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Weekly Bulletin May 15, 2022
by Terrie Evans
On this Sunday we remember one of the early families of San Antonio Church who settled in the Little Italy section of South Fairmount. The Dominic (1863-1928)and Philomena (Maffia) Dalessandro family moved to 1824 Westwood Avenue after their arrival in 1901 from Roccadaspide, Salerno, Italy with 3 children, Vincenzo (1886-1918), who married Nellie (Grieco), Magdalena (Dalessandro) (1889-1985), who wed Pasquale Marckesano and had 11 children: Philomena (Marckesano) Schare, Jenny (Marckesano) Flemming, Louise (Marckesano) Studt, Shirley (Marckesano) Kramer, Rose (Marckesano) Panaro, Nellie Stath, Mary Schwartz, Ralph, James, Ann, and Jean Marckesano.
Daughter, Assunta “Sue” (Dalessandro) (1901-1986) wed Louis Urti (1890-1922) when she was 17 and after his passing due to a tragic accident, married Edward Z. Walpole. Assunta “Sue” had one son with Louis, Michael Urti, our late parishioner: 2 children with Edward Walpole Sr., Betty Schlemmer and Edward Walpole Jr. and one son John, with Phillip Cipriani. Dominic and Philomena relocated to 1962 Montrose Street and attended the old Sacred Heart Italian Church on Broadway, as San Antonio Church was not yet established. Dominick worked hard to support his family by taking a job in the hair factory.
Through the next generations and marriages, the Dalessandro’s have connections and many cousins from the Panaro, Marckesano, Grieco, Guerrera and Robinson Families. The oldest son and brother of Magdalena and Assunta, Vincenzo Dalessandro (1886-1918) wed Nellie (Grieco) (1893-1970) the daughter of Anthony (1867-1949) and Virginia (Panaro) (1870-1931) Grieco. They were married on July 5, 1908, when Nellie was 19 and Vincenzo was 22. Nellie’s siblings were Maria (Grieco) Guerrera, Helen (Grieco) Robinson, and Joseph Grieco and they were the grandchildren of Vincent (1846-1910) and Maria (Matura) Panaro (1845-1941), Virginia(Panaro) Grieco’s parents. Virginia (Panaro) Grieco’s brother Lawrence and wife Josephine (Palmieri) Panaro were their Aunt and Uncle.
When Vincenzo and Nellie established their homestead in a house built in 1848 at 1940 Queen City Avenue, he was as his father employed at the hair factory to support his family. On May 4, 1918, Vincenzo Dalessandro died from pneumonia at the age of 31; wife Nellie (Grieco) Dalessandro was 24, their children, Dominic was 6, Anthony was 4, Philomena “Minnie” was 2 and the youngest, John was a baby. Nellie stayed in her home at 1940 Queen City Avenue and in the 1930 Census, she was 36, Dominic was 18, Anthony 16, Philomena 14, and the youngest, John was 12. Also living with them was Grandmother, a widow, Maria (Matura) Panaro. Maria (Matura) Panaro buried her husband Vincent in 1910, daughter Virginia in 1931 and son Lawrence in 1940. Nellie (Grieco) Dalessandro was very close to her Grandmother and became a loving dedicated caretaker until she passed in 1941, at the age of 94.
Vincenzo and Philomena ”Nellie”(Grieco) Dalessandro’s children: Dominic Dalessandro (1912-1973) married Dorothy (Dieckman); had daughter, Nancy (Dalessandro) Albert and son, James Dalessandro (1935-2008). Anthony Joseph “Tim” Dalessandro (1913-1975) wed Mary had daughters, Janet (Dalessandro) Steelman, Beverly (Dalessandro) Murrell, and son, Anthony Ricardo “Rick” Dalessandro. Philomena “Minnie” (Dalessandro) (1915-2002) wed George Wright (1900-1967) moved to Indiana and lived on a farm in Moors Hill where she grew many vegetables that were shared with family members. Family and friends made the trek to her farm every summer for her homegrown vegetables and to select a pumpkin every fall. John V. “Gick” Dalessandro (1917-1998) wed Mary Jane (Riedeman) (1919-1987) son, Anthony “Tim” Dalessandro (1938-2018) wed the late Ann (Thinnes) and became dedicated supporters of our church. Tim and Ann were members of the Men’s and Ladies Club while Tim volunteered every Sunday as an usher at our 9:00 AM Mass. They were active until their passing. Ron and Connie (Mazzei) Dalesssandro welcomed son David, and daughters Antoinette “Toni” and Gina. Ron and Connie volunteer every Sunday at Mass with Ron as an Usher and in the Hall. Connie is also the Vice President of the Men’s and Ladies Club. Linda (Dalessandro) wed Frank “Sparky” Claypool on May 5, 1965 and welcomed son Frank and daughter Christy. Linda and Sparky Claypool have been very dedicated and generous to San Antonio over the years supporting all our events and fundraisers.