Lisa DiPalma Bonfiglio Garden to be Dedicated at Law School

Published on Saturday, 30 January 2010 00:54

"She was quite a lady," says Moira Fennessey of her niece, Lisa DiPalma Bonfiglio, who passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. A garden will be dedicated in her honor at the Ave Maria School of Law Tuesday.

 "She was a medical forensics officer in Morris County, New Jersey.  She even volunteered to go to the site of the World Trade Center after 9/11, and sift for fragments there.  The Rotary Club chose her as an ambassador, and she went to Italy several times to visit with police in that country."

Not even bone cancer could block Lisa's determination to help others, says Moira.  "Even though she was  so ill and had bones that ached, she rode in a police unity tour on a bicycle - three days - that went from New Jersey to Washington D.C.  The event raised funds for the families of police officers who had died.  The following year, when she was too ill to be in the unity tour, they put her bike on the lead van."

When Colette Colburn, wife of law school development director William Colburn, suggested dedicating a garden in Lisa's memory, Moira liked the idea at once. "It's in the Marian garden, one of two atriums at the school," Moira explains.  "We planted pink bougainvillea next to the statue of Mary, and on either side, we've planted  lavender and pink flowers."

Plants for the garden were donated by Todd Michaels, an Ave Maria resident.  "It's a tranquil place," says Moira, "It's perfect for meditating. When the law school eventually moves to Ave Maria, the garden will be part of it."

The garden will be dedicated at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 2, with a luncheon at the Vineyards Country Club. Cost is $45, and there also are opportunities to purchase memorial plaques.

The luncheon will include a prayer service and butterfly release to remember everyone's loved ones.  Those interested in attending, or in purchasing plaques should contact the law school, 239-687-5400.