A beloved and loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, Batista J. Madonia, Sr. entered the gates of Heaven on Saturday, March 9, 2019. He was 81 years old. Batista is survived by his adoring wife of 62 years, Evelyn M. Prenatt Madonia, and 3 adult children, who absolutely adore their Father with all of their hearts: Stephen Salvatore Madonia, Sr., (wife,Teresa) of Naples, Florida; Rosemary Veronique Madonia of Plant City, Fl; Batista J. Madonia, III (wife, Angela) of Tampa, Fl, 10 Amazing Grandchildren, Stephen Salvatore Madonia, Jr., Lauren Marie Madonia, Batista J. Madonia, IV, Ona Rose Pappas, Fawn Cheree Madonia, Alura Lee Madonia, Gemma Evelyn Madonia, Christian Garaffa Cole, Eleanora Elizabeth Madonia, and Annalia Josephine Madonia, and 5 Great Grand children, Arabella Dawn Madonia, Gianna Rose Madonia, Diana Pappas, Evie Pappas, and JJ McNaughton. He is further survived by his Sisters and Brothers-In-Law, Margaret and Howard Gierling of Oil City, PA and Maureen and Frank Karns of Erie, PA and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Batista J. Madonia, Sr. was born on August 30, 1937 in Buffalo, New York to Batista and Rose Rizzo Madonia of Sicily, who predeceased him along with his daughter Laurie Elizabeth Madonia, his brother Samuel S. Madonia, his brother Gaspar J. Madonia and his sister, Grace Lena Madonia. He was a graduate of Strong Vincent High School where he excelled in football and has remained life long friends with several of his classmates. He attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO and Gannon University in Erie, PA; however, his great life-long passion was growing, packing and shipping tomatoes.
In 1958, Batista and Evelyn founded East Coast Brokers & Packers, Inc. growing, packing and shipping locally grown tomatoes. There was a lot of sacrifice in those beginning years, working 18 hours a day, seven days a week. East Coast became one of the largest tomato suppliers in the United States. He started with 17 acres of land and built his company to growing, packing and shipping 12 thousand acres of tomatoes a year in Florida and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Batista always credited his strong Catholic Faith for his positive work ethic. He and his wife Evelyn worked along with their children, Stephen, Sr., Batista, III, Rosemary and Laurie in the business!
As quoted by one of Batista’s High School Classmates, from Strong Vincent High School in Erie, PA, ”Bappy was a great, gentle, kind, giving soul! He had a heart of gold!” Over the years, that has never changed, but only grown stronger!
Bappy is and will be profoundly missed by his Family, Many Friends, Business Associates, and by All Who Knew Him! Please Pray for Him!
The Madonia Family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in Batista’s memory may be made to: The Saint Benedict Education Foundation, 300 Fraser Purchase Road Latrobe, PA 15650-2690 USA (724)802-2607 Please write on the Memo: GUEST HOUSE
There will be a Memorial Mass for Batista, at a later date, at a time to be announced!
More information may be found at dignitymemorial.com.