ShareThis Page

Hazelwood restaurateur passed love of sports on to sons

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

The legacy Chuck Bonasorte leaves for his sons includes hard work, devotion to family and a love of sports.

After graduation from Connelley Vocational High School in Uptown, Mr. Bonasorte delivered milk for Country Belle Dairy, worked as a heavy equipment operator for PennDOT and ran his own restaurant.

Charles D. "Ringy" Bonasorte of Hazelwood, former co-owner and operator of the Chasmar restaurant in Hazelwood, died Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008, at his home. He was 81.

In 1953, Mr. Bonasorte married Maryann Coppola of Hays, whom he had met at a church dance in Greenfield.

"As a family, we owned and operated the Chasmar on Second Avenue," said his son, Charles Bonasorte, owner of the Pittsburgh Stop on the University of Pittsburgh campus, a business specializing in official Pitt products.

"My mother did the cooking. I worked the dining room and bar. We had as customers members of the Steeler and Pitt football teams," he said. "Dad worked all day at PennDOT, came home and worked at the restaurant until we closed.

"The players loved my mother. She often fed a dozen of them at a time. And she was like a mother to several Steeler players who she befriended. And we also had our regulars, the millworkers and railroaders."

Charles Bonasorte was known as "The Kamikaze Kid" when he was a linebacker for the Pitt Panthers from 1972-76. Mr. Bonasorte's other son, Francis "Monk" Bonasorte, an All-American football player for Florida State University, is senior associate athletic coach at Florida State and executive director of the FSU Varsity Club.

"My father and my Uncle Bucky (Joseph Bonasorte) inspired my brother and I to participate in sports," Charles Bonasorte said.

"They took us to every Pirate and Pitt game. And as soon as my brother and I were old enough, they signed us up for Little League."

Born and raised in Hazelwood, Mr. Bonasorte was one of 12 children of carpenter Corridano Bonasorte, an Italian immigrant, and his wife, Harriet Durkin.

"I'm often asked what's the best way to describe my uncle," said his niece, Kim Bonasorte. "He was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back."

Mr. Bonasorte is survived by his sons, Charles Bonasorte of Hazelwood and Francis Bonasorte of Tallahassee, Fla.; two grandchildren; a sister, Annabelle Martin of Palm Harbor, Fla.; and a brother, Francis Bonasorte of Bethel Park.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Maryann Bonasorte, in 2001.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at the John O'Connor & Son Funeral Home Inc., 5106 Second Ave., Hazelwood. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Stephen Parish, Hazelwood.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.