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”.
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, 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.