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Mariani Family Reunion

June 5, 2011

Croatia

 

 

 

Family in order (left to right)

Nikola

Matija (sister)

Mother, Vincenza  (Stonojevich)

Jack Mariani

Andrew Mariani

Paul Mariani

Marian Mariani

CHAPTER 1

Early History

 

Excerpts from “Poverty of Affluence” 

Written by David W. Mariani

 

Our California roots began when my great grandfather John Svilich migrated to California from a small fishing village, Komiza, on the Island of Vis in the middle of the Adriatic sea. However, our family recorded history and close cultural family ties go back over 500 years. Our business success in no small part is a result of our sense of history, destiny and family bonds. 

 

For centuries, our family made a living and raised our families on the little Island of Vis. The Catholic Church in the town of Komiza maintained voluminous records of baptisms, weddings, death certifications and cemeteries records that chronicled our family history as well as other islanders with rich details for centuries.  The combination of the geographic isolation and generation and after generation on a small Island and the diligent record keeping by the institution of the Church fortunately preserved this history. 

 

Our tribal or clan ties run deep with fierce family loyalties. Even today, four generations of Mariani family members born an raised in Silicon Valley travel back to our roots to the Island of Vis. Today, our little town of Komiza remains like a time capsule back in time. 




 

The series of very old paintings and photographs document the same church at the harbor with the same bell tower over the centuries. It is a graphic reminder that the ancient harbor changed little in the last millennium.  Walking the cobble stone streets or viewing the ancient stonewalls is like a time warp  - where time stood still.

 

Visitors can see solid stone houses and streets built a 1,000 years ago. The ancient village homes with untold years of deferred maintenance are still lived-in.  Remarkably they are still standing as a solid testament to the enduring quality of stone and talented stonemasons. 

 

The Mariani family home is over 600 years old and still lived-in by a Mariani family member today. We can walk the same streets our father’s walked our father's father and his father's father. We can see the same views, the same streets, the same houses and visualize what they saw. With a pilgrimage back, one can quickly understand the perspective our migrating family members had of their world and the perspective they had of their new world when they immigrated to Santa Clara, California

 

Our story goes back a bit further than our great grandfathers. Our earliest known history is best summarized from a translation by German Students at Lifts University in Turkey from 18th century archival manuscript. 

 

 

                                                      TRANSLATED TEXT

Mariani is a variation of Marijani, Marianovich, (the h at the end was added for phonetic purposes) Marijanovich of the House of Drazojevich  This family line are found in great numbers at Komiza on the Island of Vis. Found in Dalmatia and all parts of Croatia, the name Mariani is related to the noble houses of Drazojevich and Tomasovich. 

 

Identical in composition, the Drazojevich-Marianovich coats of arms exhibit vertical lines the color red, white areas, silver and the dots are gold.

 

The Mariani lineage dates back to the family line in the fifth century, known then as the Meroquins.  The family lines were known as “sons of Merovech” which is the mid evil Latin name for Merovinigi (or Merohingi). The families migrated in two different directions. One family group migrated into to the Salian Frankish dynasty and become known as Merovingians. The other line migrated to the southern Europe and the Balkans Territory. 

 

During the time when the Turks had moved into the Balkan territory many Croatian families and clans of the upper class, nobility, intellectuals and trades moved into Dalmatia. Since Dalmatia was under the Republic of Venice at the time, many people, as citizens of Venice, used the Latin-Italian versions of their Slavic names. These names were alternate names of convenience and became nicknames and later actual family names

It was during this time the Marijano…Marianovich name morphed into Mariani.

 

Count Drazojevich, Gianco-Janco also Mariani-Marianovich came to Dalmatia in the 1600’s to the Poljica Republic, Ornis, Split, Brac, Trogir and other places in the Dalmatian region. One branch of this large clan was under the domain of Count Girolamo Gianco Marianovich-Mariani. The Drazojevich was also known to have Draxenovich and Drazenovich variations. The coats of arms for the Marianovich-Drazojevich families are on display at the University Library in Zagreb and list from the year 1595.

 

The old Counts Draxoevich, Gianco, Janco, Mariani or Marianovich, stemmed from Bosnia, used to belong however to the noble houses of Geschlechtern of Grafschaft Poglizza. In the Croatian Kingdom at Almissa, Spalato, as well as the Island of Brazza where they also ranked among the nobility. In the year 1695 the family line was admitted to the nobility of the city Trau, however it already became extinct again in the year 1775 with the Count Girolamo Gianco Marianovich. His Estates passed over to his sister, 1) Catterina  who married Dr. Giovanni Antonio Palladini and 2) Anna, married to an Italian Oberst Lieutenant Colonel Frederica Noveller. Another branch of the family is said still to be flourishing in Almissa. However at the moment nothing more specific about this is known”. 

