Ex-officer, businessman admired by many
While attending Swissvale High School, little did Sidney Wilson know that the schoolmate she admired, Nicholas “Mimy” Bonacci, would become her husband, an Air Force officer and respected businessman.
“I really liked Mim,” said Sidney Bonacci. “We dated while in high school, and we were married after Mim graduated from Duquesne University.”
Nicholas V. Bonacci, of Swisshelm Park, and the former owner of Bonacci & Associates of Forest Hills, died Friday, Jan. 24, 2003, at UPMC St. Margaret. He was 70.
“Mim worked hard to get to where he was,” his wife said. “Even as a young boy, he’d caddy at the Churchill Country Club, where in later years he became a member.” He also worked on state maintenance crews while on summer breaks in high school and college.
Born and raised in Swissvale, Mr. Bonacci picked up the nickname “Mimy” in childhood. He was one of five children born to Italian immigrant parents, and his wife said he often remarked that his parents taught him the value of hard work and duty to family.
While attending high school he played football, and in 1954, upon graduating from Duquesne University where he was a member of the ROTC, Mr. Bonacci was commissioned as an Air Force officer and ordered to active duty.
“We were married right after graduation,” said Sidney Bonacci. “Mim and I spent two years together at Loring Air Force Base in Maine. Mim was assigned to the Auditor General’s Office. We lived on the base and made many friends.”
After being discharged in 1956, Mr. Bonacci became a stock broker and buyer for the former Joseph Horne Co. He then took a job as an agent for the Commercial Union Insurance Co., where he eventually became the managing general agent.
“At one time in his career, Mim was Commercial Union’s top salesman for six years,” said his wife. “He had the reputation of being honest. His clients knew they could trust him. I enjoyed being with Mim when people would come up to us and tell me how much they admired my husband.”
Upon his retirement in 2000, Mr. Bonacci started his own financial group, Bonacci & Associates on Ardmore Boulevard in Forest Hills, where he also represented Commercial Union. The group was sold upon Mr. Bonacci’s illness.
Sidney Bonacci also recalled what it was like marrying into an Italian family and learning to cook all the Italian dishes her husband enjoyed. “My background is Swedish, and I didn’t know anything about Italian cooking. Mim’s mom took the time to show me how it was done.”
Mr. Bonacci is survived by his wife, Sidney Wilson Bonacci; daughters, Mary Jo Powderly and Gloria B. Cortese, both of Ross; and three grandchildren. He was also the brother of Joseph, Robert and John Bonacci, all of Swisshelm Park, and Rose Marie Pasquarelli, of Swissvale.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today and Monday at the Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home, Inc., 7441 Washington St., Swissvale. A Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Madonna del Castello Church, Swissvale.
Donations may be made to the Parkinson Disease Foundation, 3471 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or Duquesne University.