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In Loving Memory of our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Maria Bonca, who went to be with the Lord on March 22, 2020. Maria passed away in the city of La Mirada, California, at the age of 82 after a two year battle with cancer.
Maria Bonca was born in the Romanian village of Hunedoara Timisana to parents Aurel and Elisaveta Popovici on October 6, 1937. She was the eldest of five children. Maria lost her mother at the age of 7 and, at 13, she left her village to attend textile school in the city of Arad. She worked in a textile factory for 12 years before becoming certified as a nurse aide working afterwards in a child daycare for 20 years.
In 1957, Maria devoted her life to the Lord and was baptized. She continued her path of spiritual growth through the guidance of Pastor Mihai Chiu and his family becoming a member (and regular attendee) of the Pirneava Baptist Church. Despite facing persecution in Communist Romania, Maria’s love for the Lord was unbreakable as she continued worshipping the Lord and diligently attending church.
In that same year, Maria met Ioan Bonca Sr and the two later became one through marriage on October 6, 1959. Their holy matrimony was officiated by Pastors Mihai Chiu and Martian Cocian. Together, they attended Sega Baptist Church of Arad until December 1986 when they immigrated to the United States and thereby began attending Bethany Romanian Baptist Church of Los Angeles. They embodied true love for one another and shared a passion for the Lord. Their union was blessed by God who also blessed them with five children: Lidia, Estera, Tabita, Ioan Jr and Daniel. Maria and her husband were inseparable and she always remained by his side, day and night, in sickness and in health, even as he battled with cancer. Maria and Ioan Sr Bonca were married for 48 years until August 30, 2007 when Ioan went to be with the Lord. Maria’s relentless faith in the Lord and dedication to her family is what kept her going even after losing the love of her life. She always trusted in God to provide for her and her family even as she took her last breath.
Maria was a loving, compassionate, and godly woman with an enormous heart, who loved to gather together her family and friends over traditional Romanian foods (cabbage rolls, sausages, crepes and many desserts) at any occasion. She always placed the needs of others before her own. She was a God-fearing woman and a true example of a Proverbs 31 woman. Maria was so humble and selfless that even on her death bed she stated: “Do not praise me, I only did what I was supposed to do.”
Maria loved the Lord and trusted Him in every aspect of her life. Her devotion to our Lord through fasting and steadfast prayer was a beautiful example and beacon of God’s light unto us all. We will always cherish her loving advice, her strength, her faith in the Lord, and her beautiful smile.
Maria Bonca is survived by her five children and their families—eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. At her wish, the family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Bethany Romanian Baptist Church of La Habra, California for Hunedoara Timisana Ministry.
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