Famous Mr C

October 27, 2008

CUROTTO, Bill 71, of St. Pete Beach, died Oct. 7th, 2008, at home. He was born Jan. 7, 1937, in Chicago, IL, the son of William and Gladys Ramsey Curotto. Bill is survived by his wife, Leslee Garner Curotto; daughters Cathy Grace of St. Petersburg, Missy Curotto of Derry, NH; sons Bill, Joe and Tony all of St. Petersburg; 4 grandsons; 3 granddaughters and his sister, Carol Ann Upham of St. Pete Beach. Bill Curotto grew up with an entrepreneurial father who opened restaurants at the 1942 world’s fair and downtown Chicago as well as eventually opening the M&C manufacturing company. In 1950, the Curotto family moved from Chicago to St. Pete Beach, and built the Bon-Aire Motel in 1953. During the early years, Bill not only worked at the Bon-Aire Motel with his father but also attended both St. Leo High School and Admiral Farragut Academy. After finishing High School, Bill was drafted into the United States Marines, doing his basic training at Parris Island, SC, and eventually transferring to Quantico, VA, where he completed his service. After completing his service, Bill came back to run the Bon-Aire Motel with his father for the next 11 years. Bill’s mother and father passed away in 1955 and 1969, respectively, and then Bill began running the Bon-Aire Motel full time. Taking the entrepreneurial spirit from his father, Bill in the 1970’s created and expanded the Bon-Aire Motel, opened a car rental business, owned a gas station and eventually built Sandbar Bill’s and the Emm & Cee Pasta Seafood Grille. Bill guided the motel through many difficult times over the years, including the 70’s financial crisis, the OPEC Oil Embargo as well as multiple tropical storms and hurricanes. In the 90’s and 00’s, Bill’s family and his extra curricular activities continued to grow, these included golfing, boating and enjoying time with his grandchildren. During this time Bill joined the St. Petersburg and Feather Sound Country Clubs as well as the PolyWog’s. The Curotto family is grateful to the people at the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, their help allowed the family to keep Bill at home with family, friends and animals during his short illness.

Taken from the St. Petersburg Times Obituaries

Iconic St. Pete Beach Bon-Aire Resort hotelier Bill Curotto dies at 71

By Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
In print: Saturday, October 11, 2008

ST. PETE BEACH — In the motel, Bill Curotto is all around.

In the teal green awnings and doors he personally selected.

In the white paint, which he thought looked clean, crisp, serene.

In the landscaping, the towering palms and the unscathed view to a glass ocean.

“He had the vision,” said his daughter, Cathy Grace. “You see him everywhere.”

Mr. Curotto owned the Bon-Aire Resort Motel, a summery slice of Americana on St. Pete Beach. He died Tuesday after a sudden and brief battle with cancer. He was 71.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Curotto moved to St. Pete Beach with his family as a teenager. His father opened the motel in 1953 and young Bill helped out with the sweeping and the weeding and the laundry.

He was outgoing and interested in cars — by 16, he had his very own T-bird. He thought about going into the auto business after getting out of the service, but his father beckoned.

“He wanted me to come back and do this, so it was fine by me,” Mr. Curotto told the St. Petersburg Times in 2002.

When his father died in 1969, Mr. Curotto took over fully. He bought the property next door and expanded the motel. His own children helped out with the sweeping and the weeding and the laundry. They were thrilled to take dips in the pool.

He was savvy when it came to business. He guided the Bon-Aire through bad economies and hurricanes, building it to emerge stronger.

“Like everyone else, you do it day by day. You borrow when you can and you pray when you can,” said Grace. “It’s amazing that our grandfather built it and our father continued to run it and create such a business.”

Mr. Curotto didn’t really advertise. Most Bon-Aire guests — 80 percent — are regulars, Grace said. The success came from happy stays and word of mouth. Mr. Curotto spent seven days a week at the property, joking and calling guests by name. They called him “the entertainer.”

In 1990, he built Sandbar Bill’s, a grill and bar on the property. His theory was that people shouldn’t have to leave the resort to find things to do.

