Cover photo for Bona De Panizza Kostka's Obituary
Bona De Panizza Kostka Profile Photo
1924 Bona 2015

Bona De Panizza Kostka

November 8, 1924 — February 6, 2015

Bona de Panizza Kostka, Latin and Classical Greek teacher, university educator, passed away peacefully in her home in New York City at age 90.

Bona was born in Bolzano in the Alps of Alto Adige/Süd Tirol region of Italy. Her father was Gino de Panizza, the son of one of the region's leading families. Her paternal grandfather was a distinguished lawyer and Senator in the Parliament in Vienna, when Süd Tirol was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Giuseppina Cristoforetti, Bona's mother, was a respected school teacher of the Alpine villages.

Bona spent her childhood and youth in the Alps of Taio, Merano, and Bolzano. Having moved from Alto Adige/Süd Tirol to Rome during the Second World War, Bona participated in the anti-Nazi resistance. She assisted the desertion of several German soldiers and was arrested and jailed in Rome's infamous Gestapo prison in Via Tasso. Having been saved from execution by her sister, Maristella de Panizza Lorch, Bona studied at the Rome University, where she met her future husband, Edmund Kostka, an officer in General Anders Polish Army in Exile.

In 1946, Bona and Edmund married in Rome. Subsequently, they crossed the Atlantic and settled in New York City, which they made their home for the next half century. In New York City, Bona made her mark as an educator, teaching generations of girls the fine points of Latin and classical Greek at The Brearley School, one of New York's leading preparatory schools. She also taught Italian and Medieval Latin at Columbia University and Italian to the musicians and singers of the Julliard School of Music.

Bona and Edmund bought a property on Yagerville Road in the 1970s and built a mountain top home, where Bona spent many happy seasons with her family before moving back to New York City where she spent the last ten years of her life.

Bona is survived by her sister, Maristella de Panizza Lorch, her sons, Victor and Carlo, her grandchildren, Andreina and Livia, and numerous nieces.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bona De Panizza Kostka, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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