“He was my best friend and I will miss him so,” said his daughter Chris Bonatti. “I am lucky to have had him for as long as I did.” She said he would have been 88.
“The Bonattis have been members of this community for a long time,” said Ouray’s Dee Hilton. “Rudy was always so pleasant and cheerful with everybody; we didn’t get to see much of him this last year, but when you went in The Outlaw he was often sitting there having dinner.”
Other people recalled the frequent sight of Bonatti sitting outside on Main Street, talking with his friend Cass Stanislawski, former owner of the Apteka Drugstore.
Rudy Bonatti was the son of Joe Bonatti, an Italian immigrant who came to Ouray around the turn of the century and opened a saloon in the bustling mining town of Red Mountain, south of Ouray. In the 1930s, Joe Bonatti purchased the Outlaw Building and the Bonatti Building in Ouray.
Rudy Bonatti attended Fort Collins Agricultural College. In the 1940s, Bonatti, along with his father and brother, ran a café called “The Bonattis” in the Outlaw building. In addition to running the family restaurant, he spent time as a mining engineer and mail superintendent.
Bonatti leaves behind his wife Addie, his daughter Christina and his granddaughter Thalia.