Juan Manuel Botta passed away on January 1st, 2020 at the age of 78. He was born in Caseros, Argentina on January 16th, 1941 to the late Anna (Vasquez) and the late Juan A. Botta. He was the beloved husband for 49 years to his "Angel", Donna (Fozzy) Botta of Bridgewater. Devoted father of Antonio L. Botta Sr and his partner Jill Risgin of Wareham, Daniella Yarnall of Bourne, Angelina Jepson and her husband, the late Scott Jepson of Somerset, Leandra Botta-Whiting and her husband David of Mendon and DeAna Botta and her partner Adam Morton of Naples, Maine. He was also the loving, forever father-in-law to April (Norway) Botta of Middleboro. Juan leaves behind his brother's, Hugo and Antonio Botta and a sister, Beba Marino all of Argentina as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was affectionately known as "Papa" to his 6 grandchildren, Alexandrya, Giovanni and Antonio Jr. Botta, Jake Yarnall, Ian Jepson and Ryan Morton. He is preceded in death by his brother Daniel Botta and his brother-in-law, Raul Marino.
As a young boy in Argentina, Juan was introduced to and fell in love with the sport of boxing. He possessed a natural ability and the heart of a champion which garnered him an impressive amateur record. At the age of 21, he traveled to the United States to pursue his dream of a professional boxing career. Throughout the next several years, Juan "Butcher Boy" Botta, along with his well-known, devastating left hook, enjoyed a storied professional career fighting and training with some of the Greats of that boxing era. The final years of his boxing days were spent at Petronelli's Gym in Brockton where he trained for fights and later played an influential role in mentoring many upcoming, new fighters including a young Marvin Hagler who eventually became a Middleweight Champion of the World. The many years and experiences Juan had in the boxing world, gave him some of the best memories and stories and filled him with a tremendous sense of pride.
Juan met Donna, the love of his life, at the Westgate Lanes in Brockton in 1969. They were married on April 17th, 1970. Together they ran a successful Residential and Commercial cleaning business while raising their 5 children in East Bridgewater. In 2000, Juan accepted the job of Custodian at East Bridgewater High School and quickly became a well respected and beloved figure within the school and the community. He was viewed by many as a role model and inspiration, especially to many student athletes. He retired from the school in 2013 and he and Donna continued to operate their cleaning business part time. Another great passion of Juan's was his love for classic cars and hot rods. He built and restored several cars over the years including his prized 1940, fully custom, Ford Coupe which won the Best in Show at the Boston World of Wheels. He lovingly called it "The Silver Bullet". Juan lived a colorful and full life, literally living the American Dream yet it was always the simple things that brought him the greatest of joys; spending time with his children and grandchildren, sitting on his deck enjoying a beer in the sunshine and above all, spending his days with his love, Donna.
A Memorial Service celebrating Juan's life will be held at the Prophett-Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home located at 98 Bedford St. in Bridgewater, MA on Thursday, January 16th at 5pm.
A gathering for family and friends will be held immediately following the service at The Bridgewater Vet's Club, 85 Cottage St. Bridgewater, MA.