Alfredo Angelo Bonadeo

Date of Birth

December 19, 1928

Date of Death

June 5, 2011

City of Death

Santa Barbara

December 19, 1928 – June 5, 2011

Alfredo Bonadeo died on June 5 doing what he loved most – jogging during low tide at the beach. A heart patient since 1976, he believed passionately that exercise in the open air was essential to longevity and health. He enjoyed walking the Jesuit trail and in the Botanic Garden. Alfredo taught Italian Literature (from the late middle ages through the renaissance) for a total of 30 years at UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and UC Los Angeles. He came to the U.S from his native Italy in 1953 to study at UC, Berkeley where he graduated with an MBA in 1957. After learning that a severe hearing disability made him unsuitable for life in the world of commerce and business, he returned to academia at Berkeley where he completed a doctorate in romance languages and literature. In 1969 he joined the faculty at UCSB where he remained until his retirement in 1992. Alfredo became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1972.

Dr. Bonadeo was a prolific scholar, and demanding teacher, respected by colleagues and students. He wrote extensively on major figures in Italian literature treating themes of great general interest, themes that are more than ever pertinent today.

Among them “Corruption, Conflict, and Power “ in the times of Machiavelli, and the conflict of “Religion and Life” in the writings of Leopardi. Not limiting himself to Italian literature, he also wrote on D.H. Lawrence, Ruskin and Montaigne. In his retirement years he continued his research, writing on more contemporary issues of war and conflict. His books dealing with the literature that arose out of WW I , and the subsequent build-up of fascism in Italy are recommended for any interested in the historical/ psychological aspects of that era. More recently, Martial Valor from Beowulf to Vietnam outlines the changing perception of military valor throughout history. From a childhood burdened by fascism and W.W.II , his work sprang from an intense personal involvement in the ideas he examined, ideas that invigorated his life to the very end.

The vineyards and peach orchards of northern Italy were an integral part of his youth. He loved going to the Saturday morning farmers’ market, choosing the best organic fruits and vegetables, and to frequent the various Italian restaurants that grace this fair city.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara, two adult children, Sabrina and Alessandro, and in Italy, by nieces Monica and Manuela Bonadeo and cousin, Licia Pernigotti. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations go to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Meadow Terrace Restoration project or to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.

A memorial service will take place at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Rd. on July 15 2011, 4-6pm.


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