 

 

 

There are of course many tales of secrets and secret treasures brought from our family members from the Northern Franco/Austrian family lines as our family established itself on the Isle of Vis. 

 

Still earlier, predating the Marijanovich of the House of Drazojevich,  Vis was known as “Lemnos” 

 

Scholars generally agree that the Iliad and Odyssey is a translation of an earlier work. The earliest known language came from the Vinca people on the Dalmatian Coast. The Vinca culture, it now appears to be the first culture to use phonetic symbols. The distinctive advantage of phonetic writing was that it could be understood by all the neighboring people/cultures.  This is the only form of writing known to predate Greek writing by a pre-croatian culture, the Vinca’s is located immediately north of the Ionian Sea.  If the Iliad and Odyssey is a translation first, then Hellenized, it is likely to be a story first written in Vinca script chronicling  dramatic events within the ancient Dalmatian context. 

 

The Vinca people were known as the "Dardanioi" people living inland from the convergence of three rivers.   Troia means "three" as in three rivers people as as a group of people living within the same politic framework. Both in ancient Dardanioi and Greece, Troy and Trojans referred to a collective name of peoples from different tribes living under the political aegis - Troia. Trojans were often referred to as "Dardanioi" or landlocked people. Interestingly, the ancient city of “Troes” is not the Greek City of Troy, but a Dalmatian City located in the upper valley, land locked people called Dardanioi. The confluence of the river to the Dalmatae Coast terminates where three rivers converge. At this convergence the description of the Islands exactly match the Iliad with the moons setting is the exact alignment of the tale - Lespos and Kyklopes, Lemnos. The ancient island of Lemnos at the time the Iliad and Odyssey was written is the only Island that corresponds to the celestial descriptions, moons and the alignment of Islands relative to the half and full moons. It is believed that the staging Island for the attack on Troes  (Troy) was the Island of Lemnos. 

 

Today, the Island of Lemnos is known as Vis. The Dalmatian Mariani Family come from the town of Komiza on the Island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea is the geographic ground zero for the tales of the Iliad and Odyssey. None of the tales of secret treasures or actual location(s) of the famous Greek tales are universally agreed upon but it makes for colorful stories and intrigue within the family.

 

 

NIKOLA MARIANI  BIOGRAPHY

 

       Nikola Mariani was born in 1877 and died in 1972.  He was the son of Josip Mariani and Vicenca Stanojevic and was the older brother of Paul, Jack and Marian Mariani.  He remained in Komiza while his younger brothers immigrated to America.  Nikola’s family was the last family to have lived in the Burini Kuca, the Mariani family’s ancestral home.  He married Vikorija Bozanic and had four children.  Nikola, Viktorija and his mother Vicenca are buried in the family plot in the graveyard outside of the church of Sveti Nikola, his patron saint, at the monastery in Komiza.

        Nikola was truly the controlling figure in the Mariani household while sons Josip (Bepo), Luka and daughters Vinka and Miljenka were growing up.   One story suggests that he sometimes spoke in the third person while referring to himself as the head of the house.  In other words, if he were sitting at the dinner table and wanted some bread, Nikola would state “He would like some bread.”  In traditional European culture, speaking in the third person when referring to one’s self, was a practice reserved only for royalty.  Another story suggests that Nikola was not so accommodating to his sons.  In fact, his younger son Luka had to go a work strike, staying in bed for at least a week, before his father would buy him a warm coat so he could work outside pruning grapevines in the winter.  

    From the perspective of his immediate family, Nikola ruled the roost, and it was difficult for his sons to continue working for their father, who paid them very little,  and gain any financial security for their own families; it is for this reason that both Bepo and Luka decided to take their young families and come to America where there was not only greater opportunity but also freedom from a restrictive traditional (patriarchial) social order.  However, there is another side to this story that should also be brought to light and recorded for posterity.   Based on many accounts from other residents of Komiza, Nikola in his time was regarded as the most respected, most generous and most benevolent man in the entire town of Komiza.   Many referred to him as Barba Nikola  (Uncle Nick)  or in his later years,  the honorary  “Mayor of Komiza.”  In his old age, he passed the time sitting by the Riva or waterfront playing cards, people watching and engaging the younger Komizani in local history and other topics.

