This Italian sweetheart is 98 years old; she will celebrate her number ninety-nine on September 29th. She is one of nine children, with six sisters and two brothers. She recalls that the home they grew up in had only one bathroom. We can’t imagine how that worked with eight girls in the home! She was born in Midland, Pennsylvania where she was the first of the children to be born in the United States. Her mother and father both spoke Italian, but her father could understand English. He worked in the mills and did odd jobs on the river; her mother was a stay-at-home mom. Evelyn’s dad came to the United States from Italy at the age of 17 and he had big dreams. He wanted a home, big enough for everyone with a large garden. As his family grew, he purchased two pieces of property at the edge of town. They had a fabulous garden where they grew their own lettuce, tomatoes and onions. That home would be the place her parents would live for the rest of their lives.
When Evelyn graduated high school she couldn’t afford to attend the college she wanted. She decided to get a job to make herself some money. She found a grocery store in their town and introduced herself to a clerk. He introduced himself as the owner of the store and gave her a job. Although she had no experience working in a grocery store, she did very well. At one point some Italian business men visited the store and she was able to translate for them. Eventually, she was promoted and worked there for seven years. During this time, She attended a live concert where she met a man. She noticed he kept dancing and talking to the same two women. She later found out they were the wives of the band members. It was a Friday night and she had to work the next day but he came to visit her at the grocery store. They were married in 1945 and had three sons. After having their second son, her husband told her he thought she should quit at the store and stay home with the boys; he even went to the store himself to tell her boss.
When one of her sons was two he was hit by a car and badly injured. They drove him to the hospital in Pittsburgh. He is now 60 years old and bears a scar from the accident.
All of Evelyn’s sons grew up and had their own children; three sets of twins, giving her six grandchildren! When her husband passed away in 2010, Evelyn moved to Texas to be near two of her sons. Her other son still lives in Pittsburgh. She lived with one of her sons in Texas and helped out by doing everyone’s laundry.
When asked the secret to a long life Evelyn replied, “I have no idea.” She still makes her own Italian meatballs and she used to even make her own clothing. She bought herself a car at one point, a blue Chevy. She later decided to purchase a Cadillac instead. Evelyn is one significant senior.