John J. Brunetti Sr., passed away peacefully at the age of 87

John J. Brunetti Sr., passed away peacefully at the age of 87

John J. Brunetti Sr., passed away peacefully at the age of 87

John J. Brunetti, passed away peacefully at the age of 87


John, “JJB”, “Senior” of Boca Raton, Florida, Little Silver, New Jersey and Rancho Santa Fe, California, formerly of Bal Harbour, Florida passed away peacefully at the age of 87 in his home in Boca Raton, Florida on March 2, 2018.  John was born in the Bronx to Joseph and Anna Brunetti who later moved the family to the State of New Jersey.

John is survived by “the love of his life”, his loving wife, Tracee; his two sons, John J. Brunetti, Jr., and wife Adina, Stephen Patrick Brunetti, and wife Kimberly; sister JoAnn Brunetti and husband Sal DeGuido; cousins John and Joan Inganamort; grandchildren, Courtney McKnight, Stephen Patrick Brunetti Jr., and Dario Xander Brunetti; nieces, Candy Moore, Kim Simmons, Kelly Kelly and families; stepsons, Mario and Giovanni Ghio and step granddaughters Michelle and Jessica Novak.

At the age of 13, John attended his beloved New York Military Academy at which he became lifelong friends with his fellow cadets.  In his later years, he was elected President of the Board of Trustees of NYMA and changed the rules to allow admission of the first female cadets during his reign.   During his next educational years at the University of Miami, while getting his degree in business, he discovered a new passion, the beautiful Hialeah Park and Race Course, and dreamed of owning the “Grand Dame of Racing” one day.   His dream came true in 1977 when he purchased Hialeah Park and kept it alive in spite of the many challenges throughout the years.   Little did he know, 36 years later,  he would add to this treasure and build a successful casino.   John’s motto:   Hialeah Park,  “Now and Forever”.

After serving in the U.S. Army, John joined his father and learned the building business from the bottom up.  Since those early years with Joe, not a day went by that he didn’t honor and quote the teachings of his legendary father from whom he learned so much about the world of business.  A man who wore many hats, he mostly enjoyed that chosen profession.   While holding creative meetings with his architects and engineers, he often proudly announced “I’m A Builder”!   To his credit, his building career continued with the soon to be built new homes and apartments in New Jersey and Florida.

John served as Chairman of the Board of The Brunetti Organization, a real estate and property development company with holdings in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and California until his passing.

In appreciation of his good fortune, and his philanthropic nature, John formed The Brunetti Foundation to contribute to many worthy causes throughout the country which are chosen by members of the Brunetti Family.

John enjoyed spending time with members of his family on the east coast as well as those on the west coast.  He traveled the world, liked reading a good book, seeing the latest movies, fine dining or just having a morning coffee with friends, being with the horses while relaxing at his farm in Ocala or watching any kind of sport.  Of course, his favorite to watch was The Sport of Kings . . . and he did it so well.

A memorial service will be held in the Clubhouse on the third floor at Hialeah Park on Monday, March 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Office of Medical Advancement, 1500 N.W. 12th Avenue, Suite 1020E, Miami, Florida 33136 or Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm, 1841 Paynes Depot Road, Georgetown, Kentucky 40324.

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