Thursday, December 19, 2013

Carla Convery -- Thought I'd Share This

I went to the Potomac Valley Track Club website to sign up for the Christmas Caper 10K this Saturday.  This obituary was on the front page.  One more moment of amazement at never before having heard of somebody so extraordinary.

We mourn the death of Carla Cesarina Bonfanti Convery, a long-time resident of the Mount Vernon area and former owner of Mike's Italian American Restaurant, passed away at her home on November 20, 2013, at the age of 93.

She was born March 7, 1920 in Como, Italy, to Maria Begalli Bonfanti and Mario Bonfanti. On March 9, 1947, she married William F. Convery in Cividale, Italy. She moved to the United States in 1947 and in 1952 became a U.S. citizen.

Throughout her life, Carla was an avid runner and athlete. In 1936, she qualified as second runner-up for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. One of her greatest thrills was meeting Jesse Owens and watching him run. In 1940, she qualified for the Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, which was cancelled because of World War II.

In 1971, Carla and her two sons purchased Mike's Italian American Restaurant and in 1975, sold the restaurant and retired. Five years later, she renewed her involvement in track & field events in the Washington DC area.

In 1983, she became an original member of Hollin Hall Senior Center, where she taught exercise classes for 26 years and served on the Advisory Council as secretary and treasurer. She was an active volunteer at Hollin Hall Senior Center, Gum Springs Senior Center, and Mount Vernon Adult Day Care Center.

As a senior citizen, she participated and accumulated awards in many competitions; World Games, Senior Olympics, Golden Age Games, Senior Nationals, Virginia Commonwealth Games, National Senior Games, and Potomac Valley Track Club's masters track, to name a few.
CarlaShe received Potomac Valley Track Club Ray Gordon Outstanding Athlete Award, Commonwealth of Virginia Female Athlete of the Year Award, and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Life Time Achievement Award.

Her husband, William F. Convery Sr. died in 1962. Carla is survived by her two sons, William "Bill" (Nancy) Convery and John Daniel "Danny" (Lois) Convery; five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and her close friend, Kate DeAngelis.

Family will receive friends on Sunday, November 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, November 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Louis Catholic Church, 2907 Popkins Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, tributes may be made to Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, P.O. Box 2089, Merrifield, VA 22116 or to Potomac Valley Track Club, c/o Peter Blank, Treasurer, 8200 Galahad Court, Annandale, VA 22003.

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