Nicholas Thomas Bongo Obituary

Nicholas Thomas Bongo

On Saturday morning, October 24, 2020, Nicholas (Nick) Bongo, loving husband, father, brother, friend and retired military service member, passed away peacefully at the age of 100, in Mesa, Arizona. Nicholas was born in his family home on April 29, 1920 in Newark New Jersey to Thomas Bongo and Catherine Bongo (Anizelli). He was the 3rd born of 9 children. In 1938, he graduated high school to include 2 years at the Essex County Vocational and Technical High School where he studied automobile mechanics. He worked as an automobile mechanic for 2 years until he enlisted in the Army Air Force (January 2, 1940) and served in the South Pacific during World War II, most notably at Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7, 1941. During his enlistment, he served as a Technical Sergeant in the 531st Fighter Squadron as an aircraft mechanic until he was honorably discharged in August 1945. During his tour of duty, he was decorated with the American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Beginning in 1954, he served in the Air National Guard of the United States in New Jersey and Arizona, and as a Reserve in the United States Air Force, where he earned the rank of Master Sergeant, and was honorably discharged in April 1980. Having grown tired of the New Jersey winters, Nicholas, Frances and Carol relocated to Arizona in 1965. He worked for the Arizona Air National Guard until he retired in 1980. Soon after his military retirement, he worked as a school bus driver for the Scottsdale Public School system and the Mesa Public School system, with Frances, from where they both retired. Having known Frances for a number of years as the little sister of his best friend, their romance began in 1959, and they married in September 1961. Together they joyfully brought their only daughter into the world 10 months after they wed. Nicholas and Frances endured Carol’s terrible teen years, always remaining present, firm, supportive and loving. They are proud of the person she grew up to be, and their loving presence will always be with her. Nicholas’ marriage to Frances was an amazing love story. Their love and loyalty to each other was both inspirational and aspirational. Frances often said, “after they made your dad, they broke the mold.” They were inseparable and they held hands day and night, and often even while they were sleeping. During the last year and a half of his life, he lived with Frances at Emerald Glen in Mesa until Frances died on May 2, 2020. After her death, he was lost without her, but his strength and resilience amazed us all. Six months later, they are reunited. Nicholas was a warm, kind, quiet, humble and gentle man. He was loved by all who knew him, including the wonderful staff at Emerald Glen. He enjoyed woodworking, bowling, “honey do jobs,” watching TV with Frances, and riding his bicycle. He had a great sense of humor and a sweet tooth. He was known for his love of chocolate, ice cream, New York Cheesecake, spicy food and Frances’ cooking. He was an amazing husband and a terrific father. While Nicholas was not socially outgoing by nature, his deep love of Frances motivated him to let Frances take the lead in their social life. He and Frances enjoyed bowling on a weekly basis and volunteering as ushers at the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium and Chandler Center for the Arts for a number of years. He was a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and attended many annual reunions. Nicholas was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Catherine Bongo, and by his brothers Anthony Bongo and Thomas Bongo, and his sisters, Nettie Blady, Marie Przybylek, Viola Zattor, and Lorraine Bongo, as well as his brother-in-law John Agiato. Nicholas is survived by his daughter Carol Bongo (Cheyenne, WY), brother and sister-in-law Mike and Rose Bongo (Easton, PA), and his sister-in-law Sophie Agiato (Melbourne, FL), and many cousins, nieces and nephews on the East Coast. Services for Nicholas will be held on Monday November 2nd 2020 at the Queen of Heaven Catholic Funeral Home, with visitation beginning at 4pm, and a rosary service at 5pm. The service will also be live-streamed from the Queen of Heaven’s website. Masks are required at Queen of Heaven and social distancing is requested so that all feel safe and comfortable. Rite of Committal graveside service for both Nicholas and Frances will be on Monday November 9th 2020 at 12pm (sharp) at the Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery. Nicholas will receive his final military funeral honors at this time.
April 29, 1920 - October 24, 202004/29/192010/24/2020
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Obituary

On Saturday morning, October 24, 2020, Nicholas (Nick) Bongo, loving husband, father, brother, friend and retired military service member, passed away peacefully at the age of 100, in Mesa, Arizona. Nicholas was born in his family home on April 29, 1920 in Newark New Jersey to Thomas Bongo and Catherine Bongo (Anizelli). He was the 3rd born of 9 children. In 1938, he graduated high school to include 2 years at the Essex County Vocational and Technical High School where he studied automobil...

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Events

Nov
02
Visitation
Monday, November 02 2020
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Queen Heaven Catholic Funeral Home
1562 E Baseline Rd
Mesa, AZ 85204
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Following the recommendation of the CDC we will only be allowing 50 people at the visitation. Masks are required.
Nov
02
Prayer Service
Monday, November 02 2020
05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Queen Heaven Catholic Funeral Home
1562 E Baseline Rd
Mesa, AZ 85204
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Following the recommendation of the CDC we will only be allowing 50 people at the service. Masks are required.
Nov
09
Graveside
Monday, November 09 2020
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
1562 E Baseline Rd
Mesa, AZ 85204
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Both Nicholas and Frances will be laid to rest.
Final Resting Place
Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
1562 E Baseline Rd
Mesa, AZ 85204
Get Directions
View MapTextEmail