He was often seen buying rounds.

They weren’t forced into it, but inevitably his kids came back.

Grace has worked at the Bon-Aire since she was 13. She’s good at the business side like her dad. Her brother has the knack for entertaining, for walking the property and calling guests by name.

They plan to keep the motel open, keeping their father alive in everything.


  1. So sorry to hear about your loss. I have been coming to the Bon-Aire resort for over 15 years and I will always remembering Bill, or Mr. C as a very generous, smiling man, who always said hello to all the guests!
    He will be greatly missed!
    Comment by Catherine — November 12, 2008 @
  2. So very sorry about the loss of your father. I have been coming for over 15 years and was introduced to the Bon Aire by my aunt and uncle, Norma and Dick. I love coming there and I am so glad to know that you will continue to carry on the high quality of service that your Dad created.
    Comment by Sharon — November 17, 2008 @
  3. Sorry for the loss of your father. I’ve been going to the Bon Aire since I was three years old. I have so many great memories there. We hope to take take a vacation there with our four daughters in the near future. Mr C’s spirit will live on.
    Comment by Chrissy Klein — November 18, 2008 @
  4. Our family recently became informed of Bill’s untimely death and we wish to express our deepest sympathy. Math Uschan, my dad, found your resort in the 50’s and enjoyed his many vacations with you. Most of our family have spent many enjoyable times with you. It has become tradition to come to the Bon Aire. Thankyou Jean Uschan Klandrud
    Comment by Bill and Jean Klandrud — November 18, 2008 @
  5. Our family is sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Carl and I spent our honeymooon of two weeks at the Bon Aire in October l969. We loved it so much that we would drive down every year during November and spent three weeks in room 212 or 211. We have wonderful memories and many pictures of these family vacations. We also introduced my uncle Bill Uschan to the Bon Aire and the two Bills became good friends. My uncle and aunt spent three months a year there and when my uncle Bill died a few years ago, Bill Curatto even came for his funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Fondly Carl and Mary Klein, New Berlin,WI
    — November 18, 2008 @
  6. We just learned of Bill’s passing Our Condolences to the Curotto Family. Our family has looked forward to our almost yearly visits to the Bon Aire for over 30 years and always enjoyed chatting with Bill, usually around Sandbar Bills. We were the first family to return after being evacuated for Hurricane Charley and Bill was so appreciative that his beloved Motel was unscathed the first round was on him.

    He will be sorely missed by his Canadian customers. Our thoughts are with your family

