Sunday, April 03, 2011


(Photo: Evelina on the left, and Valentina, c. 1946)

1912-2011 - Evelina Cantarutti, nee Venturini, was born in Rodeano Basso, a small town in the Friuli Region of Northeastern Italy. Her childhood and upbringing there would forever shape her life, values and view of the world. Evelina passed away peacefully the morning of March 28, 2011 at Nazareth House in San Rafael, California.

Evelina met her husband, Guido, in the nearby town of Cisterna. The couple married in 1931. Their first son, Carino (Reno), was born in Cisterna shortly thereafter.

In 1935, Evelina with her infant son, immigrated to America where they rejoined Guido, who had previously immigrated to the North Coast of Santa Cruz, near Davenport, CA. There they were befriended by Gervasio (Bronco) and Valentina Comelli, who had also immigrated to America from Friuli. The two families formed bonds that would last a life time.

Initially, Guido made his living working as a rancere on the Venturini Ranch, su per la costa.The newly immigrated family lived in a ‘wind blown shack’ located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, seven miles north of Davenport. (Evelina would often say in Italian, “We had nothing then. Nothing. No money,no property. All we had was the clothes on our back and il vento (the wind)in our faces.") During this period there second son, Lido was born. In 1947, a daughter, Norma, was born to them. This was after they had relocated to Richmond, California. (Thus,Norma didn't get to experience life in the 'windblown shack' su per la costa)

Evelina undertook her life in the new world and with her growing family with characteristic hard work and determination –trying to learn the language, always making new friends and ever maintaining her ties, contacts and support with all of the family relatives in Italy. This included two brothers and sisters and many other relatives. For many years, Evelina and Guido with their family, lived in Richmond, CA, then moved in the early fifties to the home she loved so much in El Cerrito. Evelina continued to live there following the death of her beloved husband, Guido, in 1971, and until moving into Nazareth House eight years ago.

Evelina lived a long and full life and cherished it all: the family, the friendships, the hard work, Italy, her town of Rodeano Basso, America, Davenport,Santa Cruz, Richmond, El Cerrito and San Rafael. She especially loved and was proud of all her grandchildren; Dino, Steven and Gary Cantarutti(parents Franca and Reno); Jeffrey and Perry Cantarutti (parnts Mary Brent and Lido); and Anne Marie van Amson and Lisa Beebout(parents Norma and Randy Reiter) plus six great grandchildren! Her children were all around her as she left this world, and wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who loved and helped her, especially the clergy, the medical staff and caregivers at Nazarath House. Evelina’s family is very grateful.


IVANO SAYS: The Rosary was held Wednesday evening (3-30-2011) at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo CA. The Funeral Mass was celebrated the next day at Nazareth House, 245 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA 94903. In lieu of flowers The family prefers contributions to Nazareth House, or a charity of one’s choice.



Anonymous said...

My condolences to the family of Evelina Cantarutti. I never knew Evelina, but if I change some locations, this the story of my mother and I am sure of many of your mothers and / or grandmothers. The hard working, loving wives of hard working husbands. These mothers sacrificed so much to give their families an opportunity to suceed.They came to a strange land with a language they had to at least learn to understand and they gave us a love for family and pride in our heritage and culture.

Anonymous said...

This is a very "sweet posting"...including the photo.
These two friends are now together after many years!!!

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano. A much belated condolences to Reno Franca Lido and Family. I appoligize for not responding sooner. I have been involved in an automobile accident and was in hospital for 4 days. I am just now regaining some of my memory and able to move around. I will be sending a special note to Reno and Family. Ivano Thank You so much for keeping us in the loop.

Ciao Canadian Furlan Doriano


Hey Ivan

First I want to tell you how much your presence meant to me to
be at mother's Funeral. Secondly thank You for the fine article.

However what got me crying was the picture in the article . You
couldn't have chose a more appropriate one .