Mrs Maria Goncalves Maria das Dores Goncalves Bonito

September 24, 1945November 19, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

Maria Goncalves Bonito, Wake County French and Spanish teacher, mentor and friend, and loving wife and mother, passed away peacefully at home Tuesday, November 19th after a courageous 3 year battle with cancer. Born in Lisbon, Portugal on September 24, 1945, Maria was the only child of Ernestina and Manuel Goncalves. At the age of 12, her family moved to the United States where she learned English and developed her love of language. She was the beloved wife of Arthur J. Bonito for 46 years. Maria will be profoundly missed by him and their three sons: Victor Emmanuel, Anthony Arthur, and Gregory Michael. Maria was a devoted grandmother to Aldo Emilio and Felix Garcia Bonito. She will also be missed by her daughters-in-law, Rebecca P. Bonito of Australia and Patty S. Bonito of California, and her brother-in-law Richard Bonito of Baltimore.

Maria was an outstanding teacher in Wake County for 34 years and in Baltimore County, Maryland for 5 years. She served as a mentor teacher and Foreign Language Department Chair in Wake County at Carnage MS, Leesville MS and Sanderson HS. Maria was selected in 1994 as Teacher of the Year by the Foreign Language Association of NC as well as being a finalist for the Wake County Teacher of the Year in 1987.

Maria received a Bachelor of Arts in French from Purdue University and her Master of Education from the John Hopkins University. In addition, she studied Spanish at North Carolina State University, the University of Salamanca in Spain, Centro de Estudios Interamericanos in Cuenca, Ecuador, and participated in cultural workshops in Merida, Mexico. Academic honors included graduating Magna Cum Laude and membership in the Gamma Beta Phi and Pi Delta Phi honor societies. Love of family and friends and a desire to travel have been the greatest blessings in her life.

There will be a Family Visitation from 6 to 8 pm Monday, November 25 at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, 27612. A Funeral Mass will be held 11 am on Tuesday, November 26 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh 27613.

The family wants to acknowledge the wonderful care provided by the nursing staff and Dr. Lola Olajide at the Rex Cancer Center.

The family also appreciates the respect and kindness shown and the humane care given to Maria by Dr. Kerry Whitt.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be designated in Maria's memory to the Cancer Center through the Rex Healthcare Foundation, 2500 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 325, Raleigh, 27607



  • Visitation Monday, November 25, 2013


  • Mass of Resurrection

Mrs Maria Goncalves Maria das Dores Goncalves Bonito

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Owen Wagner

November 29, 2013

I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Bonito as a French Teacher at Leesville Road Middle School. She had the patience of a saint and instilled an interest in foreign cultures that will last a life time. Best wishes to her family during this difficult time.

Julie, Craig Cora and Jonas

November 28, 2013

To the Bonito family, We are very sorry for Maria's passing. We enjoyed seeing her on occasion at Greg and Patty's house. Our thoughts are with you all. I can tell that she really loved her family, and that she was very proud of you. We enjoyed seeing the photos of her and you all on her memorial page.

November 27, 2013

Art, Victor, Anthony and Gregory,

My prayers are with you and please accept my condolences on your loss. Maria will be greatly missed.

Phyllis Pearson (Zebulon, NC)

Paula Graca

November 26, 2013

Our prayers are with you.

Sonia Torres-Quinones

November 26, 2013

I just heard that Maria has left us. I am so very sorry since I didn't know that she had been sick, Maria and I worked together in Wake Co. Schools in many projects for many years. She was the TOP Professional and loving teacher who gave everything she had for the love of making a difference. I will miss her and her sweet smile dearly. My love to the family.

November 25, 2013

Heartfelt condolences to Maria's familia.
May you have joy in the memories.

Beatriz Lund

November 25, 2013

Mrs. Bonito was my teacher more years ago than I care to remember. My focus at that time was not really on school, more on sports, so my teachers had to be extra special to hold my attention. Mrs. Bonito was such a warm, bubbly, happy person that you couldn't help but love her. She made it ok to speak outloud-because she made everyone do it! She was very special and I will always remember her fondly. She was a beautiful person inside and out!

Holly (Hughes) Lambert
Carnage Middle School

Mary Jones

November 25, 2013

It was my great fortune to have worked with Maria at both Carnage and Leesville Middle School. She was the most gracious, loving, encouraging person. She had a wonderful way of making you feel special and valued. Thank you so much for sharing all of your family pictures. It gave me great joy to see Maria in all of the stages of her life and to see what a happy life she had. I know her family meant everything to her. I wish you great peace and solace in the days ahead. Maria is still with us in the important ways.

Holly Cooper

November 25, 2013

I worked with Maria at Raleigh Academy. I always remember how sweet she always was to me, how happy to see me. To her family, God bless you. She was kind.

Lynne Price

November 23, 2013

Our friendship has been mainly through phone calls a d Skype visits. Maria and I had 2 short holidays together one when I came to visit her and the other a fun week in October 2012 when she came to Australia to meet our new grandson, Felix. Maria and Art spent the last week with us in Sydney and what a fun Week we had. We hoped to have more, but alas it wasn't to be. I felt we were just getting to know her. What a special lady she was. RIP Maria. I will never let our grandson, Felix, forget you. Lynne And Lewis Price, Sydney Australia.