David BONA

February 9, 1945October 9, 2020
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David BONA, age 75, of Palm Harbor, Florida passed away on Friday, October 9, 2020 - the final result of a hemorrhagic stroke suffered 10 years ago. David was born February 9, 1945 in Yonkers, New York to Theodore and Della Bona. David lived a life full of love and many families. At the tender age of 13, David entered the Capuchin fraternity and spent 12 years in the Seminary education system in Garrison, NY - including high school, college and graduate school. David was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1977 at The Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart in Yonkers, NY. He spent 25 years as a Capuchin and enjoyed the brotherhood and friendship of many fellow priests during that time. He spent time as the Chaplain at Vassar College and was also Pastor of St. Pius X church in Middletown, CT. He completed his time as a priest while in California and embarked on the next chapter of his life -- living and teaching in Santa Barbara. David's second chapter of life included his time as the Department Chair in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. David had a deep knowledge and passion for Jungian psychology which was tragically lost as a result of the stroke. David was in a loving and committed relationship with Cecile Lyons, who shared his passion of psychology and was his wonderful caregiver for 7 years after the stroke. Cecile and the family made the difficult decision to relocate David to Palm Harbor, Florida where four generations of his extended family are now rooted. Coral Oaks, the senior residence where his mother Della also lived, provided wonderful care, along with his twin sister Diane, during the three years since he left Santa Barbara. In spite of his struggles with language and communication, David remained a bright light and managed to connect with fellow residents and staff for meals and friendship throughout his time there. The family also enjoyed having him join them at holiday and family gatherings. Admired and deeply loved, David (Uncle Dave) was that guy you always wanted to be around. Although the stroke took away a part of him from us, we fiercely loved him to the end. It was very difficult to witness his struggle, having stood in his light. He was a brilliant and wonderful man - huge in his love of others. He will be missed tremendously. David is survived by his partner of many years Cecile Lyons in Santa Barbara, CA and family in Florida and New Jersey including his twin sister Diane Pagnott (Ed), several nieces and nephews -- Michelle Curtis, David Pagnott (Bryce), Nancy Planeta (Rafael) and Peter Pagnott (Nikki), Anthony and Teddy Bona and many great-nieces and nephews. David was predeceased by his brother, Anthony Bona and his parents. A funeral Mass for David will be held Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 11:00 am -12:00 pm at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, 2405 Phillippe Parkway, Safety Harbor, Florida 34695-2067. Interment will occur at Sylvan Abbey immediately following the funeral Mass. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the family.


  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, October 27, 2020


David BONA

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Frank Gaffney

October 28, 2020

Even though Dave might not have remembered our names after the stroke and would usually call us “Guy”. That never mattered, we felt special being with him nonetheless.

Having read the tributes to David , it’s evident that he was admired and loved by many. He truly had a remarkable life, his people skills, intellect and sense of humor made him successful at two unique life callings. His nephew described several instances where David was using his sense of humor and also teaching him a lesson at the same time.

God will no doubt proclaim that David was a special human being, we know he was.

Our families were also uniquely touched by David’s involvement in special ways at weddings and christenings over many years.
Proud to have known him since our childhood days in Yonkers.

The Gaffneys loved him and will always remember the smile and kindness that warmed our lives and brought so much joy to all of us who knew Dave.
Mary, Frank, Joe Gaffney

Fr. William (Bill) Shannon

October 28, 2020

I would like to offer my condolences to all of Dave's family and friends. Dave and I were classmates in the Capuchin seminary system for 9 years starting with novitiate training in 1963 and ending in 1972. We were ordained at the beginning of our senior year of theology on September 11, 1971 (note I believe that date in his obituary is incorrect). On the day we were ordained two large office buildings in New York City named the World Trade Center were looking for tenants. I remember Dave as being very bright, outgoing and funny. It was was very heart breaking news when I read that he was so very sick for the last 10 years of his life. I'm presently a retired diocesan priest in the Diocese of Honolulu.

Melinda Moreschi

October 25, 2020

Dear Dee-dee & family,

Our hearts are with you at this time of great loss.

