Passages 2018, Remembering those we lost.

Robert “Bob” Gius

Robert “Bob” Gius passed away on August 27, 2018. He was born in San Francisco to Hector (Ettore) Gius, whose family was from Malosco in the Val di Non, and Maria Bazzanella, whose family was from Piscine in the Val di Cembra. Bob’s great uncle, Father Victor Bazzanella, was parishioner at the Immaculate Conception Chapel in San Francisco, where he played an important role welcoming Trentini to the area.

Emanuel “Sketti” Franceschetti

Sketti Franceschetti was born in Santa Cruz. He moved to Escalon as small children, and there he remained. Angelo Sketti was the brother of Natalie Franceschetti. His dad, Raffaele Franceschetti, and Angelo Franceschetti, Minnie Franceschetti’s father, were brothers from Cologna, now a district of Pieve di Bono. Sketti and Natalie’s mother, Antonietta Nicolini was from Daone, also in Trentino.
Sketti was an avid musician, an in his youth he had a band called Sketti and the Five Shades of Blue. He would often break out in song at our Christmas gatherings in Stockton. Sketti was also a passionate sports fan. The summer after his passing, the City of Escalon named one of its baseball diamonds Sketti Field in his honor. The Escalon Times stated: He was a cornerstone of the Escalon community and someone who was a true ambassador of the city, a man with an effervescent smile and engaging personality. He was known as the San Francisco Giants “Ball Dude”. Longtime Giants announcer Mike Krukow called him a “great ambassador” for the team with his “energy and positive spirit”.

Saverio Mortati

Board member Maria Mortati’s father, Saverio, passed away November of 2018. Maria’s father was from Civita in Calabria, a town founded in the 15th century by Albanian refugees from the Ottoman invasions. The population is part of an ethnic minority in Italy, the Arbereshe. There are several Arbereshe in California, including an Arbereshe club in Sacramento. Maria’s father was a former pediatrician and psychiatrist. Her mother, Josephine, was from the Polli and Bassi families of Giustino in the Val Rendena of Trentino.

Silvio Mariotti

Silvio Mariotti, companion for 22 years to club member Lia Brida Puccinelli, passed away on August 14, 2018. Silvio was from the province of Lucca in Tuscany. He retired from the Public Works Department in Sparks, Nevada. Lia is a native of the Val di Non.

Visitors from Trentino 2018

Luca Rivera first visited us in 2010 with fellow Trentino Luca Dallagiacoma. The young men spent 7 months travelling across the US and down to South America. Club member Michael Job hosted them in San Francisco. In 2018 Luca Riviera returned for a visit. He is a professional photographer based in Rovereto. As a sign of his appreciation, he developed several portrait shots of our members. Oscar Zueck, former president of the Trentino Club of Mexico City, has been a frequent visitor over the years starting with the 2004 ITTONA Convention hosted by our club in San Francisco. In 2018 Oscar Jr. aka Oscarin was in Los Angeles working on a film project and he traveled north to visit us.

Luca Riviera, Michael Job, Luca working on a film project. Dellagiacoma – First visit in 2010

2018, New members:

Glenda Bacca

Glenda Bacca is a retired special education teacher living in Turlock,
California. Glenda was born in Raton, New Mexico and raised in Albuquerque to a Trentino father and Piemontese mother. Glenda’s father passed away when she was only 5. She only recently discovered she was of Trentino origin. Her Bacca and Martinelli grandparents immigrated to Raton from Rumo in the Val di Non. Glenda has fallen in love with Rumo and its people. She spends a few months a year there learning Italian and basking in the culture. Several townsfolk of Rumo belong to the Coro Maddalene of Revò, directed by Michele Flaim. This folk choir has travelled worldwide. In 2019, with assistance from Glenda, they planned a concert tour of California for their 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, the trip did not come to fruition. Last year Glenda published a book chronicling the discovery of her Trentino roots. It is aptly entitled Rumo is Calling. Cousin Nadia Lucchini in Cunevo, Val di Non, translated the book into Italian. Both the English and Italian versions are available on Amazon. Congratulations to Glenda on the publication of her first book!

Christmas Lunch 2018

Our Christmas event was on Sunday December 9th. Once again Father Alberto Mengon arranged for us to have our gathering at the lovely campus of the Salesian College Preparatory School in Richmond. Thank you Father Mengon!!

We had a typical Trentino meal with polenta, crauti (sauerkraut), sausages and strudel. Greg McGarry, who represented our club on the 2017 youth exchange, delivered a fabulous presentation, describing his Trentino roots and his experience with the exchange program. At the event we also had a few visitors from Trentino. Glenda Bacca was accompanied by her cousin from Rumo, Marinella Fanti, along with her partner Gianluca Paris from Cles. Glenda has recently hosted several relatives and friends from Trentino, including Nadia Lucchini, the cousin that translated her book Rumo Is Calling. Also present at the event was Silke Bridi from Trento. Silke spent a few months in Sonoma with relatives on her mother’s side. She is an event manager.

Irvin Parolari

Irvin Parolari, aka Irv, passed away November 28, 2018. Irv’s paternal grandfather, Eligio Parolari, was from Seo, which is now part of Stenico, and his paternal grandmother, Augusta Aloisi, was from Desindo, now part of Comano Terme. Both towns are in the Valli Giudicarie. Irv’s mother was from Pistoia in Tuscany. Irv’s grandparents immigrated to Pennsylvania, as did so many other Trentini. Irv was vice-president of the club when we hosted the 2004 ITTONA Convention, a gathering of North American Trentini. He played an instrumental role in putting on that event. Irv’s ever-present smile will be missed by all.