    Although there were siblings who had died earlier, Nikola was the eldest of the living brothers, Paul, Jack and Marian, and was considered an excellent businessman in his own right.   There are some unconfirmed reports which suggest that he made a small fortune dealing in tobacco and other contraband goods during World War I.  After the war, he owned vineyards, a wine business and also had a financial interest in a fish cannery which he managed for years.   Indeed, the Burini clan, our branch of the Mariani family, had the reputation for eating well, and having plenty to eat was a true indication of wealth, especially during the two world wars and the Depression of the 1930’s.  

     In 1911, when his younger brother Paul experienced a crop failure in California, Nikola sent Paul money to get him started again.  In theory, he purchased Paul’s share of the family home in Komiza.  A document (notarized in Sunnyvale, CA, 1911) shows that Nikola paid Paul  2,700 Krune (Crowns),  Austria-Hungary’s monetary unit.  At that time a Crown was worth only about 20 cents, but  20 cents then had an equivalent worth of about $4.00  today.  Therefore, Nikola paid his brother about $10,000. for a 1/4 share in a very small house--a generous amount that was sent to his brother in America.

    During World War II, the conditions on the island were horrific.  Nikola provided money and food to the impoverished in Komiza.  To be sure, his ability to provide charity was augmented by his sons’ families who also sent money and goods to Nikola during and for a time after the war.  Coffee, sugar, chocolate and warm clothes, all packed in large canvas sacks, were periodically shipped by his daughters-in-law Similija and Ina from the United States.  However, Nikola took it upon himself to give these goods to the needy of his community.  To this day, there are some Komiza residents who would attest that their families owe their lives to the generosity of Nikola Mariani.  The name Nicholas in Greek means Champion of the People, and for many townspeople Nikola was truly a great philanthropist. 

    It is often been said that people tend to treat others better than they treat their immediate relatives; this may be the case, and it is important that all perspectives  be represented in an historical account, even if it’s only family history.  The photo provided is that of Nikola Mariani, with his wife Viktorija, circa 1935.  The others consist of several photos from the 1930’s to the 1960’s.  

 

Written by Andrew (Andy) Mariani, grandson.

 

 

CHAPTER 2

From 1882 to 1919

   Paul Andrew Mariani Sr.

(More excerpts from “Poverty of Affluence”)

 

The Paul Andrew Mariani Family came from the Bura clan or “North Wind” an apparent reference to our Austrian lineage. Both Paul Mariani Sr. & Victoria families grew wine grapes, lavender, olives, and vegetables & fished, made wine and olive. Small animals were kept on the first story of the house for heat. The heat generated by the goats heated the upper 2 stories during winter.  Fireplaces were used sparingly. The fireplaces that were used were mainly for cooking – hardly a regal existence given our roots.

 

Vis is one of a chain of Islands in the Adriatic Seas, known as “The seas of a thousand Islands”. Maybe that’s where Minnesota got the idea of calling its State “The State of a thousand lakes”. Vis with its white sand beaches and stunning aqua blue waters is one of the most idyllic coast lines on earth. Upon closer inspection Vis along with neighboring Islands are generally rocky and often with few trees. 

 

The sparsely forested island landscapes were not always the case.  Since the time of building Roman wooden war ships more than 1000 islands were decimated of its trees. It was an ecological disaster. It was an startling contrast of Vis’s rocky landscape with the fertile soil of Santa Clara Valley for as far as the eye could see. It captured the imagination of Paul Mariani Sr. “Imagine”, Sr. would say (circa 1910), “There were no rocks that need to be moved and hauled away just to plant a few square feet of crops or plant a tree. Every time I manage to save up to a dollar, I am going to buy another acre of land in Santa Clara Valley, soon to become Silicon Valley. Upon my first visit to Vis my mouth was agape to see fields with huge mounds of rocks in the middle with rock walls to hold the rocks pile high. The rock came from clearing small plots of land. Literally millions of rocks were moved by hand throughout the Island.  

 

The Paul Mariani family story is one of contrasts - nobility and refined education on one hand and illiterate paupers on the other. We came from both traditions, making us both proud and humble, mostly humble.

                                    

Paul A. Mariani Sr was born in July 1885 of Josip Mariani and Winifred Stonejevich. He was one of five brothers and one sister; sister Matija and brothers Nikola, Jack, Marian, Andrew.  Some called Paul A. Mariani Sr. just “Paul”, some Mr. Mariani.  We knew him as Djede meaning grandfather in Croatian.