    Comment by James and Linda Doyle — November 19, 2008 @
  7. The Bon-Aire is our home away from home for two weeks each July. We are very sorry to hear about Bill’s passing and our condolences go out to the Curotto family. The Hester Family, Kingsville, Maryland
    Comment by Barbara Hester — December 1, 2008 @
  8. We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Curotto. We have only been coming to the BonAire for a few years but we feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful, warm family run hotel to spend our vacation in Florida.
    Brian & Kelly Bosse Bow, NH
    Comment by Brian & Kelly Bosse — December 7, 2008 @
  9. We are sorry to hear of the lost of our friend Bill. The Bon-Aire and Bill have been a big part of our friends and family.
    Bud and Lori Templin Family
    Jerry and Peggy Billington Family Comment by Bud and Lori Templin — December 8, 2008 @
  10. When the Rie (President of MG) and Eddie discovered the Bon Aire 10 years ago they knew they had found “the place” for our Directors Retreat – and our group of 30+ has come here year after year. Bill was such a wonderful part of the package! Sandbar Bill’s won’t be the same without him. The entire Meriwether Godsey Family sends its condolences to the Bon Aire Family.
    Cathy, you have big shoes to fill, but you’ve been doing a great job for years now! We look forward to our next visit.
    — December 15, 2008 @
  11. Sorry for the family’s loss. We have been regulars since the early 70’s. It always was and still is a pleasure to spend our vacations at the Bon Aire. Through the years, we have seen the “kids” grow up just like our own. Our grandchildren now enjoy the same memories we do as we continue to spend our vacations with your family. Jack & Joanne Fuchs Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Comment by Jack & Joanne Fuchs — December 25, 2008 @
  12. Our sincere condolences to the Curotto family. As repeat guests, Bill and family have always made us feel right at home. That is only one of the many reasons the Bon Aire still remains our top vacation destination. As we approach 2009, changes are imminent. However, this vacation season will still lead us to you and we will miss seeing Bill.
    Jay & Kelli Kandrack & family Pittsburgh/Marietta, GA
    Comment by Jay & Kelli Kandrack — December 25, 2008 @
  13. My family and I are so sorry to hear abt. Mr. Curottos death.
    We have been coming to the BonAire for about 20 years and my children have wonderful memories of the safe beautiful family resort that he created for all of us to enjoy. I remember seeing him every time we visited and thought to myself “what a great life he must have!” I’m sure he will continue to sit at the beach bar with all of us in spirit for many years to come. Our sincerest condolences to the family. We will see you this summer!
    Pat Scott and Jim Wielgus and Family
    Comment by Patrica Scott — December 28, 2008 @
  14. Sorry to hear about the loss of Bill, we have been coming to the Bon Aire every year since we found it in 1987. We have reccommended it to a lot of our friends in the UK.
    We will be back in September looking forward to our holiday
    at the wonderful Bon Aire.
    Love from Sandra & Barry Twaddell, Tydd St Mary Linconshire England UK>
    Comment by Sandra & Barry Twaddell — December 31, 2008 @
  15. Sorry to here about Bill he will be missed greatly. We we’re introduced to the Bon Aire by my uncle Norm Ogan and we fell in love instantly. We will miss seeing Bill around the bar at Sandbar Bill’s but i am sure he will remain there in spirit.We look forward to many more great vacations at the Bon Aire in the near future.
    David & Stephanie Cameron Wichita,KS
    Comment by David&Stephaine Cameron — December 31, 2008 @
  16. Our Sincere Condolences to the Family, We will miss Bill’s Big Smile and warm welcome.
    Comment by Gary and Jan Nickels — January 4, 2009 @
  17. My family was shocked to hear of Bill’s passing. Since the late 60’s our family vacationed at the Bon-Aire on a regular basis — going on vacation was like going to our summer home. One memory that stay vivid in my memory is the shuffleboard tournament Bill held for all the guests (I think it was 1986 or 87) — what a hoot he was — rousting up players and cheering everyone on!! It brought everyone together that happened to be staying at the resort that week. He truly was the heart and soul of the Bon-Aire. While someone with that much zest for life may be gone from our presence, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s still keeping watch over his family and guests!!! I’m sure Cathy will carry-on the Bon-Aire tradition that Bill created and that we have all enjoyed over the years! (Don & Elaine Hein and Family – Pittsburgh & Harrisburg, PA and Plymouth, MI)
