In Memory of




Obituary for Stephen Thomas Valentini

VALENTINI – Stephen “Tuna” Thomas, of Bonita Springs, Florida, died March 11, 2023, after an unexpected stroke following open heart surgery. Steve was born on December 14, 1958, to Mary and Mario Valentini in Cherry Point, North Carolina. Steve grew up in Virginia, where he graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in 1977 and George Mason University in 1983. While at George Mason, he was the Charter President of Theta Chi.

Steve was known for many things, not the least of which were his love of cooking for family and friends and his ability to craft a unique cheesecake for every occasion and person. When he wasn’t making cheesecakes, you could find him catching a sunset with friends, listening to Jimmy Buffett, and enjoying a Jack Daniels and Diet Coke – always in a tropical shirt and flip flops. Steve was well-traveled and never short on stories or recipes to share with family and friends. He was a voracious reader and loved a good debate, particularly if it was focused on politics or history, and enjoyed watching Jeopardy while making dinner. Steve loved bacon as much as he hated Comcast (which he affectionally dubbed “ComCRAP”).

Steve is survived by his daughters, Kate (Alan) McKinney, and Stephanie (Mary Kate) Valentini; his grandson, Finn Thomas McKinney; his former wife, Colleen (Steven) Frank; his nephew Sean (Audrey) Valentini; and many cherished friends around the world, including but not limited to his lifelong friends who became family: Donna (d. Darrell) Dansey, Ken (Julie) Mobayed, Dave (Marilyn) Greck, and Cindy (Rick) Melfa. Steve is preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Lauren Valentini.

The family will be hosting a private celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice ( In his honor, we invite you to raise a glass at sunset – he’d recommend a glass of red wine and Tin Cup Chalice on the soundtrack. Sail on, Tuna.