In the picture: Irv was quite gregarious and was his church’s official greeter. At the funeral a full life replica of Irv greeted those who arrived. From left to right, the late Ester Bugna, Luca Angeli, Luca Dorigatti, Ralph & Rosie Yob, Dan Aspromonte


Below is the obituary:

Born February 2, 1928 on Groundhog’s Day in the small town of Brockway, Pennsylvania to Guido and Susan Parolari. My dad was raised on the farm of his grandparents and enjoyed the life of the farm, having a horse and running free.

During the depression my dad and his parents moved to Buffalo, New York (the BIG CITY!) for better job opportunities. My dad did not adjust well to the big city or to school and this is where he started to develop his humor. He became the class clown! His sense of humor continued throughout his life until the day before his passing.

In 1948 he joined the Navy on the ship “Valley Forge” and went off to help fight the Korean war. He never did see battle but forged some of his best, long-term friendships.

Friendships and family were very important to him and he went out of his way to call, email and maintain those relationships.

My dad and mom, Reva, married April 28, 1956 and had 4 children; Susan, Stephen, Diana and Debra. He is survived by his wife Reva and his two daughters Susan and Debra, son-in-law Gilles, two grandkids Kayla and Alek, and his brother Bill, wife Sylvia.

He was very proud of his two grandchildren Kayla and Alek. He adored Kayla and she was always his “little kewpie doll” with her award-winning smile and personality but Alek was his playmate and they always enjoyed joking around, playing basketball and sharing Alek’s newest creation of the day.

My dad had many different “careers”; bartender, stationary store manager and finally a life insurance agent with New York Life insurance. His career as a life insurance agent lasted for more than 40 years and he retired at 75. He found some of his lifelong friends in his clients and his church the Peninsula Bible Church.

He would always say that the highlight of his life was receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He practiced his faith on a daily basis and “walked his talk”.

My dad was a larger-than-life force in the world and he will leave an empty space in the life of his family and friends but will never be forgotten. He passed peacefully on November 28th to be with his Lord and Savior.

We love you DADDIO!

Trentino Youth Council

In September of 2018, a group of young Trentini gathered in New York City to create the Trentino Youth Council. Anthony Zueck represented our club at this event. There were 14 participants in all. The others hailed from Wyoming, Toronto and the host city New York. This was preceded in 2017 by the “Blueprint” youth gathering in Wyoming, with the participation of Greg McGarry and Marina Brun from our club, and then a gathering in Toronto in 2018. Discussion focused on how to get youth more involved in the clubs. The jam-packed weekend included a visit to Ellis Island, Trentino wine tasting, a bocce tournament and participation in the annual picnic of the New York Trentino Club. The Trentino nel Mondo magazine featured the group on the cover of the September 2018 issue.

Anthony Zueck standing in the center next to the young lady with the purple top

Youth Exchange – Rosie Burdick

After Rosie Burdick’s high school graduation in 2018, she dashed off to Trentino to represent our club in the youth exchange program. She stayed with the family of Arianna Patton in Trento. Arianna is currently studying architecture in Innsbruck. Rosie’s mother, Kate Disney, participated in the same program back in 1987. At the time there was no home stay. Kate stayed in a school dormitory near Trento. Later the summer of 2018, it was Rosie’s turn to host Arianna here in California. The family took Arianna on a trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion and Las Vegas, amongst other places. The family also organized a party at their home with members of our club, including Rosie’s grandmother, Olga Degiorgio Disney. Olga’s parents were from Spera in the Valsugana. Olga still has a good mastery of Italian and the Trentino dialect. Rosie is majoring in public health at Chico State.

Rosie Burdick with her Trentina exchange
partner Arianna Patton at the Grand Canyon

Spring get-together 2018

For this year Spring get-together we met at a new venue Zio Fraedo Restaurant on the Vallejo waterfront. Board member Maria Mortati gave a captivating presentation on the world-renown knife sharpeners of the Val Rendena. Maria’s maternal grandparents, Polli and Bassi, were from Giustino in the Val Rendena. Maria is a museum curator, and as part of a research project, she created an exhibit on knife sharpening.

At Zio Fraedo. On the right, Greg McGarry, our participant in the 2017 Trentino youth exchange, meets Rosie Disney, our 2018 participant; on the left, Luca Dorigatti, board member and the Western US representative to the Trentini nel Mondo Association

Maria Mortati’s exhibit on knife sharpening from the Val Rendena

DogARTiquity by Luca Angeli

Luca Angeli creates paintings that represent the ancient world where canines rule and man’s best friend are depicted as great Warrior Dogs. Luca creates a spin on the classic portrait and paints dogs as Roman Centurions, Roman legionary band members, Spartan Warriors, and more.
His discovery process begins with photographing dogs to capture their personality. He conducts extensive historical research to create a custom outfit including armor, helmet and headdress, and then sets his subjects to a lush landscape. His composition strikes a balance between realism and a bold graphic style that keeps you wondering

Luca’s parents, Silvio and Lucia, are from Cloz in the Val di Non. Luca’s inspiration finds its roots in his childhood: the family spent summers in the countryside of the Italian Alps in Trentino Alto Adige. His appreciation for history, art, architecture and nature are all woven together in his work. His move to California brought a new dimension to his work with the beautiful Californian landscapes with varied plants, colorful skylines, and of course the San Francisco Bay Area fog.

Born in St. Louis, MO, and now based in San Mateo, CA, Luca holds a BFA degree with an emphasis in Design from the University of Kansas. He has spent the last 20 years working in the high tech industry, while nurturing his passion for animals and the arts. To see more of Luca’s dog paintings and an image of him donning a dog face mask, visit his Instagram page.