Mrs. Carolyn Lee Bono, 79, wife of Gerald Charles Bono and a resident of Exmore, died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at her home with family. A native of Cape Charles, she was the daughter of the late Myrtle Elizabeth Hamilton Shackleford and the late George Samuel Colonna, but was lovingly raised by the late Buddy Shackleford. Carolyn was a generous and loyal friend, a compassionate and competent nurse, a devoted wife to Jerry, a fiercely dedicated mother to her five boys, and grandmother to her 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A registered nurse, Carolyn started her career as an emergency department charge and staff nurse at Shore Memorial Hospital, a job she loved as it allowed her to save lives and alleviate the suffering of others. Later, she became a clinical director of Medshares Nursing Services, an emergency medical coordinator for Northampton County, and director of nursing for Eastern Shore Rural Health. She closed her career as a hospice and palliative care coordinator, often rushing to patients’ sides to provide comfort and relief in the dark hours of the night or the hushed time before dawn. She gently shepherded many a waning soul into the hands of a loving God. Carolyn dedicated her whole life to helping others, not only through her nursing career, but also through her volunteer work at St. Charles Catholic Church and, later, in the Ladies Auxiliary at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
Born an only child, Carolyn spent her life creating family and community, and she often did that through her amazing cooking. She went from “not being able to boil an egg” as a new wife to an accomplished chef who loved to cater baby showers, weddings, and parties. Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Bono house will be lovingly remembered for the camaraderie and the unbelievable spread, enough for weeks of leftovers. Her cream cheese brownies and Italian meatballs are legendary and irreplicable because Carolyn took creative liberties with recipes and rarely measured anything.
Carolyn literally lived in a house by the side of the road and was a friend to man. Because of her unwavering faith in Christ and her lifetime of selfless giving, everyone knows that Carolyn is home, not the family home like her family wanted, but home with Christ. And everyone knows the place is joyful and smelling heavenly like Carolyn’s kitchen.
In addition to her loving husband, she is survived by her five sons, Jack David Bono and his wife, Dixie, of Machipongo, Charles Edward Bono and his wife, Judy, of Williamsburg, Va., Scott Anthony Bono and his wife, Cheryl Lynn, of Melfa, Todd Andrew Bono and his wife, Kathy, of Smithburg, Md., and Michael Douglas Bono and his wife, Kimberly, of Painter; 16 grandchildren, Krystle Dawn Bono, Ryan David Bono, Gabe Bono, Hannah Bono, Brett Bono, Kevin Edelmann, Emma Bono, Maggie Bono, Savannah Bono, Kyle Sosnowski, Nick Bono, Sam Bono, Max Bono, Sophia Bono, Claire Bono, and Joe Bono; and one great-grandchild, Isabella Bono Evans.
A funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at 11 a.m., at St. Charles Catholic Church with Father J. Michael Breslin officiating. Inurnment will follow in the St. Charles Borromeo Memorial Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Charles Catholic Church, 545 Randolph Ave., Cape Charles, VA 23310, or St. Peter’s Catholic Church, P.O. Box 860, Onley, VA 23418.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.doughtyfuneralhome.com