On Saturday, August 25, 2018, Travis Joseph Bones, 4, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, left this earth as swiftly as he had entered it. Despite receiving medical attention for a high fever, he was gone in a matter of hours. Those who loved him most are completely baffled at this absurd tragedy.
Born in Litchfield Park, Arizona as the third child of Jamie and Allison (D’Ambrosio) Bones, Travis clearly took after his father, as he was an intelligent, inquisitive and sensitive child. He emulated his mother with his Italian passion, impatience, bossiness, vehement convictions and fashion sense. Travis truly captured the letters in his name with the following qualities: Tenacious, Rambunctious, Adventurous, Vibrant, Imaginative and Sensational.
Travis was preceded in death by his father, siblings Shelby Jayne and Dalton Joseph, and maternal grandfather Joseph D’Ambrosio. Survivors include his mother, grandmother Nancy “Ba” D’Ambrosio, grandparents Larry and Kay Bones, beloved great-grandmother Laraine Wane, uncles and aunts Ryan and Violet Bones, William (Bill) and Adrienne Bones, and several cousins. Travis also leaves behind Godmother Kelli (Aunt Rubble) Zohar-Davis and a host of chosen aunts and uncles who loved him as if he were their own. For someone not yet in kindergarten, Travis already collected a wide group of friends who loved spending time with him.
During Travis’s far-too-short life, he enjoyed a wide array of exciting experiences. He took his first road trip at only four months of age, visiting his Great Grandma. He was truly a champion road warrior, just chillin’ in his car seat. There would be many more trips to the Southern California beaches, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas.
The single most constant feature of Travis’ personality was his ever-present megawatt smile. Most every person he encountered experienced joy in seeing that ear-to-ear grin. His laugh was absolutely infectious, making you delight in just being around him. Travis’ late father commented, “How is it even possible our son has laugh lines and he’s not even two?”
Travis possessed such a great zeal for life, he turned the mundane into the spectacular, whether it was inventing Paw Patrol scenarios, running the bases at Tee ball, helping Momma clean the pool or playing games, he did so with such exuberance, exclaiming “I did it! I did it!” or “I’m the winner!”.
In true Italian fashion, he talked with his hands, gesturing frequently. He loved pizza, steak, and fruit. He adored music and filled our home with a cacophony of song, always singing and dancing. While on vacation with Aunt Rubble, he learned the “Pete the Cat” song she taught him, later improvising two entirely new verses. He was constantly active, whether it was at swimming lessons, making music with Music Together or enjoying classes at The Little Gym, where he also made many new friends.
Part of his passion manifested itself in a fierce determination to do things independently. One of his first complete sentences was “I do it myself.”, said with such a level of righteous indignation that anyone dares think he was unable to do something. One day at the park when he was 3, he watched his older friend ride a tricycle. Our group was walking from one play area down to a second playground about 500 yards away. Travis’ legs barely reached the pedals, making it difficult to propel the trike forward. However, he never gave up, completing the journey. His momma will be forever grateful for not impatiently stepping in and “helping” him, just because we may have been in a hurry. If Travis couldn’t at first complete something, he would either watch and figure out how to do it, or he would engineer a tool to help him achieve results.
From an early age, Travis developed a love for horses, which was most definitely from his cherished “Ba”. Ba was there for his first time on a horse at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. There was some initial trepidation, but once settled, he had a new love affair with all horses. Whenever we passed a pony ride, he would get several turns. Even the painted ponies of carousels held his attention.
His love of fire trucks was purely genetic, for his Papa Joe spent over thirty years in the fire industry, first as a volunteer firefighter then as a fire truck and equipment salesman. Travis frequently sang the Firefighter song.
When Travis spent time with Grandma Kay, he delighted in sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Paw Patrol and solving jigsaw puzzles. She really shouldn’t have been surprised by his knowledge of the world around him, but he still managed to amaze her.
He inherited his love of home repair from Grandpa Larry, always jumping in to assist, even if assistance was not always needed. If Larry was doing something around the house, Travis would grab his screwdriver or his hammer, ready to pitch in.
Travis’ short life truly impacted everyone he touched, as his friends across the country have shown in their colossal support of his devastated momma, grandparents, family and friends. It is sometimes amazing and almost incomprehensible that such a small child was able to pack such vigor into his four short years on this earth. He will be forever missed and never forgotten by all he encountered.
A memorial Mass will be held September 21, 2018, at 1:30 pm at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Goodyear, AZ. Father Tom Eckert, a treasured family friend, will preside. “Uncle” Father Tom (as Travis called him) has been a part of Travis’ life since he was born and rushed to the hospital to be with us during Travis’ final moments. In lieu of flowers, the Travis Joseph Bones Memorial Fund is established at Go Fund Me to ensure Travis leaves a lasting legacy.