BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — If you’ve spent any time at all on local golf courses or in Bakersfield’s famous Basque restaurants, chances are good you knew him. Phil Icardo, a member of a local farming family with historic ties to the region, died unexpectedly this week.
Icardo loved the Dodgers, loved his golf, loved his family — not in that order. And friends say he was in robust health, too, for a man of 70, which made his sudden passing all the more shocking.
His girlfriend of several years, Connnie Vella, said he was full of life, full of energy, and full of optimism. One of his many friends, Kevin Burton, who is director of public affairs for Klein, Denatale and Goldner, told KGET Icardo was always up for a little collegiality.
Icardo, a nephew of Jimmie Icardo, namesake of CSUB athletic’s Icardo Center, left the farming business decades ago for the financial industry, but he never lost his appreciation for ag.
Vella said she and Icardo had each recently tested positive for COVID-19, but she was recovering and he seemed to be as well when he died of a heart attack associated with a blood clot — thankfully, she said, in his sleep.
Icardo leaves behind a grown daughter, two grown sons and numerous grandchildren.
Services are on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak but, Vella said, a memorial will be held at some point.