Elena (Zuech) Aspromonte
Elena Aspromonte passed away in Santa Cruz on January 30, 2019. Elena was born in Brez, Val di Non to Giovanni Battista Zuech and Fiorella Menghini. At the age of 17, she immigrated to Silverton, Colorado. She then settled in Durango where she married Joe Aspromonte, of Abruzzese origin. They moved to California in search of a better life and to be close to Elena’s relatives in Watsonville, the Prevedellis. She became a widow at a young age and later married Dennis Wall. She had 3 children: Dan, Billand Mark. She had a very successful career in the hotel industry. She also leaves her brother Rino (Gemma) Zueck and sister-in-law Anna Angeli. The day after she passed, the bells in Brez rang in her honor. Several members of the Circolo Trentino attended the funeral and sang the Inno Trentino (Trentino Anthem) and her favorite, Mazzolin dei Fiori.
Genuina Corradi Franceschetti
On March 5, 2019 at age 104 Genuina Corradi Franceschetti passed away. Genuina’s family was from Daone in the Valli Giudicarie. She married Marino Franceschetti from the nearby village of Cologna. They settled in Solvay, New York, the destination of many immigrants from the Valli Giudicarie. In the late 40s they moved to Palo Alto, and Marino worked as a painter at Moffett Field.
Dirce Frank Rond
Dirce Frank Rond passed away on March 10, 2019. Her parents, John Frank (Franch) and Felicita Flor, had their origins in Cloz, Val di Non. In addition to raising 6 kids, she was a campaign manager for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, an English teacher, a school instruction aide and an assistant to the Vietnamese community. Also, she was a member of the Lodi Merrymakers Dance Club with her husband Lemuel. Her sister Ruby and brother-in-law Bob Zanoni are longtime, active members of our club.
Longtime club member, Ester Bugna, passed away May 6, 2019. Her father Giacobbe Bugna was from Bersone and her mother Rosalia Nicolini was from Daone. Both towns are in the Valli Giudicarie. Her father initially immigrated to Mexico, as did so many other Trentini. During WWI her father kept a diary, where he chronicled his life as an evacuee, fleeing deathand destruction in war-torn Trentino. Those writings are archived in Tione and have been part of a travelling performance, La Guerra di Giacobbe.
Ester’s mother was pregnant with her when they immigrated to California. Her father worked as a gardener on the Fernwood Estate in Atherton. Ester obtained a degree in biology and worked at the NASA-Ames Research Center for 35 years. Her late husband, Ted Sorenson, served as the mayor of Menlo Park, and Ester was active in the town’s historical association.
Ester kept close contact with her relatives in Italy and loved delving into Trentino history and culture. She became good friends with Mary Beth Moser, the president of the Seattle Trentino Club. Mary Beth wrote a thesis entitled: The Everyday Spirituality of Women in the Italian Alps: A Trentino American Woman’s Search for Spiritual Agency, Folk Wisdom, and Ancestral Values. After reading the thesis, Ester made a comment that summed up her life: I love the analogy of a life as a woven piece of fabric. Lately I have been visualizing my eight decades as 8 blocks of yarn, each block with 10 rows of yarn with different textures and colors, depending on what I was experiencing.
Frank Rauzi passed away in Stockton on December 27, 2019 at the age of 92. Frank’s father, Francesco, was from the Cloz, Val di Non, and his mother, Edith Anna Armanino, was from Stockton. He had fond memories of times spent in Cloz as a child. He was an active member of our club along with his
wife of 66 years, Marilyn. Every 2 years Frank and Bob Zanoni organized our club’s Christmas feast in Stockton. In 2015 we presented him with a plaque in honor of his many years of dedicated service.
Frank worked in the family meat business and then spent 35 years as a sales representative for Gallo Salami Company. Following the family tradition, Frank’s three sons, Grant, Frank Jr. and Kurt, gather together once a year to make homemade salamis and sausages. Frank was involved in many sport, charity and service organizations. In his memory our club made a donation to an organization that was dear to him, the TLC Foundation for Homeless Children of San Joaquin County. The Foundation responded: Frank always supported our mission and cared for the children we served. He would be pleased by your kind gesture.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cologna
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cologna, wife of club member Max Cologna, passed away on January 26, 2019. Jackie, a native San Franciscan, was born to Calabrian parents, Nick and Rose D’Andrea. Max is originally from the Ogden, Utah area, where there is a large Trentino community and club. His parents were from Castelfondo in the Val di Non.
Florio Angeli and Giuseppe “Joe” Angeli
Club member Luca Angeli lost two dear uncles in 2019, Florio Angeli in Cloz, Val di Non, and Giuseppe “Joe” Angeli in St. Louis, Missouri. Joe immigrated to St. Louis with his two brothers, Lino and Silvio. Upon retirement he spent a good part of each year in his native Cloz. A VitaTrentina article honored his legacy and quoted him as saying: Life is short; a day without joy is a loss.