    Comment by Susan (Hein) Biggs — January 4, 2009 @
  18. Dear Kathy:
    I woke up this morning discovering that your father, my friend Bill, had passed away. I am sitting here in disbelief and feel as though I am still in bed dreaming.
    Your Dad was the Bon Aire as you will be now. He knew how to keep his guests happy and treated us all like family.
    Kathy, you will fit into his footsteps for he has taught you well. I am so glad to hear that that the business will continue and will continue to be successful with you at the helm. I know he will be there with you as well. One year I called for a room and you had no availabilities, and to my shagrin, had to stay at another establishment. Never again! It will always be the Bon Aire. It has become our home down south ever since we began staying there in 1968. My kids and their kids have grown up loving the place.
    The only thing we will truly miss will be Billy, your Dad, our friend. May he rest in peace and spread the same good cheer as he did on earth.
    Don and Elaine Hein and Family
    Comment by Don and Elaine Hein — January 4, 2009 @
  19. My sister and I started staying at your resort with our parents around 1970–and we now take our children. The Bon-Aire always holds a special place in all of our hearts. Our vacation is only perfect because of the Bon-Aire. We will miss seeng Mr. Curotto around the grounds and Sandbar Bill’s. Our deepest sympathies to your family–you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Vickie and Greg Betz, and Family (Daughter of Don and Elaine Hein)
    Comment by Vickie Betz and Family — January 4, 2009 @
  20. It will not be the same at summer 4th of July parties without Mr. Curotto mingling amongst the guest and sharing his smile and stories!!! I am sure the family misses him every day … I know the summers will be different from now on! Take CARE! The family of Christy Miley!
    — January 5, 2009 @
  21. All the old Naperville (IL) gang will sure miss Mr. C!
    A toast in honor of Mr. C in March at Sandbar Bill’s
    Comment by Jane Abe — January 7, 2009 @
  22. The Danek family -Miami,Fl.We grew up with you guys. Bill Sr, Ellen, Kathy, Billy,Joey, Missy & Tony.We recently became informed of Bill’s untimely death and we wish to express our deepest sympathy.
    Our prayers our with you,,,
    Comment by The Danek Family — January 8, 2009 @
  23. We were not fortunate enough to meet MR.C. but we had the great pleasure of having Missy stay with us in London and for a weekend in Paris. She spoke very highly of her Dad, and I was so happy that she worked in hotels whilst in London. To the family, I am so sorry that we just found out about your Dad’s passing today. Your Irish family will know tomorrow.
    May the Road rise to meet him
    May the wind fall softly on his back
    May the sun shine warmly on his face
    And until you all meet again
    May the Lord hold him in the palm of His hand Our thoughts and prayers are with you at your time of loss.
    The Hartnett Family
    Jacquie, Alex and Freddie Bourdais
    Theresa Fitzgerald
    Kay, Nick, Claire and Nicola Goodwin
    Betty and Brian Goodwin
    Missy’s friends at the Waldorf Hotel in London
    Comment by Jacquie, Alex and Freddie — January 9, 2009 @
    Comment by JOAN L. HILL — January 11, 2009 @
  25. dear Curotto family. We were saddened to hear of Mr. C’s passing. Just learned of it today while checking out the website. We’re hoping to get to the Bonaire for a visit in February. We’ve been enjoying your families’ hospitality since the late eighties. The kids learned to swim in your pools and our son spent hours catching and releasing the little lizards. Much time also spent at shuffleboard and Sandbar Bill’s. Always felt like home there!!!
    Frank, Wendy, Jordan and Kyle Pula
    Ontario, CANADA
    Comment by Frank and Wendy Pula — January 12, 2009 @
  26. To The Family Of Bill Curotto:
    My name at the time I was going to The Bon-Aire was Dorine Currell. My husband was Wally Currell. He to passed away in 1998. We were last there in 1994. He became very ill and we not able to make the trip any more. I have tried a few times to come back but have had my own health problems.
    I am sincerely sorry to hear of Bill. He was a great host and ran a first class motel. He would always have a good comment to make to you. I remember his son Joe doing the gardening and cleaning the pool as a young teen. His sister would work in the office.
    He will be sadly missed by all. I have sent many people to his motel and have always received thanks for a great vacation spot.
    Dorine Dinsdale
    Comment by Dorine Dinsdale — January 12, 2009 @
  27. Dear Curotto,