 

 

ANDREW (ANDY) JOSEPH MARIANI

 

   I am the son of Josip (Bepo) and Similija Mariani and grandson of Nikola Mariani, who was brother to Paul, Sr., Jack, Sr., and Marian Mariani.  Nikola, the oldest brother, remained in Komiza while his younger brothers came to America.   My father arrived in 1931 leaving his wife and two children behind until he could earn enough money to bring them over.  My mother and older siblings Victoria and Nick came in 1935.  My brother Mitch and I were born in San Jose.  I was born in 1945, the first year of the so-called baby boomers.

   Growing up in Cupertino on a farm with immigrant parents was a rich experience---full of adventure but also with the security of having a close-knit circle of friends and relatives living nearby.  All three uncles lived within bicycling distance.   There were also the Mardesich, Zankich, and Bonacich  families along  others who were former neighbors of ours in Komiza,  Cupertino was indeed like the “New Komiza.”

   My father made  his own wine and grappa, salted fish, cured olives, pickled vegetables and butchered animals---all survival skills regrettably lost over one generation.   When he butchered a lamb or kid goat we ate everything---entire head, heart, liver, lungs, brains, and kidneys.  There was also a dish called Kulin, consisting of tripe but also every other part of the animal’s alimentary canal---comparable to what some call “chitlins.”  This dish never rose to the status of comfort food for me, but I fondly remember the oxtail soup, mostaccioli, pasta fazul, and lamb stew.   

   We also raised chickens, rabbits, pigeons, and had a nanny goat for milk.  It was mom’s job to take care of the goat.  She milked it and also made a goat’s milk cheese.  When the goat bruised her utters on the metal tracks traversing our apricot drying yard where she grazed, my mother, a former seamstress, fashioned a special “nanny bra” to provide some uplift.  

   In our vatar, or vegetable garden, we grew mostly perennial crops or ones that reseeded readily---fava, artichoke, onion, garlic, chard, kale/cabbage and maybe parsley.  Nothing fancy.  (I’m convinced that vegetables like arugula were invented much later by Whole Foods so they can charge $9./lb. for greens.)

   Our farm was nearly self-sufficient, but many other folks were already dependent on supermarkets for their needs.  Straddling the two eras was a transitional period of “home delivery,” and increasingly we began relying on Meadow Gold Dairy to deliver milk; Ed Enos (“Ed’s Fresh Meats”) would deliver meat and give each kid on his route a fresh frankfurter, and the Hancock truck would deliver gasoline. Bozo Vlahovich also delivered fresh fish.  Bread was a very different matter. My father often insisted on fresh-baked bread; he would get into his car and drive up to the Depot Bakery (Sunnyvale) and buy 2 loaves since one would be nearly consumed by the time he arrived back home.  

   As curious kids, my brother Mitch and I liked to play “gas station,” but our gas pump was always locked so we decided to fill mom’s gas tank from the water hose.  She was not amused when she learned of our little experiment with alternative fuels, especially after she drove out of the driveway, sputtered, and stalled a few hundred feet later along Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.   (We weren’t the only mischievous kids around.  Apparently, young Carl Perusina tossed a cat into Bozo Vlahovich’s fish delivery truck after the day’s route was over.  Bozo’s habit was to leave the fish stored on ice in the truck overnight.  When he opened the back door the next morning, a cold but hardly hungry cat darted out and ran off.  Bozo had to explain to his first customer in broken English, “Damn kid puts me cat.”)  

   Our family lived in an apricot and prune orchard that would now be located directly across from the headquarters of Apple Computer on DeAnza Blvd., Cupertino, just south of  280 and near what was once P.A Mariani Packing Co.   

   My brother Mitch and I attended nearby Collins School (located off Mariani Ave.), but neither of us knew much English when we started.   When Mitch was a toddler and  was learning to speak Komiski, his first language, he sat down and tried to converse with our nanny goat, but when she responded with “Neahhhh,  Neahhhh,” little Mitch concluded and reported to his mother that the goat must be speaking  English since he could not understand what she was saying. 

   In kindergarten, I called my teacher “Mrs. Mombird,” a fitting name I thought, since she was more mother hen than mentor.  (I later learned her real name was Momberg,.)  I remember her as kind and patient.   As I struggled with English, she allowed me to express myself in other ways, and, as I recall, I spent most of my first year in school perfecting my finger painting technique.     

