The Anthony N. Bua
Patient Advocacy Program
Friends and Family Share Their Memories
Remembering you on Father's Day 2015. Dad - I miss you and want you to know you are more my hero and guiding light as time marches on. I love you.
—Your son, Bennie
Bua, Anthony N. "Tony" died Jan. 19, 2014, at his home in Chandler, AZ with his loving family by his side. Tony and his devoted wife, Cathy, had fought a long and valiant battle against cancer.
Born October 21, 1935, in Los Angeles CA, to Ben and Agnes Bua, he grew up in LA and was senior class president and valedictorian at Lincoln High School. In 1955, he married his sweetheart, Cathy Vaiana. Their engagement was announced at a studio party by Ginger Rogers, who sang "My Funny Valentine" to them.
Tony entered the U.S. Air Force in 1957 in Tucson, and completed his flight training at Williams Field in Chandler in 1962. After leaving the Air Force, he became a pilot with TWA, where he remained for 27 years.
In the mid-80s, he was a transcontinental captain, flying to Paris and London, Cathy often joining him. Tony was also the silent partner in Cathy's Rum Cake Catering for 36 years.
A longtime collector of vintage cars, Tony's Rolls Royce classic vehicles became a trademark of Cathy's thriving business. Many bridal couples and their wedding cakes were transported to the church or reception by Tony in one of his opulent Rolls Royce classics.
After retiring from TWA, Tony sold Fords for Tex Earnhardt and later joined Arizona Train Depot. He also began spending more time hunting, raising purebred Epagneul Breton hunting dogs, and being with his family and Air Force and TWA buddies. He also enjoyed being at their getaway in Pinetop.
His survivors include his wife, Cathy Bua, son, Bennie (Cindy) Bua, granddaughters Bella Bua and Diana Menapace, brothers Ben (Sara) Bua and Bill (Connie) Bua, sister-in-law Joanne Menapace, nephew Michael (Becky) Menapace, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends far and wide.
Tony was a loving, loyal husband, brother, father, uncle, and friend. He excelled at everything he did. A private memorial was held to celebrate his extraordinary life.
Donations may be made to ICAN (International Cancer Advocacy Network), the Anthony N. Bua Patient Advocacy Program, 27 West Morten Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85021-7246, and expressions of sympathy may be sent to Cathy c/o J. Menapace, PO Box 8160, Chandler AZ 85246.
"Dad – A Son's First Hero"
Dad, you were my first hero. And, as time passed on, you were my first and only. You stood tall in all manners of life, and when you faced adversity, you never let down your guard and never compromised your scruples.
And why wouldn't I think of you as a hero. The first thing I can remember about you was you coming home in your macho combat green or orange flight suit, holding your helmet, and marching into the house. You were going to fly high into the heavens and fight off the enemy. Hero stuff. Bold, aggressive, and courageous. And, when you told me at the age of three to jump off the high dive at the base, I was scared out of my mind, but I did it – I couldn't let my hero down. I felt like a champion in your eyes, and knew I had passed your test.
Not only does a hero's persona make them who they are, but heros are also intelligent. They always have the answers to allay the hopeless fears. You were valedictorian of your high school class. You told me the story of, when you had to retake your entrance exam for the Air Force because they accused you of cheating. The first time you took it, you got a 98%. Nobody had ever scored that high. The second time you took it, you scored a 99% with a proctor glaring over your shoulder. You gave a hero's examination – you scored higher. At the age of 13, your parents were divorced; you went to work to support your mother Agnes, two brothers and a sister. You learned about animals working at the zoo, you helped make furniture and worked with a clock maker to give you a well rounded education at such a young age. Not only that, you showed a high sense of responsibility and character to take care of your family.
And, yes out in the field – you were the "Bwana" Master outdoorsman and hunter. You were also called the Chief and the "Big Kahuna" because you had all the answers – which sometimes means when we were camped out, life or death. We escaped harm because you knew what do during a flash flood quail hunting. And, you had the biggest smile on your face, as torrents of water rushed by us. You taught us how to survive in sub-zero cold and still bag our game. Dad, you were and still are a born Bwana. The memories and experiences that you gave us live on. The one amazing thing about our outdoor life was how you prodded a man to tell the truth.
