William "Jason" Bonito grew up on Bonito Avenue in East Falmouth, surrounded by his loving parents, three sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family.
It was a happy Cape Cod family, wrote his sister, Nanci, a former Falmouth police officer and a registered nurse at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod.
"We played flashlight tag, kick the can, and rode our bikes down by the cranberry bogs," Nanci wrote. "We swam with our friends in my grandmother's pool, had clambakes with family, and were surrounded by love.
"Addiction does not care about ANY of that," she wrote. "It will strike unexpectedly like a snake waiting in the grass."
Jason excelled at sports of any kind, and the sisters were dragged to watch his hockey and Little League games.
Jason was known for his striking blue eyes and beautiful smile, according to his obituary. But his brawny physique made him appear tougher than he was.
Academically, Jason struggled. He probably had an undiagnosed learning disability and was placed on special classes.
"He carried a lot of pain with him and masked his true feelings," Nanci wrote. "He was hurting inside and did not know how to express that pain."
But no matter what, Jason always remembered birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. "He was known for sending cards (handwritten) to family even through his darkest days," Nanci wrote.
The family suffered the ups and downs of Jason's heroin addiction, including relapses and incarceration. He once had two years of sobriety.
But on Feb. 6, 2012, Jason, 39, lost the fight. His body was found in Hyannis outside the Powder Horn Gun Shop lying peacefully against the building.
He had just been released from jail six days earlier, Nanci wrote.
"For several years our family hid behind closed doors in an effort to protect our 'reputation' within the community," Nanci wrote. "Unfortunately, all this did was propel Jason's disease forward until he was no longer able to fight."