Music

Jon Bon Jovi Pays Tribute to Late Mother Carol Bongiovi: ‘A Force To Be Reckoned With’

Jon Bon Jovi paid loving tribute to the Bongiovi family matriarch on Wednesday (July 10), a day after his mother, Carol Bongiovi, died at 83. The Bon Jovi front man’s mom died of undisclosed causes on Tuesday (July 9) at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J. just a three days short of her 84th birthday.

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“Our mother was a force to be reckoned with, her spirit and can-do attitude shaped this family. She will be greatly missed,” Bon Jovi, 62, said in a statement from the family; Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi Jr.) has two younger brothers, Anthony and fellow musician Matthew Bongiovi. In addition to being a former Playboy playmate and florist, Carol was married to barber and fellow Marine veteran John Francis Bongiovi Sr. and operated her son’s fan club for many years.

According to an obituary from the Holmdel Funeral Home, the family matriarch enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959, where she met her future husband. The couple moved to Sayreville, N.J. after their hitch in the military, where they raised their family before moving to Holmdel, N.J.

The woman affectionally referred to as “Mom Jovi” by the Garden State legends’ fans made a cameo, along with his dad, in the singer’s 2021 “Story of Love” video. In the visual, Jon strummed an acoustic guitar in front of a wall of family photos — including a giant black and white snap of his folks with their eldest son — as he sang about familia love. “Father love daughters like mothers love sons,” he sang. “They’ve been writing our story before there was one/ From the day you arrive/ ‘Til you walk, ‘Til you run/ There is nothing but pride, there is nothing but love/ They can offer advice that you don’t wanna hear/ Words that cut like a knife and still ring in your ear.”

In an interview with the Big Issue in 2020, Bon Jovi, 62, spoke lovingly of the lessons he learned from his parents, especially their unwavering support after his admittedly “terrible” first talent show performance as a teen. “What I got from my parents was the ability to make the dream reality. They always instilled that confidence in their kids which, in retrospect, I realize was so incredibly valuable,” he told the mag at the time. “Because even if you truly weren’t any good at your craft, if you believed you were, you could work on it. As I got older I realized that was a great gift that I got from my folks. They truly believed in the John Kennedy mantra of going to the moon. ‘Yeah, of course you can go to the moon. Just go, Johnny.’ And there I went.”

Carol Bongiovi was born Carol Sharkey in Erie, Pennsylvania on July, 12, 1940 and is survived by her husband of 63 years, their three sons and daughters-in-law as well as eight grandchildren.

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