Rose Carolina Novarese Buoni, age 86, resident of Memphis, TN and wife of the late Les Buoni, Jr., departed this life peacefully on the evening of Tuesday, July 22, 2021. Her final days were spent surrounded by much of her family.
Rose was born July 15,1934 to Camilla Massavelli Novarese and Charles Novarese at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Her parents were from Italy and always communicated with her in Italian. Rose understood what her parents said to her in Italian; however, they wanted Rose to only speak English. She had two older siblings Johnny and Mary. Mary helped raise her while their parents were busy working on the farm. Rose was very proud of her childhood and often shared many wonderful memories of life using the outhouse and only a wood stove for heat. Rose almost boasted about living without what we today take for granted. She felt like what they may have lacked in plumbing and electricity was made up for ten fold in where they flourished which was in wonderful fresh homegrown veggies, fruits, nuts and fresh eggs plus all the laughs and most importantly the dedication to a prayerful life. Rose said her mother always had fresh nuts and seeds on the table and made soup everyday. This obviously had a huge impact on Rose’s love for cooking and feeding anyone that stopped by. One of Rose’s fondest memories while attending Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic School (formerly Our Sorrowful Mother) 1st-8th grade was the honor bestowed to her to crown the Blessed Mother. Rose graduated from Holy Names High School in 1952 in a class of 13 girls where she belonged to the CYO and was the Vice President while her best friend Dolores Danovi Seelig was the President. She was proud that she was taught by mostly Nuns and only 3 lay teachers. July 2,1952 she married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Les Buoni, Jr. Eleven months later her first born, Gary Joseph was born. As a young wife and mother she would soon feel immeasurable pain learning that Gary was born with a hole in his heart. She would say that God wanted to Gary with him, so he went to heaven just shy of his 3rd birthday. Rose never lost faith. She held her newborn, Nick Joseph close as she mourned her loss. Rose loved the Lord and while her health permitted she never missed Mass. She always had an extensive prayer list and was honored to add anyone to it. She prayed the Rosary many times each day. Rose was also known for her incredible cooking ability. She and Les put an oven in layaway when they got engaged and she never cooked on another stove/oven. Her son, Nick’s friends still talk about coming over each morning before school to eat a breakfast of bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, pancakes, toast, fresh fruit and OJ and milk, etc. Nick thought he had lots of friends, but it was really his mom’s cooking that they couldn’t resist. If she made Koolaid she would make 5 flavors, if she made spaghetti gravy she fried chicken. Her BLTs and fried green tomatoes were award worthy. Rose was known for being a gracious hostess with an open door policy. Many probably don’t know she was also an expert water skier. She couldn’t swim, but she could slalom and was frequently in ski shows where she climbed to the top of the pyramid. She was always sure not to get her hair wet by gliding onto shore without falling. It would be remiss to not mention that Rose was also an expert at ironing. Her ability to iron would rival any great dry cleaners.
Besides her Catholic faith nothing was more important to Rose than her family. She always put everyone before herself. She was the perfect example of what a mother-in-law should be. She treasured being a grandmother. She made all the family gatherings revolve around food, fun and love. She worked tirelessly to make sure each birthday and holiday was celebrated and enjoyed. Rose and her husband where active in the St. Michael Catholic Church were her daughter, Sharon was married and at least 4 grandchildren Christened. Her children and two of her grandchildren attended St. Michael School. She loved working in the concession stand and going to any event that she could. To say she was proud of her children and grandchildren would be an understatement. She would also attend St. Louis Church and participate with pride watching her grandchildren as alter servers.
After Rose’s children were all grown she began working at Mullins United Methodist Church’s Mother’s Day Out program where she ran the 2 year old program for many many years. She was known as Ms. Rose. Ms. Rose never met a stranger and was gifted at taking care of children. They loved her and she loved them. She also worked in the church nursery at Independent Presbyterian Church for many years. She was loved very much by all that she came in contact with. If someone found out your last name was Buoni the next question would be, “Are you related to Ms. Rose? We love her!”
After Rose retired she lived with her son, Nick and his family for 5 1/2 years enjoying the hustle and bustle of her grandchildren and playing with all the dogs. She also enjoyed going to Trezevant each Friday to say the Rosary. Eventually she moved to the Mary Galloway home in Trezevant Manor and was there for over 2 years. She quickly became fondly referred to as “the camp counselor resident”. She was known for having guests in her room, going to the parlor only after going door to door to bring all her friends along to listen to music like Blueberry Hill and she loved creating homemade birthday cards for everyone. Mary Galloway was flourishing and lively while Rose was a resident. Rose was certainly selfless with her time and talents. Her last months were spent at Pine Meadows in Bolivar, TN. There she continued her prayers for all she met making everyone she came in contact with feel loved and special.
Mrs. Buoni is survived by her son, Nick Buoni (Pamela) of Memphis, TN; daughter, Sharon Howell (Donny) of Somerville, daughter-in-law, Vicki Buoni of Memphis,TN; ten grandchildren: Camilla Proctor (Wade), Nick Buoni (Allie), Francesca Buoni, Justin Howell, Garrett Howell, Eric Buoni, Cassie Buoni, Dante Buoni, Daniel Buoni, Amber Buoni and two great grandchildren: Chessa Proctor and Raylan Proctor. She was preceded in death by her husband, Les Buoni; two sons Gary Buoni and Leslie Buoni; her parents Charles Novarese and Camilla Massavelli Novarese; siblings, Johnny Novarese and Mary Brown.
There will be a Funeral Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church on Summer Ave., Monday, July 12 @10:00. Officiant, Father Ben Bradshaw. Burial at Calvary Catholic Cemetery following Mass.
The family requests that donations be directed to: St. Michael Catholic Church online at stmichaelmemphis.com or 3863 Summer Ave. Memphis, Tennessee 38122 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, Tennessee 38105 or online at www.stjude.org .
A huge thank you to Donna Sue Shannon for taking Rose to Trezevant each Friday to meet the Rosary group. She loved you and appreciated your commitment; to all that continued to call, visit, and send cards; to her niece, Gina and to Fred for the numerous haircuts; to all at Mary Galloway in Trezevant for making more than 2 years so happy and memorable for Rose and giving us peace of mind and heart; to Pine Meadows in Bolivar for making the last few months seem like home, making her comfortable and happy as she transitioned to her eternal life heaven.
A Life Well Lived
A life well lived is precious gift
Of hope and strength and grace,
From someone who has made our world
A brighter, better place
Its filled with moments,
sweet and sad
With smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed and good times shared
And laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy
Of joy and pride and pleasure,
A living and lasting memory
Our grateful hearts will treasure .