    I am very saddened to hear of Mr C’s passing. He was such a vibrant and happy person and I know you miss him terribly.
    I made my first trip to Bon Aire in 1975 and when I think of the best places in the world to go it is always with Bon Aire at the top of the list.
    May you know God’s peace at this time and again I am sorry for your loss.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Comment by Meg Cunningham — January 13, 2009 @
  28. We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Mr. Curotto. He was a wonderful man who made so memories for so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
    Nancy America Palmieri
    Comment by Nancy America Palmieri (Conti) — January 13, 2009 @
  29. 2007 was our first time staying at the Bon Aire, after friends recommended it, but we decided right then-that the Bon Aire was the place for us. We were fortunate to have spoken with Mr. C many times during our stay and he was a first class man. Our condolences go out to his family and we are sorry for your loss.
    Comment by Mike & Tish, Indiana — January 16, 2009 @
  30. To the Curotto Family,
    We are very saddend to recently hear of the passing of Bill Curotto. What a shock! Bill seemed to be the kind of guy who would be around forever. We have been coming to the Bon-Aire for over 20 years now, mostly over Christmas, as it has become like a second home to us. It certainly will be different our next trip without Sandbar Bill himself, there in attendence. I am certain however, in spirit he’ll be looming close to the place he loved so much. Very seldom did we ever see Bill without his infectious smile entertaining his guests and anyone else within earshot. We sure are happy to see that the Bon-Aire will continue to carry on in his absense. Bill wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to you Bill, you will be greatly missed! The Shockley Family from Bloomington,IN
    Comment by Randy, Terri & Lindsey Shockley-Indiana — January 18, 2009 @
  31. Our hearts are broken. We first met Bill in 1965 when we first started to go to the Bon-Aire.We have gone every year since and sometimes twice and we always looked forward to seeing Bill and chatting with him. The last time we talked was in May and we laughed and he was in good spirits and was the picture of health. We loved Bill and we also love Cathy and we know the whole Curotto family will always miss him as we all will.
    Bob and Carol Forester, London, Ontario Canada.
    Comment by Carol Forester — January 20, 2009 @
  32. Dear Curotto family
    well very saddened to hear about Mr C. Our family began coming in 1966 and havent missed many years since.
    He also seemed a little larger than life when I was a kid. It was neat to chat with him as I began to bring my family for our Vacation. He would always remember my grandparents and parents and ask about them.I have met soooo many people over the years and still keep in touch with many. I never had a friend stay there that didnt enjoy their time at the Bon Aire.
    Brian and Bernadeen McLeod Taylor,Tatum,Jamielee,Larissa
    Comment by Brian McLeod — January 21, 2009 @
  33. How sorry we are to hear of Bill’s passing… what a shock! The Bon-Aire has been the source of beautiful memories for our family for decades, beginning in the 60’s when Joe’s dad pulled off of the boulevard because of a vacacancy sign. Many Easter vacations and egg hunts around the pool later, our own children consider the Bon-Aire vacation, a family tradition. We wish the Curatto children all the best in their endeavor to continue their father’s legacy and to provide us with a slice of heaven and a chance to slow down, enjoy the beautiful sunsets, and relish the memories of our own lost loved ones. With deepest sympathy, The DeLorenzos
    Comment by The DeLorenzo Family, New Jersey — January 26, 2009 @
  34. Cathy — Sherry and I are saddened to hear about the loss your Dad. He was truly an icon of the business. When we were down last year he sat down and talked with us in the course of making his rounds. He was always so genuinely friendly and listened to what you had to say. We hope that your life is getting back to normal — if there is such a thing. Your family will remain in our prayers. Hopefully our family will be able to see you in June again this year.
    Don and Sherry Coslow, Louisville, Ky.
    Comment by Don/Sherry Coslow — January 28, 2009 @
  35. Dear Curotto Family – We are so sorry to hear about your loss! We will be there in April for our 8th spring break and we will miss seeing your Dad cut through the pool on his way to Sand Bar Bill’s. My best memory of your Dad is how he would occasionally stop in the pool and give a lesson in respect to some rowdy teenagers in the pool!
