Alfonso Carl Aronica
June 1, 1929 – October 31, 2011
After a long and fulfilled life and career, Al Aronica passed away peacefully in the loving presence of his wife, Audrey, and daughters, Terry and Paula.
The oldest of six children raised in Carnation, Washington, Al was born to an Italian American immigrant father, Carl Aronica, and mother, Mondina (Palmiero), of Ellensburg, Washington. In his younger years, he was affectionately known as "Fonse" by family and friends.
Al's business success was a direct result of his strong character, relentless work ethic, and incredible commitment to those of us lucky enough to be a part of his life. His love of family and friends in both his private life and in business was extraordinary and precious. He had an honest, straight forward, no BS style that was sprinkled with colorful language, extremely quick wit, and big hearted compassion. He connected with everyone from part time dishwashers to influential businessmen and politicians. Many consider him as a father-figure and mentor in their lives. As one good friend and business associate,
put it, "He got into a lot of our heads." Asked for one word to describe him, grandson Tanner said, "Respect."
Al served in South Korea during the Korean War. After fulfilling service duties he married the love of his life, Audrey (Pacot), on August 29, 1953. They moved to Pullman, Washington where Al attended Washington State University. Al served as Secretary and later as President of the WSU hospitality fraternal group, Sigma Iota. In 1956, he graduated with a degree in Hospitality Business Management. He was a longtime President of the Snohomish Restaurant Association, a two term president of the Washington-Oregon Restaurant Association, and received Hospitality Man of the Year.
Al went into business with good friend and fellow Hospitality alum, Jerry Burtenshaw and his father Denver. Their lifetime business collaborations included restaurants, concessions and camp feeding contracts. Becoming the first concessionaires of the Seattle Kingdome was a real challenge and a highlight in his career.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, sister Nina, and son Ed. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Audrey, daughters Terry (Dave), Paula (Bill), brothers Sal, John, Joe, and sister Mary, grandchildren Keisha, Carlee, Lindsey, Mandy, Tanner, and Angel, and great grandchildren Alex and Gavin, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. We hold him in loving memory.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, November 11, 2011 at St. Mary of the Valley Catholic Church in Monroe, Washington. Lunch will follow at the Expo building on the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. The family invites you to join them in sharing stories about Al at the reception. Memorial donations may be made to the Carnation Senior Center or the Carnation Historical Society.
Arrangements under the direction of Bauer Funeral Chapel, Snohomish, WA.