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BonaDent founder passes away at 93

Last week the founder of one of the region’s most-identifiable businesses passed away.

Angelo Bonafiglia, a Philadelphia native, who came to Seneca Falls and started his first dental lab over 75 years ago, passed away at the age of 93.

A Catholic mass will be held, and also live-streamed Saturday, June 19 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Seneca Falls.

Read the full-obituary below:

On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, Angelo Bonafiglia passed away peacefully at his home in Seneca Falls, NY at the age of 93. Angelo was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 7, 1927 to Henry and Carmela Bonafiglia. After graduating high school in Philadelphia, he went on to serve a term in the military at a medical clinic. When a high school friend from Philadelphia stationed at the Sampson Naval Base asked Angelo to be the best man in his wedding, Angelo made the journey to Seneca Falls, fell in love with the community’s quiet pace, and decided to establish his roots here.

Having spent time as a bicycle messenger for a Philadelphia dental laboratory as a teenager working to help put food on his family’s table, Angelo started his first dental laboratory in downtown Seneca Falls fabricating dentures and partials for local dentists; and so began BonaDent’s 75-year history. Angelo met the love of his life, Agnes, at the local diner downstairs from the studio apartment that doubled as his dental lab. They raised 3 children together Andrea, Bruce and Curtis.

Angelo lived life to the fullest and exemplified a work hard – play hard mentality. He was hard driving and worked tirelessly to build BonaDent and established the solid foundation by which the company now employs over 250 employees across six divisions in New York, Florida and South Carolina. He was a Certified Dental Technician and even after retiring in 1988, he continued reporting to work to ensure that his attention to detail and standard of quality was embodied in future generations. Employees looked forward to Angelo’s walks through the laboratory as he made a point to say good morning to everyone. He viewed his employees like his extended family.

Angelo was active in his community and generous with his time and resources. He was Seneca County’s Civil Defense Director during the Cuban Missile Crisis, founded the local chapter of the Seneca Falls Lion’s Club, chaired the local Democratic Committee, was a Seneca Falls Town Councilman and a volunteer for the Aqua Festival. Angelo’s membership to the SMS played a significant role throughout his entire life. He was a member of the SMS band, club President, chaired the St. Anthony’s Festival committee, was a recipient of the Joseph Beatini Award, and most importantly forged strong friendships that lasted his lifetime. He was also a devoted Catholic and active member of the St. Patrick’s Church.

Angelo was a loyal friend known for his carefree, fun-loving spirit. He was a huge Syracuse University fan who loved watching Orangemen football and as recently as 2018, at the age of 91, made the trek to Orlando to see the Orangemen defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Camping World Bowl. Angelo could tailgate with the best of them and in addition to the Orangemen, enjoyed cheering on his hometown Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. He also forged strong friendships on the golf course as a member of the Seneca Falls Country Club. In his quiet time, Angelo enjoyed woodworking, word jumbles and crossword puzzles and was a huge fan of Jeopardy and the Wheel of Fortune.

Angelo was preceded in death by his wife Agnes (Faiola), his son Curtis, brother Phillip and sister Rita Hogan. He is survived by his daughter Andrea, son Bruce (Lisa), daughter-in-law Diane, granddaughters Daniele (Phil)Wirth, and Erin (Johnny Hurlburt), grandson Ben and his great-grandchildren Ella, Harrison, Indy and Jovie. Angelo is also survived by his brothers- and sisters-in-law Sylvester (Elisa) Faiola, Louis (Mary Lynn) Faiola, Phyllis (Wally) Winters, and dearest Mirella (Michael) Faiola, along with many loving nieces and nephews.

A Catholic mass will be held, and also livestreamed, on Saturday, June 19th at 11:00am at St. Patrick’s Church in Seneca Falls. A Celebration of Lives for Angelo, Agnes and Curtis will be held at Ventosa Vineyards in Geneva on Friday, July 30th at 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Patrick’s Church in Seneca Falls and the Happiness House in Geneva.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Angelo Bonafiglia, please visit our floral store.