Nona came into the world quietly, blue and limp and without a cry, in the midst of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The doctor thought she was stillborn and set her aside in a basket. But her dad didn't give up on her. He picked her up and gave her a small swat on the bottom. He saved her life. Nona took her first breath, a small miracle that began Nona’s full life of loving God and her family.
Just two years later, her family moved from Kansas to a small farm in District 5 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Nona had a happy and adventurous childhood. She loved telling stories about growing up with her older sister during WWII—of rambling through the forested hills, walking over dangerous train trestles, being stalked by a cougar, attending a one-room schoolhouse, and surviving the flood of 1948 that devastated the district and her family’s farm.
Nona graduated from Bonners Ferry High School and went first to nursing school in Spokane before transferring to the University of Idaho and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education. She married her college sweetheart, Dave Damiano, in 1960 and had five children—Gina, David, Patrick, Richard, and Tanja.
Nona loved oil painting, gardening, bird watching, crocheting, baking, and writing. She was a master gardener. Her yard and garden were always beautiful and filled with flowers. She’d give a start of a plant or flower to anyone who asked. She painted many beautiful pictures that her family treasures. She fed the wild birds well and trained them to eat out of her hand. Her baking is deliciously legendary. She published a memoir, a family tradition book, and a children’s book that she also illustrated.
But most of all Nona loved God and her family. She was a Bible Study Fellowship leader for many years. She was an active member of her church. She loved her sister so much that she gave her a kidney. She dedicated her life to raising her children. She loved her husband. She loved being a grandma and great grandma.
She left this life as quietly as she came in, peacefully at home, like she wanted, with her husband and several of her children nearby and the birds chirping outside her window. She went to the arms of our Heavenly Father who gave her eternal life through faith in Christ his Son. We miss her already and look forward to seeing her again in glory with our Lord.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nona Ruth Damiano, please visit our floral store.