Beau Charles Bonanno, 39, passed away Friday, November 13, 2020, at home.

Born January 6, 1981, to Frank Bonanno and Nancy (Harvey) Sullivan, he was raised on the south side of Des Moines, Iowa, where his family had been a staple for decades. He was extremely proud of his heritage and family legacy.

Beau was married to Stephanie Tillinghast in 2003. Later that year, they welcomed their first child, Francesca. Over the next five years, two sons, Giovanni and Anthony were added. They divorced in 2020.

For the better part of 15 years, Beau worked as a plumber and steamfitter with the Local 33 Union. Beau was a standout in his profession and more importantly, he knew all of the great one-liners when it came to working a “shitty” job.

Beau loved extreme sports. Whether it was riding his four-wheeler or skiing double black diamond slopes with his boys, he seemed to welcome the adrenaline rush that came along with such feats.

Beau was also known for being the life of the party. He loved to travel with his friends for Pearl Jam concerts. He had a contagious, one-of-a-kind laugh, and never had a problem laughing at himself and his own antics. Beau would be the first to admit that he cracked himself up.

More than anything however, Beau loved his children and being involved in their activities. He was their number 1 fan and often their coach, except in the case of Frankie where despite his “Just Dance” video game greatness, he knew nothing about actual competitive dance. Most summers he found himself coaching baseball, just like his father did before him. He had a special connection with Ankeny Blaze and was supremely proud of their team accomplishments.

We will always remember Beau for his fun-loving ways and his love of the Miami Dolphins. His laugh and smile were just so infectious.

Waiting on the other side for him were his grandparents, Frank and Colleen Bonanno, Chet and Anna Harvey. He is survived by his children, Francesca Josephine (Frankie Jo), Giovanni (Gionni), and Anthony (A-Bomb) Bonanno; his mom, Nancy (John) Sullivan; his dad, Frank (Therese) Bonanno; sister, Lori (Jim) Wyble; brother, Frank Bonanno (Kim Beall); step-sister, Keriann Sullivan; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; as well as his special friend, Claire Heagy. Lastly, he is survived by his dogs, Zella, Ziggy, and Watson.

Beau took his life away from us. It is a mystery how a person can have so many friends and family surrounding them, love life so much, and yet also struggle with that life all in one breath.

Our hearts are shattered. Peace be with you.

A celebration of life service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 23, 2020, at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street in Des Moines. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3-7 p.m., also at the funeral home. For those unable to attend in person, the family invites you to join them virtually through the link below.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Nancy Sullivan to assist with expenses.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Sunday, November 22, 2020
3:00 to 7:00 pm
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Monday, November 23, 2020
10:00 am
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Cremation following services
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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