Obituary of Benedetto ‘Benny’ ‘Honeybabe’ Giangrasso
Benedetto ‘Benny’ ‘Honeybabe’ Giangrasso, made his last dignified and largely irreverent gesture on January 10th, 2022, signing off on quite a life. For remembrance, and in his words; ‘let me draw you a picture!’ Born November 3, 1936 to Antoinetta and Filippo Giangrasso in Calatafimi, a small town in the province of Trapani, in Sicily. In the fall of 1949, Benedetto arrived in Brooklyn, America with his brother, sister and parents like most immigrants alike; to embark on the ‘American Dream.’ In his adolescence and well into adulthood his natural brawny physique easily progressed him in the elite ranks as a New York City and greater boroughs laborer. A few notable projects included; New York World’s Fair, The World Trade Center- Twin Towers, and Willowbrook, a Staten Island Mental Institution; (For legal reasons will not mention, insert well known journalist name here) if you’re reading this; “I let you in with your cameras……that son of a……….”. Then Benny hung his labored hat with the Steamfitters Union in Brooklyn until retirement, so he thought. So many more captivating stories of the jobs Benny entailed but those jobs were off the record, therefore it stays off the record. On a spontaneous double date, Benny met the love of his life Diana, sitting in the back seat of a …….well….we don’t remember but Benny would have remembered. Diana, was just 17 and was truly love at first sight, marrying on November 16th 1958, subsequently spending his most pinnacle times outside of Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens where he met many of his lifelong friends….and the nickname ‘Benny-Follow-Me’ was given him as he was the one who always said,” let’s go here, let’s go there…follow me”. Together they had 4 children. In 1993, Benny and Diana moved to Roswell, New Mexico following family to settle into retirement once again, until they didn’t. Together the owned and operated a town favorite bagel shop; Lox, Stock and Bagel where students would frequent and unofficially adopted them both as “family”. They were loved! In the interim Benny would assist with side jobs for his daughters and their partners’ restaurant businesses. Rumor has it that he perfected the craft of demolition. ‘Much like a bull in a China shop.’ Years later they eventually settled into Scottsdale, Arizona where his golden days were spent conversing with his great-grandchildren (Benny was blessed to have 6) and mostly in his garage visiting with neighbors. He would talk to anybody who walked by and always had a story. At the end of the day, his proudest invocation was having his family close by and never missing a Sunday dinner together. Who wouldn’t love a man with endless animated stories, plethora of family pictures, jokes, lots of jokes- repetitively and did we say stories? Absolutely, but they were told like you were hearing it for the first time. So as long as we maintained eye contact with him and did not interrupt, everyone got to eat. Benny had the temperament like a wild goat in the hills of Palermo. Through the years, he has ‘made cooked chicken fly’, and other inanimate objects. Even up to the end he still had a zest that his hospice nurse Sarah called “little tank”, waking up at all times of the evening demanding coffee and cigarettes. Ornery to the end!!!! Yes, but this was Benny…. our Benny…. our ‘HoneyBabe’ as he was affectionately called by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His passing was sudden and unexpected and he took his last breath surrounded by his children, wife and grandchildren in peace, though we were disappointed at no last witty quip. He is preceded in death by his parents Filippo and Antonietta Giangrasso, sister, Grace Manuele, and son in-laws, respectively; Salvatore SanFilippo, Jeffrey Wilson, and Andre Buonaiuto. He is survived by his wife, Diana, their daughters; Antoinette SanFilippo, Michele Wilson, Yvonne Buonaiuto, their son; Phil Giangrasso, daughter in-law Rosina Giangrasso, and son Benny ‘Jr’ Giangrasso. His brother Mike and his wife Lucille Giangrasso. Grand Children; Diana SanFilippo and Marielena Cappiello, Morgan Zammitto and Alexis Buonaiuto, Philip ‘Santino’ Giangrasso. Great-grandchildren; Gino and Salvatore Cappiello, Andrew III and Evelyn Zammitto, Milania Buonaiuto and his ‘best little buddy’ Kevin Price III. Benny is sorely missed by his beloved dog Coco. He is one of those people who are unforgettable and will be remembered with fondness by his many friends and beloved family. The family would like to graciously thank Benny’s healthcare team and confidants; Deborah Bredeson, NP, of Sage Palliative, Sarah, RN of Traditions Hospice, along with Kimberly and the caregivers of Amada Home Health for loving “our Honeybabe” and our family like your own. An intimate service will be held on February 20, 2022, at 12:30 PM at Paradise Memorial Gardens, Scottsdale, Arizona.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Benedetto ‘Honeybabe’ Giangrasso, please visit Tribute Store
An intimate service will be held on February 20, 2022, at 12:30 PM at Paradise Memorial Gardens, Scottsdale, Arizona.