Wells Memorial & Event Center

1903 West Reynolds Street, Plant City, FL


Batista J Madonia Sr.

August 30, 1937March 9, 2019

A beloved and loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, Batista J. Madonia, Sr. entered the gates of Heaven on Saturday, March 9, 2019. He was 81 years old. Batista is survived by his adoring wife of 62 years, Evelyn M. Prenatt Madonia, and 3 adult children, who absolutely adore their Father with all of their hearts: Stephen Salvatore Madonia, Sr., (wife,Teresa) of Naples, Florida; Rosemary Veronique Madonia of Plant City, Fl; Batista J. Madonia, III (wife, Angela) of Tampa, Fl, 10 Amazing Grandchildren, Stephen Salvatore Madonia, Jr., Lauren Marie Madonia, Batista J. Madonia, IV, Ona Rose Pappas, Fawn Cheree Madonia, Alura Lee Madonia, Gemma Evelyn Madonia, Christian Garaffa Cole, Eleanora Elizabeth Madonia, and Annalia Josephine Madonia, and 5 Great Grand children, Arabella Dawn Madonia, Gianna Rose Madonia, Diana Pappas, Evie Pappas, and JJ McNaughton. He is further survived by his Sisters and Brothers-In-Law, Margaret and Howard Gierling of Oil City, PA and Maureen and Frank Karns of Erie, PA and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Batista J. Madonia, Sr. was born on August 30, 1937 in Buffalo, New York to Batista and Rose Rizzo Madonia of Sicily, who predeceased him along with his daughter Laurie Elizabeth Madonia, his brother Samuel S. Madonia, his brother Gaspar J. Madonia and his sister, Grace Lena Madonia. He was a graduate of Strong Vincent High School where he excelled in football and has remained life long friends with several of his classmates. He attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO and Gannon University in Erie, PA; however, his great life-long passion was growing, packing and shipping tomatoes.

In 1958, Batista and Evelyn founded East Coast Brokers & Packers, Inc. growing, packing and shipping locally grown tomatoes. There was a lot of sacrifice in those beginning years, working 18 hours a day, seven days a week. East Coast became one of the largest tomato suppliers in the United States. He started with 17 acres of land and built his company to growing, packing and shipping 12 thousand acres of tomatoes a year in Florida and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Batista always credited his strong Catholic Faith for his positive work ethic. He and his wife Evelyn worked along with their children, Stephen, Sr., Batista,III, Rosemary and Laurie in the business!

As quoted by one of Batista’s High School Classmates, from Strong Vincent High School in Erie, PA, ”Bappy was a great, gentle, kind, giving soul! He had a heart of gold!" Over the years, that has never changed, but only grown stronger!

Bappy is and will be profoundly missed by his Family, Many Friends, Business Associates, and by All Who Knew Him! Please Pray for Him!

The Madonia Family asks that In lieu of flowers, Donations in Batista’s Memory May be made to: The Saint Benedict Education Foundation 300 Fraser Purchase Road Latrobe, PA 15650-2690 USA (724)802-2607 Please write on the Memo: GUEST HOUSE

There will be a Memorial Mass for Batista, at a later date, at a time to be announced!


Batista J Madonia Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Marty Mantia

April 3, 2019

I've learned a lot from you and grew my business with you. You will be missed my friend. Prayers to you and your family.

Mike Miles

March 28, 2019

I’m sorry for your loss of Mr. Mandonia, my heart & prayers are with your family. I really enjoyed the time we spent together during the process of you buying my family’s farm. I hope you can continue to heal an my prayers are with you, sincerely, Michael Miles

Louis Agostini

March 24, 2019

To Evelyn and all of Bappy's family: My deepest sympathy to you all, I grew up with Bappy on W. 18 St. in Erie. He was always fun to be around. He will be missed. I am sorry I cannot be with you at this time.

Louie Agostini
Pompano Beach, FL

Mario Delgado

March 22, 2019

It seems like it was yesterday when i work For junior and Mr Madonia.
I have great memories, i Basicly grew up with the Madonia family i was only 16 when i asked my dad if he could get me a job at the packing house, coming from a family of migrants i didn't want to keep going to school, i just wanted to help out, at first my mom said no that i had to finish school. I didn't listen i just wanted to work. About two years later i was running the packing house under junior's supervision. While working there i met the mother to my 3 kids. At the age of 21 i purchased my first house with the help of the Madonias. Rosemary walways able and available to help i worked for them 8 years until i opened my own business. I still remember those 18 hr long days. Mr Madonia was such a hard working man always in control, he wanted things done right and he's way. I remember i would think to my self, why doesn't he go home it was 12-1pm. Some times later than that but he was still there, he wanted to make sure everything was running perfect.
I learned so much from the whole family, they were always humble even though we were shipping tomatoes, cucumbers even strawberries to the entire country.
I could stay here writing memories all day long but i don't think i would be able to finish. I have the greatest memories of my life while working with the Madonia family. I am so grateful and thankful that i got to work for them. Mrs Madonia always a sweetheart, always so kind, Rosemary, junior, Laurie and Stephen. Everyone are great people R.I.P. Mr madonia.
And my most sincere and deepest condolences to the family.

Dan Hogan

March 21, 2019

Our deepest condolences to Evelyn and the entire Madonia family.
Batista, Sr. was a very kind and gentle soul.
We were blessed to be able to spend nine years dining and dancing at The Red Rose Inn and share many wonderful memories.
Dan Hogan and Aileen Perlman

Ralph Allocco

March 21, 2019

Our deepest condolences for this wonderful family. I'll always remember the great times we had performing at the Red Rose with Rat Pack Too and Second Wind. Your kindness & generosity to us was incomparable. So many great memories. Rest in Peace Sr., and thanks for everything.

Saul Delgado Jr.

March 20, 2019

My fondest memories I have, is growing up in the packing house while my parents worked for Batista. I remember being 15 years old and was allowed to drive the forklift and help out in the packing house. In the begining he would not let me on the forklift, after a while he would call over the intercoms Saul Jr, come to the office to give me a slip of what I was going to load the truck with. I will forever remember the memories we have with him and his family.

Graciela Delgado

March 20, 2019

We hope that our Lord brings you and your family the much needed comfort and peace during this sad time. Our condolences to you and your family. He was a men of a few words with a heart of gold. I still remember the times while working at the packing house.

Billye Custis

March 20, 2019

Your loss saddens me greatly. You all are in my prayers. Miss seeing you and think of you all often. I have lovely memories of our times together.
Love and hugs, Billye D., John and Rosebud

Carmen Ramirez Shuckerow

March 20, 2019

Deepest Condolences from Caryand Shane Shuckerow as well and Carlos Ramirez and family.