Grace Marie Bono

Godfrey | Wednesday, March 7 2012

Grace Marie Bono, 89, died at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Born September 22, 1922 in Palermo, Sicily, she was the daughter of Vincenzo and Barbara Caleca of Partinico, Sicily. Grace lived in Partinico until she immigrated to the United States in 1947, bringing with her a son, Salvatore (Sam), who was five at the time. Sam's father died as a soldier in WWII.  Grace was the ultimate survivor. After her mother passed away when she was seven, she took care of her siblings until her father remarried. Years later, the ravages of war took its toll on her and her homeland, as she lost a very young daughter as well as her husband and father. Like many others before her, Grace bravely left her home and remaining family to start a new life in America. She was an exquisite seamstress and found work in garment factories in St. Louis and Alton. In June 1951 she married Nicholas Bono of Alton, who died in August 2009. With him she had two additional children, Anthony and Rosanne. Among Grace's remarkable talents (besides sewing), she was an avid flower gardener and fabulous cook, preparing Italian meals and cookies for her neighbors, relatives, priests, doctors, and many people she barely knew. A wonderful and fiercely devoted Mother, she made almost all of her and her daughter's clothing (as well as doll clothes). Following in the footsteps of her Sicilian father, who loved his farms and orchards, she tended a large vegetable garden and numerous fruit trees that provided fresh food for her cooking and canning. She worked the soil as long as she possibly could.  Her friends and children's friends adored her. She was vivacious and funny and loved gathering everyone dear to her around the table, crowding everyone in and feeding them. These were her happiest times. A devout Christian, Grace was a former member of St. Matthews Catholic Church in Alton. Surviving her are children Sam and his wife Jo, in Dallas; Rosanne Bono in North Carolina; and Anthony "Tony" Bono, in Godfrey and Dallas. In addition, there are four grandchildren, Debbie Waldrop, Richard Bono, and Nicole and Grace Bono,as well as five great-grandchildren. She has one remaining sister, Santina, and a brother, Antonino, who reside in Partinico, Sicily. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 9, 2012 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10, 2012 at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Alton.  Father Delix Michel will officiate.  Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery in Alton.  Online guestbook and information may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Gent Funeral Home

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