Brave, caring, loving
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 16:09
Matteo Barbarino laughs as he thinks about the time his buddy woke him up in the middle of the night, claiming there had been a fight that night. His buddy, sophomore economics major Luca Bonasera, had failed to tell him it was him in a fight, and that he hadn’t come out on top.
Barbarino, a physics graduate student, said Luca’s character was one of bravery.
Luca was a sophomore economics major. He died in a car accident June 2.
Maggie Bonasera, Luca’s mother, said he was very involved with his family.
“He was always very attentive, protective of his younger brothers,” she said.
Luca always wanted to make sure his brothers looked cool and felt comfortable at school.
“I would give them a shirt or fix their hair in a kind of nerdy way and he would complain and say, ‘Mama, what are you doing?” Maggie said.
Maggie said her son liked to clown around and play with his younger siblings, but always knew where to draw the line.
“He had a super relationship with his little brothers,” Barbarino said. “The way he used to play with his brothers was super cool. They loved him.”
Luca was also very protective of his sisters.
“He was very careful about his sister,” Barbarino said. “As all Sicilians are Italians, we take care of our family.”
Maggie said Luca was very sensitive to people’s needs.
“He was always ready to help out the underdog,” Maggie said. “When he was little, my husband used to say he was a lawyer, because he would defend somebody getting in trouble even if he wasn’t involved.”
Barbarino, who is also from Sicily, said he was very similar to Luca, which created a close relationship between the two.
“When you’re far away from home and there’s someone from your place, you just need a few days to get really close,” Barbarino said. “We were very similar in a lot of things: behaviors, personality, he was as friendly as I am.”
Luca originally began his college career at Texas A&M-Galveston but transferred to College Station to study finance. Maggie said he really put himself into what he was studying.
“He’d gotten interested in current events, politics and economics, and different markets around the world,” Maggie said. “And it wasn’t just because he was studying it, it was something he was interested in.”
Maggie also said Bonasera was very proud of his heritage, regardless of where he was living.
“When he was little and lived in Italy he was very proud of his American heritage. And he loved McDonalds and the icons of the United States,” Maggie said. “When he lived here he turned around and was very proud of his Sicilian heritage.”
Barbarino said he is very close with the Bonasera family. Aldo Bonasera, Luca’s father, is Barbarino’s adviser. Aldo and Barbarino still share a love for Bonasera because of who he was.
“He was fair with people and he was good to his brothers and sisters. We share a lot of love for this guy,” Barbarino said, wiping away a tear. “He was my little brother. I was always dreaming about having a little brother.”