    DJ & Michelle Barnett – Noblesville, IN
    Comment by DJ & Michelle Barnett — January 30, 2009 @
  36. Cathy,
    We are so sorry to hear about the passing of your father.
    We have enjoyed coming to the Bon-Aire for many years and will always looked forward to seeing him each spring.
    Our prayers are with you and your family.
    Michael and Dorothy Mauro
    Des Moines, Iowa
    — February 2, 2009 @
  37. i just read the news on computer. i didnt know i got a christmas card this here bill was in it i remember talking to him when i was there last year on spring break with my son, what a great man just the time i spoke with him. i’m so sorry i know how the family fills my father pasted suddenly 1 year ago last month. its hard to lose a loved one but as my father inlaw always said [ THIS 2 SHALL PAST WE HAVE TO MOVE AS HE WOULD WANT US TOO] i wlii be there in march 09 best place on earth to be. r prayers r with the family
    Comment by rob myrick — February 2, 2009 @
  38. Dear Cathy, We have just found out the very sad news of the passing of your father through the website. It’s that time of year where we as a family plan our annual visit to our favourite place….the BonAire. Our families have been coming for over 20 years and now our little ones dream of returning to the BonAire. Your father will be greatly missed….. but we, along with so many others thank him and bless his family for creating, and continuing to build “this wonderful and favourite place”. You must be so proud for the fact that your family has touched so many lives through providing such a beautiful vacation spot where so many memories are made…..at the BonAire.
    Our condolences go out to you and your family. We are so very sorry for your loss. A toast to Bill Curotto is in store when we visit.
    Stacy & Patrick Butler, Don McMillan, Clark & Callie McMillan
    Mississauga, ONT
    Comment by Stacy Butler, Clark McMillan — February 3, 2009 @
  39. Our Deepest Sympathy for the Family & Friends of Mr. C. We just found out about it while we were planning our Summer Vacation for this year. We have been coming there for the last 10 years, he will be sadly missed. Sandbar Bill’s is our favorite hang out. Judy & Mike – Earleville MD
    Comment by Judy & Mike Prime — February 8, 2009 @
  40. I just came to the website to help a friend in finding some information and found the sad news of Bill’s passing. My condolences to your family and the wonderful extended family that the Bon Aire is known for. I’ve visited the Bon Aire almost annually for the past 20+ years to escape the brutal WI winters. It has always been a place of “renewal” for me. If I couldn’t get a room there, I would visit Sandbar Bill’s at least once a day for a Kahlua Colada. I will miss seeing Bill’s smiling face. You should be proud…he built a most welcoming place in a beautiful setting. It’s a setting that has special meaning for me…thanks to you and your Dad. May the memories of your Dad sustain you…
    Holly-Milwaukee, WI
    Comment by Holly Szablewski — February 9, 2009 @
  41. Dear Cathy, Joey, Bill, & Tony,
    We just scanned the website thinking about our weeks over the 4th of July and found out about your dad. We are truly sorry for your loss. Bill was always the life of the party and everyone’s friend. Our family tradition of all our years there seem to be repeated in everyone’s comments. Your father’s and your family’s hard work make the Bon-Aire feel like our home away from home. As Bill would say that he still saw his father’s spirit walking the grounds, we will always see him. Our deepest sympathy to your family, and his memories will live on.
    Ron, Sue, Katie, & Kristen Ralston – NJ
    Comment by Ron Ralston — February 12, 2009 @
  42. Cathy, Joe, and family: There are no words to ease your loss. Along with you we have a whole in our hearts that only great memories can fill. Bill was always a wonderful host even when he was mad about something. I’m sure he busted you guys but it was to mold you to be prepared for the time he would no longer be around. I had many long talks with him and will sadly miss him this year and every time we are there. We shared many adventures, if something went wrong Bill always made it right. He truly built up the Bon-Aire by creating bonding relationships. Things will never be the same without him there, but remembering his happy smile and laugh will never go away. Cathy,+, by seeing how you grew into managing the Bon-Aire over the years I’m sure you will be successful carrying on your dads legacy. Love to you all!
    Comment by Long time annual guest — February 13, 2009 @
  43. Dear Curotto family,
