Herbert Bertonazzi

Obituary of Herbert J. Bertonazzi

Herbert J. Bertonazzi, Sr. 1923-2021 One of the greatest pleasures of a successful farmer is to have helped bring life to a sprouting seed, encourage it to grow and to live a healthy, fruitful life, and eventually as it relaxes into maturity to have it enrich future growth. Herbert Bertonazzi, Sr. applied these principles not only on his farm in Buena, but eagerly to all he met, and throughout his own very long, productive life. He was born on August 5, 1923, to Dominick and Rose (Canepa) Bertonazzi. That was the beginning of his life on the family's Buena farm with six siblings: Dorothy Ferrari (John), Charles Bertonazzi (Angela), Vivian Piccioni (Jesse), Vera Megill (Harold), Edwin Bertonazzi (Kathleen), and Helen Van Dyke (Robert). Herb, being the second youngest, was predeceased by his parents, all his siblings and their spouses. His early school years were spent at the Atlantic County Elementary School in Minotola, but only after starting each day with his childhood chores of milking the cows. The day was not complete until care was given to the family's livestock, poultry, and produce. The weekends were special, a horse drawn wagon ride to Vineland for shopping, complete with bananas. His secondary school was Vineland High School. There he was inducted into the National Honor Society and graduated in 1941. But, not before enjoying the traditional senior class trip to Mount Vernon with his classmates. After graduation, it was his aspiration to continue his education and pursue a career in Dentistry. It was a great disappointment for Herbert to cancel his appointments to the West Point Military Academy and to the Annapolis Naval Academy, so that he could help manage the family farms at his father's request during WWII, while his two older brothers, Charles (Army-Calvary) and Edwin (Merchant Marines) fought over seas. While they were away, he converted the family farm from animal-pulled agricultural equipment to mechanical tractors. During these post-high school, youthful years, he purchased a parcel of wooded acres, clearing them of trees to start his own farm in Buena. He also earned his pilot license and co-owned a small plane. A few years later, he attended Rutgers University of New Brunswick, specializing in the Agriculture Teachers Program. With this knowledge, he instructed Vineland Veterans with a hands-on/ in-the-field style program on agriculture, farm management, and marketing. Herbert was recruited into the US Army; he proudly and honorably served his country at Fort Bliss, Texas. During the Korean War, he was drafted again into the Artillery Branch of the US Army at Fort Bliss, to train soldiers going overseas. While still in the military, he married Josephine Virano from Vineland, a 1944 graduate of Sacred Heart High School. He was blessed with a loving wife for 50 years, until her death in 2002. Together they had enjoyed attending church and community events: such as, bowling, dancing, going out to dinner, traveling around the US, and especially each other's Graduation Class Reunions. When Herb and Josephine returned from Texas, they resided in Buena. There Herbert and Josephine raised five wonderful children together: Herb Jr., Donna Grasso, Sandra Caporale (Bruce), Richard Bertonazzi, (Diana (Bianco) Bertonazzi) and Gregory Bertonazzi. As a "family" they worked together on the farm and celebrated their lives together. Herbert enjoyed his 'golden years' with his devoted companion, Marlene Copestick and especially treasured his loving grandchildren: Daniel, Steven, Thomas, and Lia Bertonazzi; Jamie Grasso; and Bruce Caporale. As a young farmer, he grew and sold fruits and vegetables at their roadside market the "Buena Peach Market", the Atlantic City Farmers Market, the Landisville Fruit Growers, the Vineland Produce Auction, and the Philadelphia Produce Market. As the decades went by, Herb was amongst the first of the local farmers to adapt his fields to growing herb crops; specializing in dill, parsley and cilantro. Herbert was a lifelong learner and worker. After retiring from a lifetime of farming at the age of 70, he worked for the National Agricultural Statistic Service, while he attended Atlantic Community College and earned his Real Estate license. His final endeavors included working for Century 21 Graham Reality, a Commissioner of the Buena Borough Municipal Utility Authority and collecting antique agricultural tools and equipment. This period of his life was his, "Every day is a Sunday" years. Herbert Bertonazzi was a practical man who worked and lived for his family, friends, farm, church, and community. If you had the opportunity to have participated in an activity or joined a committee with Herb, then you knew his friendly smile, and his earnest dedication: -As a parishioner of Our Lady of Victories Parish (Queen of Angels), he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, on the School Building Committee, and a Bingo worker for 25 years. -An American Legion member of Post 27. -For five years, he recruited blood donors for the American Red Cross. -During his 25 year position as a Neighborhood Commissioner and an Acting Scout Leader (Troop 41) for the Boy Scouts, he helped our youth as a liaison between the Atlantic County and Cumberland County scouts. -All of his life, he was a supporter and campaigner for the Republican Party. His wife was a life time supporter of the Democrat Party. This is how they learned to "Agree to disagree". June 8, 2007 was proclaimed "Herbert Bertonazzi Day" by the Atlantic County Executive Office. It was on this day at a dinner reception that he was honored as a distinguished citizen by our elected officials from the N.J. State Senate, Atlantic County, and Buena Borough and by the Republican Club. Herb loved his Buena community. Those who knew Herb for well over a half century knew him to be a good, reliable neighbor and a friend "never too busy to talk or lend a helping hand". "He knew everyone & worked with everyone- that's an amazing thing to say about someone!" He was always generous with the best of his produce, and the very best of conversation, especially about his 'Army days' or 'farm talk'. "A constant conversationalist with anyone, on any subject in the world. But, he was a good person and never spoke badly of anyone." "He worked hard, and did an enormously good job." Herbert was very community and socially involved until he just couldn't do it anymore. But, due to the dedication of the skilled professionals of the Veterans Memorial Home of Vineland, 'Bert' was able to enjoy his final years with a smile on his face. We would like to extend a very appreciative 'thank you' to the patient, caring staff at the Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland. Herb lived a long, fruitful life of 97 years, and when it was time for him to go, he decided to relax and he peacefully moved-on at the Veterans Memorial Home on February 10, 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Herbert's memory to: The Alzheimer's Association P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC. or NJ Veterans Memorial Home Vineland, 524 NW Blvd.,Vineland, NJ 08360. Herbert Bertonazzi was predeceased by his two greatly loved sons, Ronald and Gregory. He was also predeceased by his wife's parents Secondo and Delia Virano and all three of his sister-in-laws and their spouses: Irene Fenton (Russell) , Lillian Renfro (Fred), and Margaret "Molly" Menone (Andrew) . In addition to his children and grandchildren, he is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their many children. A funeral home visitation will be held on Thursday, February 18th from 9am to 11am at Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, followed by an 11:30 am funeral mass at Our Lady of The Blessed Sacrament Parish- Church of St. Michael, 504 S. West Avenue, Minotola. A private Interment with full military honors will follow at Our Lady Of Victories Cemetery, Landisville. Due to COVID-19 restrictions everyone is required to wear a mask and to practice social distancing. ARRANGEMENTS are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 E. Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360 To send online condolences please visit our website at www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com
Thursday
18
February

Visitation at Funeral Home

9:00 am - 11:00 am
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Rone Funeral Service
1110 East Chestnut Avenue
Vineland, New Jersey, United States
Thursday
18
February

Mass

11:30 pm
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Our Lady Of The Blessed Sacrament - Church Of St. Michael
504 West Avenue
Minotola, New Jersey, United States
Thursday
18
February

Final Resting Place

12:45 pm
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Our Lady Of Victories Cemetery
201 E. Delaware Ave
Landisville, New Jersey, United States
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