July 30, 1913 - Feb. 24, 2013
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Catherine Bonato passed away peacefully in her longtime Vallejo home on Feb. 24, just five months short of her 100th birthday. Catherine was born July 30, 1913 in Bremerton, WA., to parents, Charles and Mary Reid. As the child of a naval petty officer, Catherine lived throughout California in her youth - San Diego, Sacramento, Vallejo, and Berkeley. A graduate of Berkeley High School, Catherine loved going to class reunions well into her 90s.
Catherine married Alfred Bonato on June 8, 1946 in El Cerrito. Theirs was a wartime romance that lasted 43 years. Al and Catherine soon settled in Vallejo where together they raised two sons, Jim and Thomas.
Catherine worked for more than 20 years in Mare Island Naval Shipyard's Design Division, coordinating its secretarial pools. She made close friends at work and in her community and remained devoted to her family and her Catholic faith. Catherine was active for many years in activities at St. Basil's Catholic Church. Later, she also took yoga lessons, played golf, hiked throughout the Bay Area, and in her 70s joined a bowling league.
In retirement, Catherine loved travelling and visited many countries. After Al's passing in 1989, Catherine was embraced by friends and continued her journeys in their company. She was an enthusiastic genealogist who proudly spoke of her family's early California roots. Their stories and her own long span of life enriched her view that history comes alive in family.
Family and friends remember Catherine as always kind, a woman whose sweet smile and words inspired the same in return. She remembered birthdays and special days, births and baptisms, in small ways that were ever endearing. Her kindness will be missed.
Catherine is survived by her sons, Jim (Sandy) and Tom; grandchildren, Emily, Dan (Alexandrea), and Julie; sister, Donna Reid Connell of Napa, and many loving nieces and nephews on both the Reid and Bonato sides of the family. Catherine also leaves behind her wonderful caregiver, Emerita Cortez, who lovingly cared for Catherine during the last nine years of her life. Catherine's family also wishes to thank Fr. Borkowsky of St. Basil's and Hospice of the East Bay for their tender care on Catherine's last day.
Visitation will be at Colonial Chapels, 1000 Redwood St., in Vallejo on Friday, March 1, beginning at 1 p.m., with a Vigil and Rosary at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, March 2, at St. Basil's Catholic Church at 9:30 a.m. Burial will follow at All Souls' Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Colonial Chapels.
Published in TimesHeraldOnline on Feb. 28, 2013