    My wife and I are devastated by the news of Bill’s passing. We have been coming to the Bon-Aire for about 15 years and start planning the next-year’s trip right after we get home from a visit. Being greeted by Bill and the family and staff gave us comfort and familiarity that made our trips feel like we were visiting friends rather than just going to a hotel. Several of our friends and relatives have stayed at the Bon-Aire based on our recommendation and all share our opinion. We will continue to visit, but Bill’s smile and warmth will be greatly missed.
    Tony and Sharon Wlezien, St. Charles, IL
    Comment by Tony Wlezien — February 18, 2009 @
  44. We were saddened to hear about your loss. We came to Bon Aire in the summer of 1967 after we married and have been vacationing there (with our 4 children and grandchildren) ever since. It won’t be the same without seeing Mr. C there. You knew that you were at a special place where the FAMILY cared.
    Hope to be there in the summer.
    Dan and Sherrie from Springfield, OH
    — February 18, 2009 @
  45. Dear Cathy,
    We were so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. We didn’t know until we got on the website to plan a summer vacation. We learned of your place a couple of years ago from some friends. They told us how wonderful of a vacation spot it is. We have been a couple of times for spring break vacation and just love your place. We will miss seeing your dad walk around making sure everything is in order. God Bless you and hope to see you in June!
    Mike and Michelle Bragg and Family
    Comment by Michelle Bragg — February 19, 2009 @
  46. We are saddened to hear of the loss of Mr. Curotto. We have enjoyed visiting the Bon-Aire for 40+ years and will continue to do so as long as possible. We look forward to coming down from Indiana and spending a few weeks around the 4th of July there every year. We have made a lot of friends there over the years. We just looked up this website today in anticipation of a nice and warm vacation when we saw the sad news. Bill will certainly be missed.
    Comment by The Borman Family — February 22, 2009 @
  47. I love the Bonaire. I was introduced to this lovely place by my sister Jodi OBrien and her husband Matthew. I was introduced to Bill and his lovely wife. I find peace there in each time I visit so I know Bill will live on their in his spirit. God Bless.
    Comment by Lori Schietrumpf — February 23, 2009 @
  48. Dear Cathy,
    I’m so sorry to find out about your dad’s passing. Actually, I knew your grandfather better, when we would come to the Bon-Aire when I was a kid in the 50’s. Your dad was still very young and working only Part-time at the resort. I loved your place (it was a different color then, I believe). My dad was stationed at MacDill and we would drive over on the weekends to get away and give Mom a rest. We LOVED it. Well, I’m coming back in April and looking forward to reliving some memories. I was such a little kid, that I’m not sure all of what I remember.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Comment by Patricia Williamson — February 26, 2009 @
  49. Dear Curotto Family:
    We are counting down the days for our vacation to Bon-Aire so I thought I would look on the website because the time is getting closer. This is how I found out about your father. We will be there on March 30th. I always tell my husband that I can’t wait to see Bill and his family. We have been coming for 10 years. My in-laws knew the family and told us we should try Bon-Aire one time. Once we
    decided to try it, we have been coming every year. I am in shock! Oh my gosh! What a wonderful man! Our prayers go out to you and your family. I hope you continue to keep Bon-Aire. My husband and I always say to each other if Bon-Aire would not be there, we would find a new vacation spot. I hope you all keep it going for your dad.
    John & Sally Collyer…Rushville, IN
    Comment by Sally Collyer — February 27, 2009 @
  50. Debbie Sweetman, Craig Smith, Dylan, Taylor, Madison…Bolton, Ontario
    We are sorry to hear of Bills passing, we missed coming to the Bon Aire last year and |I guess we will miss it this year because you are already booked.We love your place there and hope you will keep running it in the same spirit it has been running in for the last 50 years. I stayed at the Bon Aire when I was a kid and my kids also have a special place in their heart. All the best to everybody there including Bills family, staff and guests…we miss everything and everybody very much. Guess we will book earlier next time. God Bless.
    Comment by Debbie Sweetman, Craig Smith, Dylan, Taylor, Madison — March 10, 2009 @
