Anthony “Bart” Pontecorvo died at his home on Orcas Island on Nov. 29 from complications of emphysema. He had turned 88 just three days earlier.
The first born of Italian immigrants in 1923, he grew up in New York City’s lower east side, was a track star in high school – running the mile in 4:22 before the 4 minute mile had been conquered – then served honorably in the 302nd Signal Operations Battalion in the WWII European Theatre and came home to settle in the West.
After one unsuccessful marriage, he met and married Barbara Bredouw (and her two kids) in 1962 in Sausalito, Calif. After moving to Seattle in 1966, then to Fresno in 1971, they eventually settled on Orcas Island in 1996. Barbara, the love of his life, predeceased Bart in 2002.
Bart worked as a longshoreman, in the aerospace industry and, after going back to school while working fulltime to earn his PhD, became “Dr.” Pontecorvo and had a private psychology practice until his death.
He loved gardening and was obsessed with trees; carrying saplings with every move and watching many of his babies turn into grandfathers like himself. He was also an excellent cook and baker; his single greatest regret being that he couldn’t complete the hundreds of recipes he had clipped out of his myriad cooking magazines.
He left behind his brother, Michael Pontecorvo of Spring Hills, Fla.; sister, Marie D’Uva of Las Vegas; son, Michael Steven Pontecorvo of San Francisco; daughter Suzanne Pontecorvo of Bainbridge; two step-children, Pam Bredouw of Vashon and Jim Bredouw of Orcas; daughter-in-law, Anne Bredouw; eight loving grandchildren and his best buddy, fellow widower Richard Hughes, of Orcas.
Bart lived a full life and will be missed by many. If it’s true, as he and Barb believed, that they would meet under an oak tree in some form of the hereafter, then it must be true he’s smiling and complete when we picture them re-united now.
There will be an informal gathering for family and any Orcas friends who would like to attend on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at his home. Please call Jim after Jan. 6 at 376-5760 if you need directions.
Submitted by Bart Pontecorvo’s family.