Obituary Eugene C. Bonacci

Eugene C. Bonacci, 81, was called home to our Lord in the early morning of Friday, June 11, 2021 in the loving arms of his wife of 55 years, Jill.

He was born at home in Trenton, NJ, on December 31, 1939, to Marius and Philomena Bonacci.  He graduated from Pennington High School in 1957, Bordentown Military Institute in 1958 and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) – Kings Point, NY in 1963.

At Kings Point, he learned their motto “Acta non Verba” – actions, not words, and this became a central theme in his life.  A forty-year volunteer Admissions Field Representative for the USMMA he was always on the lookout for the next generation of cadet/midshipman – hardworking and motivated.  Stopping one day at the Auman Peach Farm on Route 73, he was impressed with one of the workers.  Gene struck up a conversation that resulted in successful admission to Kings Point and the cadet becoming the Captain of the Kings Pointer training ship and ranking number two in his graduating class.

A principled man – Gene’s value system defined who he was, how he acted, how he carried himself day to day, and what he expected from others – honesty, integrity, accountability, and excellence were at the top of the list.  While he challenged many people over the years with his precise line of questions, he always cared about others and would help anyone he could.

For much of his life, Gene worked in the transportation/logistics field, serving as Vice President of Operations at a family-owned business, AAA Trucking Corporation in Trenton, NJ and later as Chief Operating Officer at Matlack Systems Inc., Wilmington, DE.  Gene and Jill retired to Southern Pines, NC in 2002.

Gene was predeceased by his parents Marius and Philomena Bonacci, and his daughter Michelle Bonacci Marks.  He is survived in life by his wife and very best friend, Jill Bonacci of Southern Pines, NC, his sons, Christopher and his wife Kristin of McLean, VA, Robert and his wife Kerrie of Rochester, MN, his grandchildren Stephen, Kaitlin and Ellen, and his sisters, Lorraine Coryell and her husband Robert of Ewing, NJ, Marlene Lynch and her husband Michael of Titusville, NJ, and Paula McCloud of Annapolis, MD, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, Gene’s family suggests memorial contributions in his memory to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Boles Funeral Home, 425 W. Pennsylvania Ave, Southern Pines, on Tuesday, June 15th starting at 2:00 p.m.

Online condolences may be made at

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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