A couple of Jack Daniels and Cokes, guys sitting around a roaring campfire screaming, "The Truth – The Truth". And, afterword, everyone felt better and relieved. You showed me through hunting and fishing how to survive and be self-sufficient.
Like all heroes, you were passionate – I thought part of baseball was kicking the umpire and getting hauled off by your teammates – when you played in the softball league in the Air Force. I will never forget your voice while playing sports – you and Bob Martinez. How you were always there for my high school football games, because you scheduled it at TWA. No, matter how packed the stadium was, I could hear you. And, you continued it with Bella's soccer games. New to soccer, after half a season, you had picked up all the nuances and were screaming at the coach because of his lack of tactics. You could have coached in the World Cup. And that, was you. I will miss watching baseball and football and you knowing more than the Hall of Fame analysts!
A hero will pick a fight for justice – no matter what the circumstances are. If you were a slob hunter and got between his guys, he would unload his gun and walk over and chastise unrelentingly as to how unfair and irresponsible this stranger with a loaded shotgun was acting. A dangerous situation that no one else wanted to enter, but for "Bwana," it was just another day of dove hunting. There were times, though Dad, we had to back you up, thumb on the safety.
I remember the time at the Cardinals game; you picked a fight with the guys sitting in front of us. He kept standing up. Sure, Marty, Danny, and I bitched about, you took matters in your own hands and told the guy to quit getting up. The fan told him, he paid good money and can do whatever he wanted. Dad, you told him that wasn't true and the next time he stood up, there was going to be an ass-kicking. and after 5 minutes of yelling at each other, we were telling dad to lay off – and dad said, "But Jesus Christ, he gets up for 1st and ten, 2nd and 3, 3rd and 1 – it's not fair to you boys trying to watch the game. The fan turns around and says, "I'm sorry – but I'm such a fan. Dad says, "me too." And they both stand up and hugged each other. Marty rolled his eyes and told them they should get a room.
A hero has humility, you were revered because, being so intelligent, you loved those close to you, and were approachable. Even when you were the butt of a good joke, you laughed the loudest and made fun of yourself. Like the time we were burning tumbleweeds on the empty lot, and the ten match boxes blew up in your pants. You were jumping across the lot, like a drunken ballerina, your front pockets blown out, pants smoldering like a 3 alarm fire. Then you stopped, dropped your trousers, next to the busy avenue and had a good laugh. Or like the time Marty told the young Indian gal on the reservation right after breakfast to give the check to his father, the elderly looking gentleman. The waitress smiles at Dad, "That's nice, you're taking your sons on an outing." All Dad could do was smile, while Marty and I doubled over, laughing hysterically. From then on, Dad called Marty, "Junior".
Dad, you taught me about family. Being such a hero--macho, brave, and bold--you were kind to your family. You never made a big deal about which of the family was who, it was "these are your cousins – love them, this is your aunt, love her." To you, Dad, both sides of the family were blood – if you were a Cimino or a Viana – you were in. You loved mom and gave us kids everything you could. You gave me your brothers, my Uncles and their families, whom I adore. Certainly, a culture worth passing on. You weren't afraid to cry when holding one of your baby granddaughters or when I got rescued after being lost n the Grand Canyon overnight and almost falling in twice. But, I would make it. I wouldn't let my hero down. Hell, if I could jump off a high dive at 3, this was no big deal.
As with heroes and superheroes – they all have to be shared. And, I had to share you. You gave me a brotherhood, as you called certain selected young men and men "son." This was a great honor for me to see you so venerated. You were a hero and "the Godfather."
Dad, we covered it all. You took me up into the clouds, we climbed jagged mountain peaks and sailed the ocean's briny froth. I can now tell the secret of being a hero, when you start out being 10 feet tall and you end up 20 feet high. You are the true measure of a man and my hero. You will be sorely missed, but never, ever, forgotten.
Your Son, Bennie
To post your own memory about Anthony here, please email us at ICANCancerPrograms@askican.org and we will post it within 24 hours. Please include your phone number.
The The Anthony N. Bua Patient Advocacy Program
is a vital part of ICAN's Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Program Advocacy Services.
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