  51. So sorry to here of your loss. I was introduced to the Bon Aire about 10 years ago through a friend Bob Rosenbarger. My children and I have stayed there on many vacations and it is always a joy to stay there. Bill was a visionary when it came to providing a place for families to vacation. The atmosphere he provided was fun and family oriented. We look foward to staying at the Bon Aire in future vacations and hope the staff will maintain Bill’s high reputation in resort vacationing. Again, so sorry for your loss and will keep you in our thoughts.
    — March 15, 2009 @
  52. My condolences go out to all of you. I am 19 and remember coming to the bon aire as far back as the early 90’s. It is still my favorite place to stay because of the family atmosphere. Keep running the place like you guys always have!
    God Bless
    Comment by The Wray and Seldon Families — March 15, 2009 @
  53. We just got the news. Bill will surely be missed!!! Our deepest sympathies to the family. We loved seeing Bill at Sandbar Bill’s enjoying himself!
    We have been going to the Bon-Aire for well over a decade. We look forward to it every year. Ironically, my father passed away last summer three weeks before our Bon-Aire vacation. Being there was the best therapy we could’ve ever had. My dad loved it there. He was with us in spirit as Bill will always be. We even chose St. Pete Beach as the destination to spread my dad’s ashes.
    Looking forward to seeing you all in July again!
    God Bless-
    Giselle, Kevin, Max and Ian Saindon
    Orlando, FL
    Comment by Giselle Saindon — March 16, 2009 @
  54. I have a story on how your father and I got to know each other very well one year.
    One year I sent my family to check in with another group , as you know we have sometimes 20 rooms ( Arias , Lima, Machado, Saindon etc,,) and the parking lot was packed but I did have a room so do to work I got there a day late with the car. Your father was controlling the traffic coming and going and I came in without the parking paper. Well you father was not in a better mood when he saw me park and said you have to have a room to park here but it was windy and we could hear each other so we where not on same page to say least but when we understood what had happen things where ok. I didnt see your Father till later that day at the bar and he came up to me and said ” Look young man I am very sorry for the mix up earlier and I want you to just relax and enjoy your stay plus the first drink is on me” I was totally floored that the owner who is busy all day took that time to say sorry and enjoy, after that we always talked at the bar….A truly great man your father …..He will be missed and our condolences to your family. Sorry for long message ….Lauro Arias and Family.
    Comment by Lauro Arias — March 20, 2009 @
  55. My wife and I discovered the Bonn Aire around 1990 right after they completed Sandbar Bill’s. The staff and people were so nice, we’ve been going there since. Bill was such a great guy, I’ll miss my buddy.
    Sheila and Gary Flore
    Comment by Gary & Sheila Flore — March 22, 2009 @
  56. We will be arriving at the Bon-Aire tomorrow for spring break. It was such a shock to visit the website and learn of Bill’s passing. Our condolences to his entire family. We have been going to the Bon-Aire for many years and we will miss the conversations that we had with Bill throughout the week of our vacation.
    Rick and Kay and family
    Comment by Rick and Kay — April 2, 2009 @
  57. Dear Cathy and family, Sharon and I have just learned
    of the loss of your Dad while visiting your website for reservations. We would like to extend our deepest condolences. As you know, we have been guests at the Bonaire since the early 90’s and continued our family vacations with you not only for your unique location, but because of your Dad and the warm feeling of family. We considered Bill a good friend. Our chats and many laughs will sincerely be missed. He truly loved his family and his life at the Bonaire. He is remembered and loved by his guests. Robert & Sharon Garvin, Dallas, Tx
    Comment by Robert & Sharon Garvin — April 2, 2009 @
  58. 42 years! We came as guests and ended as friends. My family grew up at the BA. “Willy” and I had a lot of fun together over the years. I miss him. Don Salter
    Comment by Don & Lin Salter — April 4, 2009 @
  59. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. My husband introduced me to the Bon-Aire on our honeymoon. He and his family had vacationed there during his childhood, and now we have brought our children every year for our family vacations. It is always so welcoming…family oriented. WE…us and our children have met so many families and always enjoy the comfort and beauty that comes with the Bon-Aire. We will miss all the friendly chats with Bill, and he will always be remembered.
    The Cannon Family
    Comment by Charlie and Lynn Cannon — April 7, 2009 @