Cynthia Colonna

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Daily Press
November 28, 2005


We are most grateful for the life of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Cynthia Ann Macomber Colonna, who died peacefully in her home, “Glenmaco,” on Nov. 27, 2005. She was a woman of profound faith, compassion and courage who possessed a strong character, with keen wit and humor. She had a passion for living life fully through her love of family, friends, community and pets. The last remaining pet is her beloved “Jessie.”

Cynthia Colonna was born in Waltham, Mass., on Oct. 1, 1925, to Doris Dean Morgan and Walter Mayo Macomber. When she was two, her family moved to Williamsburg, where her father was the architect-in-charge for the restoration of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. While living in Williamsburg, she took dancing lessons and attended Bruton Parish Sunday School in the currently restored Wythe House. At the age of 10, she was the youngest child ever to be enrolled at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, Va., where she lived and graduated seven years later.

On Nov. 6, 1944, Cynthia married VMI cadet, Marine 1Lt. George Bramwell Colonna Jr. After World War II, they settled in Hampton, Va., Mr. Colonna’s home. They lovingly raised five children: Cynthia Morgan Colonna; Jane Briggs Colonna Matney, married to Dr. John Lee Matney; Ann Macomber Colonna Hankins, married to George Southey Hankins Jr.; George Bramwell Colonna III (deceased), married to Elizabeth Anderson Colonna Bird; and Dr. David Mayo Colonna, married to Patricia Marie Murray.

Cynthia is survived by her grandchildren: James Lawrence Bates IV, married to Meredith Thomas; Charles Bramwell Bates, married to Christina Earl; David Asher Bates, married to Jennifer Gibson; SFC Edward Colston Newton V, married to Katherine Scates; 1Lt. John Tyler Newton, married to Shannon Gavin; Cynthia Macomber Newton Smith, married to Sgt. James Smith; Marian Hunter Hankins Longacre, married to Charles Longacre; George Southey Hankins III, married to Anne Mills; Elizabeth Morgan Colonna; George Bramwell Colonna IV; Elizabeth Marie Colonna and Ann Kilmer Colonna.

The great-grandchildren are James Lawrence Bates V; William Thomas Bates; Christine Elizabeth Bates; Catherine Hunter Longacre; Caroline Geddy Longacre; Charles Southey Longacre; Morgan McKenzie Bates; Tanner Ainsley Bates; Charles Bramwell Bates Jr.; Kathleen Robinson Smith; Rebecca Wells Smith; Anna Gavin Newton; Lily Langford Newton and Mary Henley Hankins. She is also survived by her nephews, Dean Macomber and Peter Macomber, and her godchildren, Nancy Drake and Peggy Greene.

Cynthia and George Colonna were owners and proprietors of Colonna’s Antique and Furniture Restoration Shop for over 25 years in Hampton. Their love and respect for furniture was evident in their fine craftsmanship of refinishing beautiful, old wood. Cynthia was also an appraiser of antiques.

Cynthia volunteered as a member of the Dixie Hospital Auxiliary in the new-born ward; was a long time member and President of the Huntington Garden Club, a member of the Junior League of Hampton Roads, and a devoted alumnae of St. Margaret’s School. She served Grace Episcopal Church as a member of the Vestry, a volunteer in the Grace Book Store, a member of the Women’s Auxiliary and a long time member of the Altar Guild.

The family would like to thank the Riverside Hospice Center for its excellent care, particularly to Sandy O’Brien and Martha Petit. Also, grateful hearts to Debbie Simmons and Family Center Resource for the many kind caregivers. Most particularly, we are grateful to Liz Landgraf, Ginger Branyon and Kat Sage for bringing Holy Communion during these past several years, and to our very special “family” who dearly cared for our mother – Connie Daniels, Mildred Robertson, Joan Anderson, Johnnie Pitman and the many others. We are forever grateful for the love you freely gave to make our mother’s life so comfortable and happy.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Grace Episcopal Church, Yorktown, Va. Interment will follow the service in Grace Churchyard. A reception will be held in the Parish Hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Church Altar Guild, 111 Church St., Yorktown, VA 23692; or to L.I.N.K. of Hampton Roads Hospice House, 10413 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Amory Funeral Home, Grafton, is in charge of the arrangements.

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