Genevieve Sandona

GENEVIEVE K. SANDONA, 83 ROCKFORD - Genevieve K. Sandona, 83, lifelong Rockford resident, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at home at Morning Star Village after a brief battle with mantle cell lymphoma. She was born May 31, 1928, in Rockford, daughter of Frank and Kazimera (Chernauskas) Petronis. Genevieve worked at home giving piano lessons for many years. When her children were grown, she also worked for United Bank and for the Rockford Public School System as a teacher's aide. She was proud of her Lithuanian heritage, which was enhanced by her association with the Ethnic Heritage Museum, where she served on the Board. She was also a member of the Korean War Veterans Auxiliary Chapter 272. Her husband, Ben V. Sandona, died Feb. 14, 1994, and was a Korean War veteran. Genevieve was an active member of Beth Eden United Methodist Church. She was a graduate of West High School Class of 1946. Attended Rockford College from 1946 to 1948, transferring to Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where she was a graduate of the Class of 1952 with a major in piano and a minor in voice. During her senior year, she became a pen-pal with a soldier serving in Korea. This blossomed into a serious romance; Ben and Genevieve were married on Nov. 29, 1952. Genevieve was a gifted writer and member of the Writers' Guild. She took pride in her poetry and Letters to the Editor. Many of her submissions were published in the Rockford Register Star, an excellent forum for citizens, ordinary and extraordinary. She is survived by two daughters, Carol (Joe Akzam) Sandona of Petaluma, Calif., and Janet (V. Rory) Jones of Burlingame, Calif.; one grandson, Miles Jones, all of Burlingame, Calif. Also predeceased by parents; and two brothers, Edward and Robert Petronis. Funeral services at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Beth Eden United Methodist Church, with visitation from 8:30 a.m. to service time. The Rev. Doug Bowden will officiate. Burial in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation also from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Riverside Chapel, 3910 N. Rockton Ave. Many thanks to the staffs of Rockford Memorial Hospital oncology unit, St. Anne Provena Center, Morning Star Village and Northern Illinois Hospice for their compassionate and loving care. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. To express condolences, visit

Published in Rockford Register Star from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2011