Obituary: Maria (Mary) Bonaldi

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January 29, 1928--August 4, 2010

Maria (Mary) Bonaldi, a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, nonni, and friend passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on Aug. 4, 2010, after a prolonged illness. Maria was born in Detroit, Mich., Jan. 29, 1928, to Maria and Corrado Urli, Italian immigrants who came to America for a better life.

She graduated from Barber High School and was active in the Catholic Young Peoples Club at her church, Our Lady of Sorrows, which is where she met the love of her life, Bonaldo Americo Bonaldi (Burt). They were married in 1950 and shortly after began a family: Pamela, Louis, Maria, and Lydia were all born in Detroit. Bonaldi was an entertainer whose group, The Gaylords became very popular in the 1950s-60s with three gold records and much touring throughout the United States. This is what brought them to Reno in 1959, as The Gaylords began working for Carl Hicks & Newton Crumley at the Holiday Hotel. Maria was pregnant with her fifth child, Paul when the family decided to leave their much loved home in Detroit as well as leave their family and friends to come out to the "Wild West." Being a devoted wife, she moved where her husband had the most work but she could not believe the small town of Reno would be the place she would live for the rest of her life. She was quoted in Rolan Melton's column to say, "With those railroad tracks and only two ladies shops, I want to go to Los Angeles!"

Mary was also actively involved in the St. Mary's Hospital Guild until just a few years of her passing. She worked in all aspects of the Guild and loved working with the volunteers and the Dominican Sisters; she always did what she could to help out without expecting recognition. Mary became a member of the Order Son's of Italy in America, Reno Lodge and enjoyed the fraternity and Italian culture there. One of her favorite things to do was to make her sauce for the past 25 years at the El Dorado's Italian Festival. This was a family affair with the children and grandchildren participating in the recipes and booth decoration. Mary got involved in the Altar Society at St. Thomas and later at St. Theresa, Little Flower where she met Fr. Bowling and many of her good friends that were part of her life till the end. When she moved to Carson City she joined the Alter Society at St. Theresa Avila and loved the people there.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Maria and Corrado Urli, and sisters Vilma Urli and Lillian Gares. She is survived by husband Bonaldo (Burt) Bonaldi; children Pamela Ricci (Hugh), Louis Bonaldi (Tierra), Maria Nelson (Bill), Lydia Aberasturi (Paul), Paul Bonaldi (Jeanette); grandchildren Antonio Ricci (Jenny), Angela Ricci, Nick Bonaldi (Roanna), Andrew Bonaldi, Anthony Bonaldi, Madison Bonaldi, Michaela Bonaldi, Bill Nelson (Sam Olsen), Edward Nelson, Louis Aberasturi, Mitchell Bonaldi (Tiffany), Sheena Bonaldi; great-grandchildren Ella and Amico Ricci; and also many loved nieces, nephews, and cousins, some still in Italy.

We want to thank the many close friends who have sent good wishes and visited throughout this difficult time, especially Lorraine Bonaldi Moore, Fr. Chuck Durante, Fr. Robert Simpson, and St. Mary's Hospice volunteers and nurses.

Mary loved flowers but in lieu of flowers you may want to send a donation in her name to St. Mary's Hospice Foundation, 18653 Wedge Parkway, Reno, NV 89511. Viewing will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12 at Walton's Funeral Home, 875 W. Second St. with the Holy Rosary following at 7 p.m. Catholic Mass to celebrate Mary's life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13 at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, with a wonderful celebration afterward.


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