the University of Buffalo. He served in the Navy during World War II on extreme hazard duty aboard an LSM (landing ship medium) in the Pacific.
Mr. Bonadonna started Bond’s Motor Sales, a used car dealership, on Bailey Avenue in 1951 and was awarded a Dodge dealership in 1966. He moved the business, Mid City Dodge, to Walden Avenue near Union Road in Cheektowaga a few years later and continued to operate it until 1998, when he retired.
He also was instrumental in establishing South Union Chrysler-Plymouth in West Seneca with his nephew, Sal, and Hamburg Dodge with his son, Joseph Jr.
He enjoyed a special relationship with Chrysler Corp. President Lee Iacocca. When he was serving on the National Automobile Dealers Association board in 1979, he helped secure the loan guarantee that saved the company.
He was former president of the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association, a member of the Dodge Dealers Association and a charter member of the Dodge Charger Club.
He enjoyed golfing, traveling and playing pinochle. As a young man, he also enjoyed skiing.
His first wife, the former Betty Privitera, died in 1997. He was remarried, to the former Rosella Privitera Siragusa, in 1999.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Nona Davis and Jane; three sons, Lucien, Joseph Jr. and Michael; a sister, Dolores; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Wednesday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Amherst.