Barbara Marie Nonte, 86, of Great Falls, Virginia, passed away peacefully at her home May 8, 2021. In her final months she was cared for by her children Patrick, Daniel, and Barbara. A devoted and prolific sender of cards herself, she was surrounded by cards and flowers from dozens of family members and friends.
Barbara was born April 23, 1935, to Jessie and Harold Moroney in Detroit, Michigan. She was a dedicated big sister, both loving and tough, to her 10 younger siblings: Harold, Thomas, Joan, Philip, Jessie Anne, David, Colleen, Mary Jo, James, and Carole Lynn. She frequently took her brothers and sisters to Tigers games by streetcar and on other adventures, such as zoo visits and movies.
She attended Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, graduating in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. After college she taught and coached at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In 1967 she received her Elementary Public School Teaching Certificate, also from Nazareth College.
She married Gerald Nonte of Detroit, an electrical engineer, in 1967. They had four children: Patrick of Great Falls; Daniel (Michele) of Greensboro, North Carolina; Barbara Ray (Casey) of Stephenson, Virginia; and Matthew, who died in infancy. Gerald died in 1982.
Barbara was a faithful Catholic, who sang hymns with enthusiasm, and a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan with a soft spot for Hall of Fame outfielder Al Kaline, who played 22 seasons for the team. She inherited her father’s fiery temper, tendency to make silly faces for the camera, arthritis, and enjoyment of crossword puzzles and reading. She treasured her huge and extensively decorated Christmas trees, often keeping them up until Mother’s Day, when her mother would come to visit.
She set high standards for herself and others. She volunteered with her children’s schools and Cub Scout and Girl Scout units. She coached several of their soccer teams and attended all of their soccer and baseball games. During summer breaks, she created homework assignments for her children, as she had for her siblings. After her children entered high school, she worked as a teller for several local banks.
Despite a frequently gruff exterior and a dislike for public shows of affection, Barbara was intensely loyal and exceptionally tough, and was never known to complain. She loved her family and friends with her whole heart, and she was loved fiercely in return.
The family cannot adequately thank the professionals of Capital Hospice, whose expert and compassionate care over nine months made Barbara as comfortable as possible, and whose unfailing good cheer never failed to brighten her day.
A memorial service will be held in Detroit when public health conditions improve. She will be laid to rest next to Gerald in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.