Bruna Tonello

Date of Birth

December 2, 1929

Date of Death

January 22, 2023

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Our mother, Bruna Tonello, left this life peacefully in her sleep during the early morning hours of January 22, just 51 days after celebrating her 93rd birthday.

She was proud to have been born at home at 531 East Ortega Street (now the location of Girls Inc.). Her parents, Vittorio and Maria Dal Bello, moved the family to 135 North Milpas Street not long afterward, a location that would be homebase for the Dal Bello family for more than 50 years.

Bruna attended Franklin Elementary, Santa Barbara Junior High, and Santa Barbara High School, graduating in 1947. Towards the end of her senior year of high school, a teacher encouraged Edo Tonello to get to know his fellow student, Bruna.

Bruna’s children owe that teacher a great deal because Bruna and Edo’s first date was to their Senior Prom. After courting for seven years, they married on October 31, 1954.

Although Bruna excelled as a student and she wanted to continue her education, she was unable to do so. While in high school she worked as a soda jerk at the Live Oak Dairy Fountain at Canon Perdido and Milpas Streets, where she learned to make the root beer floats that we enjoyed so much as children. Following high school Bruna went to work for Title Insurance and Trust Company.

Bruna worked at Title Insurance until the birth of her first son in 1955. She recently shared with us that her coworkers at Title Insurance gave her a baby blanket as a parting gift that she still safely stored away.

From 1955 until 1968 Bruna concentrated on being the best wife and mother possible as she and Edo added a second son and a daughter to their family.

As the children got older, Bruna returned to work as a customer service representative at Crocker Bank on Milpas Street, just a stone’s throw from the house in which she grew up. She remained with the bank as it merged with Wells Fargo, moving to the Goleta branch in the mid-80s and remaining there until her retirement. Helping and interacting with her customers gave her great satisfaction.

Among Bruna’s most important goals were for her children to attain college degrees, enjoy successful careers and of course lead happy lives. Thankfully, all those goals were realized.

After Edo became disabled in 1990, Bruna dedicated her life to caring for him until his passing in 2020. While not an easy task, she used the same strength and determination that she applied to every other endeavor of her life to create the best and most fulfilling lives possible for the both of them.

Bruna is survived by her three children (son David and spouse Lisa, son Gregory and spouse Kim, and daughter Patrice), four grandchildren (Matthew, Tracie, Katie and Alex), and four great grandchildren (Lucca, Cara Mia, Kian and Dominic). Also surviving are her brother Anthony Dal Bello and sister Olga Brunello. In addition, Bruna had thirteen nieces and nephews who were all important in her life. She was preceded in death by her husband Edo, brother Joseph, sister Assunta Pivato, and granddaughter Jeanette.

We would like to thank our extended family, Doctors Juliet Penn and Maira Campos, all the other staff at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, Meals On Wheels, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and Nancy Lovejoy for the excellent care and support that they provided to our mother.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks those so inclined to donate to either Hospice of Santa Barbara ( 2050 Alameda Padre Serra suite 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93103) or Ridley-Tree Cancer Center ( 601 West Junipero Street, Santa Barbara CA, 93105).

Services will be a mass at Mt. Carmel Church on Saturday February 4 at 10:00 AM with interment immediately following at Calvary Cemetery.


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