   As a kindergartener, I always wondered why I had to change my language, and the others were able to continue speaking theirs, but I eventually learned English. The importance of knowing Komiski re-emerged in the 4th grade when my friend Mike Bogdanovich, whose family had recently arrived from Komiza, was placed in my class because he knew very little English.   However, this time it was “cool” having our own secret language that no one else in class knew.  Indeed, we forged a life-long friendship partly because of our earlier experiences sharing a secret language. (Mike and his wife may be in Komiza for the reunion this year.)      

   We eventually sold our little orchard in Cupertino (1957) and moved to Morgan Hill where we continued growing apricots, cherries and prunes.  I graduated from high school, then UC, Santa Barbara and USC, majoring in government and administration. Later I also attended Cal Poly (SLO) for classes in horticulture/agriculture.

   I was the Assistant City Manager in Saratoga (1971) for one miserably stressful year, but later returned to my real calling---our family farm in Morgan Hill.  I continue to tend the family’s farm and call the business “Andy’s Orchard,” specializing in older and unusual varieties of stone fruit--- not  very  profitable but nonetheless satisfying, knowing that I’m continuing our  rich family tradition of fruit growing in the Santa Clara Valley.

   I have never married, but I am uncle and godfather to many nieces and nephews.  My interests include horticulture and landscaping, history and old world architecture, food, travel, literature and art beyond finger painting.  

 

 

 

 

Sylvia Helen (Bondi) Cook and husband Albert (Al) R. Cook, Jr.

 

My grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani and my grandmother Similija (Joncich) Mariani.  My mother is Victoria (Mariani) Bondi, daughter and first born of Josip and Similija, and my father was Salvatore August Bondi.  My mother was born in Komiza in 1927 and along with her mother and brother Nikola (Nick) came to the United States in 1935.  Josip and Similija had two more children here, Mitch and Andy, who have been more like big brothers than uncles because we are fairly close in age.  Yes, they did act like big brothers do most of the time – I know a few stories.

 

I am the oldest child of six, 5 girls and 1 boy.  I was born in San Jose in 1948, and have lived here all of my life (I don’t count the approximately two years total I lived in Idaho and Oakland – would you).  I have had numerous jobs, but the most memorable was when I became the first female police officer in Morgan Hill in the 1970’s.  I have been married twice.  The first time was for almost 11 years and I have two children from that marriage.  Deborah was born in 1968 in Daly City, CA, and Eric was born in Gilroy, CA, in 1971.  Deborah lives in Oklahoma and has three children; Shannon, who will be 21 in May, Matthew, 18, and Victoria, 15.  My son is married and has one boy Alexander, 12, and lives in Morgan Hill.

 

Al and I have been married for 32 years.  He has two children, Ron (Al the 3rd) who is married and lives in Seattle and Erik, who is also married, has two children, and lives in Oceanside, southern California.  Before we were married the kids were friends going to St. Catherine’s School in Morgan Hill so we have always been one big family.  Al is a self-employed CPA, always very busy.  Through his CPA work with Mayfair Packing Company, he already knew some Marianis’, especially Lou and George Sousa.  Like I said, one big family!

 

I can still remember my grandparent’s house in Cupertino.  I was always amazed by the big oval driveway, the pigeon coop, chickens and trees.  One vivid memory I have is when I spilled a bowl of pasta sauce on the carpet as I was bringing it to a holiday table.  Once they moved to Morgan Hill, when I was nine, I worked at the ranch off and on, picking prunes, walnuts and apricots and then cutting apricots under the shed.  All of us grandchildren remember grandma and the cutting shed and how she used to walk the shed and orchard.  Our children and some grandchildren have done some type of work there.  What a great way to prepare for life.  Since high school, I’ve sometimes worked helping sort and cut fruit, bookkeeping for Mariani Orchards and now bookkeeper for Andy’s Orchard.  Wow, what did I say, one big family.

 

I am really looking forward to going to Croatia, visiting where the family is from and just visiting with my ‘one big family’.  Fish and more fresh fish.  Yum!  

 

 

Victoria (Vicki) Porter Scribner

Daughter of Sonja Mariani Porter

The youngest of Sonja and Bill Porter’s children, I was named after my mother and her paternal grandmother, Victoria. I soon came to find out that my name has a long history in my Grandpa Luka’s family which I find a delightful tradition from the “old country.” I also loved that one of my mother’s older aunts kept calling me Sonja when she visited when I was a little girl because I reminded her of my mom as a little girl in Croatia. I think it was even then that the dream of visiting my mother’s birthplace began. 

