Nona Lee Chaffin 1933-2022

Written by Estero Bay News

June 3, 2022

Not many people who met Nona Lee Chaffin would forget her. She had a way of filling any room with exuberance, or chatting with strangers like friends in the grocery line. Her smile was big and bright, her charisma was abundant, and her English grammar was meticulously correct. Always! In fact, it was her crusade to correct the rest of us as well. But the immense depth of her character is still being revealed as her three daughters slowly sort through volumes of her correspondence, prose, poetry, journals, letters to the editor, and notes for characters of future fictional books she intended to write. 

Nonie was the eldest of three daughters born to William DeFrance Morton and Helen Morton, July 25, 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her family relocated to Oregon, and then ultimately to Los Angeles, California where she attended Washington High school and held the coveted position of head drummer of the Bugle Corp. She attended Moorpark College, Cal Lutheran College, and finished at Cal State Northridge with her degree in English. 

Nona was best known, however, as an accomplished and professional accordionist. She performed both as a soloist and in groups with many fine musicians over the years. She also taught accordion privately. 

As a mother of three daughters, she still found time to volunteer in a variety of capacities including: The Ford foundation, The L.A. Center for International Visitors, and The World Affairs Council where for many years, she hosted a myriad of foreign guests, including an entire Danish men’s choir on tour in the U.S.A. She volunteered for the Ventura School for Girls; meeting one on one with trouble young women. She also spent time tutoring English for the Laubach TESL organization. 

Nona is survived by sisters, Beverly Bodkin and Billie Dunstan, her three daughters: Adian Lenz, Elita Chaffin, and Glynis Tinglof, her Grandchildren: Nic Moss, Kait Diringer, Chloe Tinglof , Ian Lenz, Molly Reeves, and Wynn Reeves, as well as three great grandchildren. Nona loved babies, Christmas, books, and toys! Lastly, and maybe most of all, she loved Pugs. The child in her remained alive and well through out her life.

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