Friday, September 03, 2010


Phil Netto passed away Wednesday evening, Sept. 1st after a sudden illness, with his family at his side.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marie, his two girls Kelly and Kristy Netto, his granddaughter Whittaker Miller and his faithful companion Sulley. He is also survived by his brother David Netto of West Hills, Ca., and many nieces, nephews and Godchildren.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents Manuel and Edith Netto and his sister Loralee Kingdom.
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Phil graduated from SCHS in 1957. He attended Hartnell College, Cabrillo College and San Francisco State College. He then was drafted into the Army in 1962 and proudly served until 1964. His proudest memory was standing Honor Guard at President Kennedy's funeral, where he stood at attention for 16 hours straight. After serving his country he returned to Santa Cruz and began working for Lone Star Industries in Davenport, Ca. where he continued to work for 33 years. He met his wife to be Marie Maranta in 1964; four months later they were married at Holy Cross Church.
Phil's involvement in sports spanned over 40 years. He coached basketball at every level, girls and boys, sharing his knowledge of the sport that he loved, with patience, passion and a voice that could be heard throughout any gym in Santa Cruz. His involvement with Special Olympics was also very important to him and his family. After retirement he enjoyed tending to his flower garden, feeding his birds and being tortured by his beloved Giants. He had the gift for storytelling; even if you had heard once, he always made you want to hear it again. Phil also enjoyed riding around the Westside with his granddaughter Whittaker in his Chevy pick up.
Known to so many as "Coach" or "Big Phil", this gentle man, with a big heart, strong hands will be missed by all the people whose lives he touched.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, September 6, 2010 at Holy Cross Church, 126 High St. in Santa Cruz at 11:00 a.m. The Rosary will be held on Sunday, September 5, 2010 beginning at 7:00 p.m. with visitation starting at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Church. A committal service will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at Holy Cross Mausoleum, 2271 7th Ave. in Santa Cruz beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Holy Cross Elementary School, 150 Emmet St. Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060 or Cabrillo College Woman's Basketball Program, 6500 Soquel Dr. Aptos, Ca. 95003.
Arrangements are under the direction of Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel in Santa Cruz. Please visit our web site to sign the online guest registry.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on September 3, 2010

IVANO SAYS: In my book, “La Nostra Costa” (Our Coast), Chapter 27 (Rancio Di Bronco, Casa Di Valentina) page 307, I write:

A second-hand Willy’s Jeep Truck was one of Bronco’s first purchases. Bronco (my father) and John (my brother) would park the truck (usually facing the wrong way) along the curb
next to our new house (729 Seaside St.). Phil Netto, the son of Edith and Manuel Netto, had the dubious privilege of attending Santa Cruz High School with me. Along with his parents, brother David, and sister Laurie (Loralee), Phil lived across the street from our house at 722 Seaside St. Phil often told me that he "cursed that infernal truck", for waking him up so early in the morning (when Bronco and John left for the ranch). Sorry, Phil if we had had more money we could have bought a less noisy truck.

And in a Chapter Endnote on Page 315 I add: "Phil Netto was a star basketball player at Santa Cruz High School, circa 1956 to 1957. Credible reports have it that his father Manuel, who worked for many years at the Portland Cement Plant, had been even a better player than Phil."

Addio Phil. Until we meet again "Across Il Ultimo Ponte"


Anonymous said...

when i was in highschool 1965 my friends and i use to build a wood ladder and lower it down the cliff at low tide and srap it to the pier piling and go out on the pier and fish all day till the tide went back out great times does anybody have any pictures of the old pier together in the 60's?

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Dear Anonymous: I don't have any information or photo of this. I'll post your comment on the "You knew you grew up in Santa Cruz Facebook Page. You might get a response there.