Ocean Beach 05

Jean Volpe Gonnella

August 1, 1968 ~ April 10, 2022 (age 53)


Jean Volpe Gonnella (Stern) August 1, 1968 – April 10, 2022

Jean Volpe Gonnella has passed away after a long illness. Jean was born in Albany NY, and moved to Rockville, Maryland with her family as a toddler. She was a swimmer on the Flower Valley Swim Team all the way through school. She graduated from Rockville High School. She also swam and coached for the Curl Swim Club. Jean earned her BFA from Towson University. She later moved to NC to follow her family there. 

Jean had many interests and was always pursuing something new, whether it be ballroom dancing, creating art, cheering on the Baltimore Ravens football team, or the study of mycology. She was an avid swing dancer and this was one of her greatest joys in life. Not only because she exceled at it, but because of the many treasured friendships she developed with people all over the country through dancing. The joy of dancing was a great distraction from the many health hardships that she fought against.

In 2020, she purchased her dream home in the charming town of Danville, Virginia where she had the support of lovely neighbors and enjoyed spending time with her beloved father. They loved playing games together, and the cribbage board was always handy.

Jean was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy McQuaid Gonnella and her nephew Graham Patrick Johnson; she is survived by her father, Leroy P. Gonnella of the home in Danville, Va; her brother Lee Gonnella and wife Holly of Ashland, Oregon; sister Elizabeth Johnson and husband Bob of Franklinton, NC and two nieces, Liz and Janna Johnson of Wake Forest and Raleigh, NC respectively; as well as her many friends, including those from the dance community in Greensboro, NC, Raleigh, NC, and Glen Echo, Maryland where she danced at the Glen Echo Park Ballroom.

The family will receive friends and loved ones for a celebration of life on Saturday June 4th, at The Cotton Company in downtown Wake Forest, NC; and a mass in her memory will be celebrated at St. Catherine’s of Sienna Catholic Church in Wake Forest on Sunday June 5th. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment (GJCAE.org) or the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture (Glenechopark.org).

Swicegood Funeral Service is respectfully serving the Gonnella family. 

Please sign the guestbook at www.swicegood-barker.com, www.facebook.com/swicegoodbarker, and www.godanriver.com.

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