David meant so much to all of us. He was an extraordinary person with a brilliant mind, a magnanimous heart & a wise soul.

We will always remember his enveloping presence and his keen sense of humor.

Although deeply saddened by David's passing, we are so lucky to have known him. So honored to have stood in his light. His grace has made us all better human beings.

David's brilliant light will be forever missed but never forgotten. He is now free from worldly constraints to soar beyond the stars.

Rest peacefully, dear David, we love you always and forever!

...and we hope to see you again on the other side.

Deepest condolences,
your cousins
The Moreschi family

Christy Lewis

October 25, 2020

Dear Cecile, I am so sorry for your loss. From the minute I met David, I knew he had a "concentrated dosage" of divine presence. Like his companion St. Francis, he had a instinctual ability to develop deep, tender connections with all beings including his beloved Solomon. I met David his first quarter at Pacifica. We were colleagues, dear friends and shared many meals and laughs together. David was smart, strikingly intuitive and so gifted working with dreams. I would often call upon him to receive his deep insights and perspective (always with a sense of humor and tenderness). So many memories of sharing religious and spiritual ideas with him and he taught me so much. However, one of the strongest and prevailing memories I have of him was during the time he met his loving companion Cecile. I had never seen him so filled with joy and love. She was his soul-mate he would say. David through the years spoke often and lovingly of his family, twin Diane, and Mother --he loved them all. I miss him and always will ...but knowing him was truly a gift. Christy Lewis

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

Thanks for sending, Cecile, so I can share
in this collective sense of loss.
I was very close to David for a while.
During that time, he honored me by
celebrating mass for my 50th birthday.
We broke the eucharist bread and
drank communion wine together.
I still remember it as a most blessed moment.
To me he will always be missed.

Steve (Carlson, good friend)

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

Thank you so much for this beautiful
tribute and reflection on David.
It certainly is a reason to celebrate
the freeing of his flesh bound soul
to fly in the limitless bounds of the cosmos.
He was a wonderful person
capable of wonderful choices - that would
include his soulmate, you.
I’m sorry for your loss, Cecile.

Much love,
Genie Hoyne (friend and mother
of esteemed caregiver James Hoyne)

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

I was profoundly sorry to hear about
David’s passing. David was a gentle giant;
so giving, engaged, and loving!
He made everyone who came in contact
with him feel special and embraced.
David was central to all of my best
memories at Pacifica. I clearly remember
my last time with him at Pacifica as well
as his going away party in your yard.

Now he’s set free from his bodily limitations,
I know that he will shine in heaven.

With much love,
Darlene (Bierig, PhD, student and good friend)

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

Thank you so much for thinking
of us to let us know this news.
While I am saddened to not feel
David's presence in this world anymore-
getting to know David the way we did-
I wholeheartedly agree with his
passing as a "release from his limitations."
There was not a day that we spent
together in which we didn't mourn
his various losses from the stroke.
His passions for academia were always
communicated with intensity, love, and
clarity- despite the aphasia.
Shrad and I were lucky recipients of his
gracious warm nature and with every
meeting/get together, he was always quick
to tell me his approval of my life partner!
I wish Diane and the rest of his family
our condolences.
I wish you our love and hope
you have peace and clarity
in your mourning process. You and David
will always be a part of Shrad's and my
story of our lives starting out together
as newlyweds!

With gratitude,
Leah Grossman (Speech Pathologist and treasured caregiver)

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

David and I talked about this often:
how much we sought the ideal
of being a "human being,"
in the sense of Chief Dan George
and Old Lodge Skins in the movie,
Little Big Man. We of course debated
more defined notions of psychology
and learning, but with all his years
of learning and teaching and reading
and praying, David was, always, a human being.
And the best one I've ever known.

Erik (O’Dowd, dear friend)

Cecile Lyons

October 24, 2020

I will remember his good humor
and positive spirit before the stroke,
and his efforts to sustain
those after his stroke.

With love, Julien (Phillips, Cecile’s brother)


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