Bonita Les


Bonita Ruth Short Lestina  
Born August 4, 1937 Devil's Lake, Ramsay County, North Dakota and died March 30, 2020 of Alzheimer's disease at Mount Vernon Healthcare Center, 8111 Tis Well Drive, Mount Vernon, Virginia. She is survived by her husband Dale; son Lunn; daughter-in-law Ruth; and granddaughters Jenya, Ana, and De. She graduated from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota High school in 1955. She has a bachelor's of science and a master's degree of art from Minnesota State University at Moorhead. Bonita taught public school art and music at Dilworth, Minnesota and also at Fargo, North Dakota. She also has a master's degree in vocal music performance from Catholic University, Washington, DC and she studied vocal music performance with Dolf Swing of Julliard School of Music, New York, New York. Bonita was a very accomplished mezzo contralto vocal soloist and gave many public performances.The publication "City Art Scene" labeled Bonita the City's Renaissance Woman. She shared her remarkable multi talents in a variety of ways teaching vocal music and piano lessons to many students over the years. Bonita reserved part of her time to express her talent as a visual oil and watercolor painting artist. Bonita was a distinguished art copyist at the National Gallery of Art. Mrs. Lestina created and enhanced "The Bonita Lestina Old Town Hall Performance Series", now considered to be one of the Washington Metro Area's finest. In June of 1998 the Fairfax City School Board gave her a proclamation to honor the giving of herself to all ages to enhance arts education in the City of Fairfax.Bonita is a charter member of the Fairfax County Genealogical Society. In April of 1973 she received a life membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. In appreciation for her outstanding contributions to the cultural life of the Fairfax Community she received the 2002 Mayor John Mason Arts Achievement Award. Bonita was appointed to the position of Virginia State Art Commissioner by the then Governor and now Senator Mark Warner. She served in that capacity from 2002 through 2005. She was interred at the Fairfax City Cemetery on Main Street on April 3, 2020.A very special thank you to the Mount Vernon Healthcare Center staff and the Pro-Healthcare Hospice Service staff for the excellent and compassionate care they gave to Bonita during her past detrimental Alzheimer's journey.

Source: The Washington Post

Published on: 07-04-2020