Joe Bommarito, RIP

Joseph Stephen Bommarito, 59, died at Hospice Savannah on January 3rd following a long battle with cancer. He leaves his wife, Sally Dayton, and two children'Eric Bommarito of Portage, MI and Julie Bommarito of Milwaukee, WI'as well as two grandchildren, Kaley Roberts and Kimberly Bommarito, a bevy of step- and grandchildren, a number of aunts and uncles in Michigan, a plethora of cousins, many good friends, and three loving cats.

Having had foreknowledge of the second most important event of his life, Joe wrote, with the help of his wife, much of this, his own obituary. He wanted it known to posterity that he had neither passed on to his reward, passed on, or simply passed; he simply up and died.

He and his wife Sally met in February 1995 in a 'Fifty-Something' chat room on AOL'he from Michigan, she from Savannah. After several months of communicating from afar, they met in person in Wyoming, MI in June of 1995. For the next five years, they both rejoiced in and anguished over a long distance romance which culminated in marriage in Michigan on November 28, 2000 . In that same week, Joe also had his 55th birthday, took early retirement, sold his car, and moved to Savannah; Sally showed up for the wedding.

Joe was a man with many interests, but one of his primary passions was good writing which he treated like a good friend, savoring nuances of expression, good plots, and the information imparted. He re-visited these friends many times and remembered details with encyclopedic accuracy. He could indeed expound on virtually any topic with an amazing depth of knowledge.

In Savannah he expected to settle into a life of good-natured curmudgeonhood'until he discovered free time to devote to political critique'and his amiably grumpy persona became somewhat more strident. Even though he had spent 24 years working for government as Finance Director of three Michigan cities'Springfield, Portage, and Wyoming'he now began writing about the evils of government in general, and the bloated federal government in particular, always defending individual freedom. He wrote a series of social and political opinion pieces, many of which can be read on, and a few were published in Connect Savannah or condensed into Letters to the Editor in the Savannah Morning News.

Joe was a man of reason whose passionate convictions were always backed by fact and clear logic delivered with gentleness and wry humor. He relished intelligent debate and used it to clarify his own positions. As his friends at the local Philo Caf' and City Lights Theater will attest, rarely did one come away from a conversation with Joe without discovering new ways of looking at things.

A memorial service celebrating his life with song and word will be held at 7:00 pm on Sunday, January 9th in the Chapel at Fox & Weeks Funeral Home on Hodgson Memorial Drive. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Hospice Savannah, PO Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31416.

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Joseph Bommarito was a freelance writer who lived in Georgia.  He passed away on January 3, 2005.  Comments can be sent to his wife Sally.