Charles Joseph Volonte, a beloved former Amador Valley High School teacher and swim coach, died yesterday at his home with his son Richard by his side. He was 79.
Mr. Volonte was born June 11, 1929 in his grandmother's home in Susanville, Calif. He was raised in Westwood, Calif. and married his high school sweetheart, Donalee Read Volonte who died Oct. 5, 2001.
They met as a result of a dare from Donalee's girlfriends, being seniors in high school, to "tag" the most handsome freshman boy for the Sadie Hawkins dance. They were married Nov. 28, 1947.
Mr. Volonte attended college in San Jose, then joined the U.S. Navy and was transferred to Bainbridge, Md. while he served. Their son was born there and they returned to Northern California, where he took his first teaching and coaching position at Anderson High School. He was recruited shortly after by the superintendent of schools in Pleasanton to teach at Amador Valley High School. The Volontes moved to Pleasanton in 1958, where he taught and coached until retiring in 1992. His various positions in Pleasanton, in addition to teaching and coaching, included driver's training, teaching, bookkeeping and typing at Amador night school, running the Amador summer swim programs, running the cabana swim club in the newly built Pleasanton Valley homes, and after retirement, co-writing the curriculum for a newly-taken-over program by the State of California's driver's training course. The Amador pool is named after Volonte, who fondly went by "Chuck."
He is survived by his son, Richard Joseph Volonte and his wife, Joyce; Richard's son, Lucas Charles and his wife, Shelby; and his two great-grandchildren, Jayci and Emma; Richard's daughter, Kari Lea Ann and her husband, Tony Housewirght, all from the Modesto area. He is also survived by his daughter, Ann Volonte Gabbert and her husband, Owen, who live in Chico, Calif. and their daughters, Ariel Natalia and Allegra Volonte.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at Valley Community Church, 4455 Del Valle Pkwy. in Pleasanton. A graveside service will be held on Oct. 18 in Anderson, Calif.