Bob Onofri Obituary, Death – I was shocked to learn of the demise of Bob Onofri, who had a reputation for being Wollongong’s most approachable real estate agent. Following is a tribute I gave him in Parliament upon his retirement after a long and successful career in the real estate industry in Wollongong. Farewell, Bob. “Bob Onofri, who recently retired at the age of 90 after 56 years in the real estate industry, was known as Wollongong’s nicest real estate agent.
Bob is a skilled boiler manufacturer who arrived in the United States from Italy in the year 1952. In 1961, following his time spent working on the Snowy Hydro-Electric system and at EPT, Bob entered the real estate market. In 1967, he established his own company in the field. In the years that have passed since then, Bob has developed into a well-known figure along Crown Street. He is known for always looking his best and frequently cleaning the walkway in front of his shop.
Bob’s approach to his customers has always been one of respect and honesty; he goes out of his way to assist those who are struggling and frequently goes above and beyond what is expected of him. He stated that he was “old fashioned” and that he believed in talking to people, thus he preferred to use a landline and have personal discussions rather than mobile phones and computers.
In recent years, when many other tenants in New South Wales and Australia were feeling the sting of the cost of living, Bob stood his ground and refused to increase the rent. Bob frequently had long-term tenants; some of them had been with him for more than 20 years.
A significant number of his tenants were also migrants in their own right. I hope Bob enjoys his retirement to the fullest and that he stays healthy. His presence is something that I, along with the other people who occupy buildings on lower Crown Street, will miss.