Elaine Buonocore died on October 21, 2019 at the age of 75. A recovering alcoholic with 25 years of sobriety, she smoked for over 60 years, beat breast cancer and fought off leukemia for more than 25 years. She cursed like a trucker with a sharp Brooklyn accent and was tougher than you.
Elaine was Mom to Mark and her daughter-in-law, Sarah, and to her son Michael, her son-in-law, Gregg and her daughter-in-law, Teresa. She was also thought of as a mom to countless members of her AA community. Sometimes you need a mom to nurture and comfort you, and sometimes you need her to kick your ass. Elaine was proficient at both.
She was Nana to Mark and Sarah’s daughter, Bailey and to Michael’s kids, Katie and Emma. She was also Nana to many little ones on the Plateau who loved her hugs, pieces of candy on the sly, and the occasional bad word that they were instructed not to tell their parents about. In honor of the Halloween season, we offer you Nana’s favorite joke: What did the witch say to the skeleton? Happy Hollow Weenie!
Don’t tell your mother you heard that from us.
It should be noted that Elaine loved each of us fiercely, and no one of us more than the other. However, she shared a very special connection with her granddaughter, Bailey, who she helped care for since infancy. They spent hours together every week and Bailey filled her heart with a love that kept her fighting long after the leukemia should have won. Nana will live on in Bailey, and in all of us, forever.
We have all struggled with the pain of saying goodbye to Elaine, but we are comforted in knowing she is finally reunited with the great love of her life, John Buonocore, her Johnny. They shared 47 years of marriage together with all of the joy, heartbreak, tears and laughter that you can squeeze in that much time. Elaine was the rock that took care of him through his sickness and she has missed him every day since he died. She knew he would be waiting, though, while she stayed here and took care of the rest of us for as long as her body would let her.
No more waiting. Johnny and Elaine are together again, watching over us all, and dancing in each other’s arms, at last.