My childhood growing up in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, California, was always interesting. We especially looked forward to visits from my mother’s parents, Ina and Luka Mariani. Even though my mother didn’t pass on many Croatian words that were considered polite in mixed company, which limited my understanding of their conversations, I always knew which of us kids they were talking about and whether or not we were in trouble. I will never forget the time my Grandpa came to visit with fresh squid, which the thought of eating I approached with some trepidation. Ever curious, I tromped out to the back of the yard where Grandpa had set up his cleaning station to check it out. I was fascinated by his slicing and cleaning and scraping but when he made a point of showing me something he thought was pretty cool – and then poked the squid which oozed purple liquid everywhere- I burst into tears and ran away crying. I will never forget Grandpa’s laughter behind me as I fled into the house. Needless to say, I was the topic of conversation that night as I sat swollen-eyed at the dinner table refusing to eat our special dinner. Luckily for me, I have since learned to appreciate this delicacy. 

I also loved to visit our grandparents in San Pedro where all kinds of family and friends would come to see us. I still find it hysterical how they would stand around talking about us as we sat before them eating while they knew full well we couldn’t understand a word they were saying other than our names over and over again. I remember overhearing many conversations about Tito and a vivid concern about what would happen after he died. This was certainly borne out in the years since. My favorite memory is of a smell, Grandpa’s cellar where he made red wine and port. He would be puttering around down there frequently and I loved to hang out with him and watch him fixing something or sorting his tools. I remember how he lovingly cared for his orange and lemon trees and picked the citrus with his own little invention, a basket on the end of a stick. I thought he was a genius! My mother used to always tell us how Grandpa Luka would show her his hands, gnarled from years of pulling in fishing nets, and tell her, “Don’t use these, use this,” then pointing to his head. I believe our family’s strong value of education started here. 

But Grandpa was also a very funny man, always teasing Grandma about his girlfriends. She would pretend to be angry and shake a spoon at him over the stove and then grin and shoo him out of the kitchen. Grandma was very serious about her cooking and it took me years to figure out that the meals she served with three or four main courses were the norm in her house. She would stand over us at the kitchen table, never sitting with us to eat, and make sure we ate continuously . . . no pauses for conversation allowed! “Eat, eat!” I loved her baking fests when she visited us and it was always amazing how quickly all five of us kids would blaze through the huge batch of hrustule she would spend hours cooking. Sometimes I was allowed to help do the powdered sugar, but she didn’t usually like to have too many people in the kitchen with her. 

I attended Catholic grade school and Mercy High School in Carmichael, and then received an academic scholarship at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I am an alumnus of the 100th graduating class and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in English. Soon after graduation, I began working for California Governor Pete Wilson as a legislative analyst. I mostly wrote analyses on proposed legislation dealing with local government issues such as water (a very controversial issue in our state) and some crime bills. I also edited a series of growth management publications while working for the Governor’s Chief Economist. During this time, I met and married and became a full-time mother to my step-son Michael, then eight years old. Before long, I had two more boys, David Anthony and Luke Edward. We lived in Roseville for the first five years of our marriage and then moved to the neighboring community of Rocklin where we currently reside. After the Wilson Administration ended, I moved on to another position as an analyst for the Department of Social Services where I have continued my career. 

As for my family, my step-son Michael is the father of a new baby, Alexander, which makes me Grandma (and, no, I don’t mind the moniker!). Continuing in my family’s Catholic education tradition, my two younger boys attend a Catholic grade school in the area. Luke is now finishing up sixth grade, while David just graduated from eighth grade and is planning to attend Jesuit High School in the Fall. I have high hopes for my boys following in the tradition of education that my Grandpa Luka set so many years ago with my mother. Their legacy spans a century and I am proud to be a recipient of it.

 

 

Biography for Cindy Bondi Souza and husband Manuel Souza

 

My grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani.  My mother is Josip's first child born Victoria Margaret Mariani in 1927 Komiza on the island of Vis.  My mom and her younger brother Nikola (Nick) left Komiza in 1935 with their mother Similija (Sima) Joncic Mariani.

 

I (Cindy) am the third child of six children and was born in 1954 in Gilroy, CA.  My husband is Manuel, born in 1953 in San Jose, CA.  I was raised in Morgan Hill, CA. Manuel moved to San Martin, CA in first grade.  We have been going together since junior high and in February of this year celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary.   During the first four and a half years of our marriage Manuel was in the Army.  We lived three years in Germany and a little over a year in Maryland before returning to Morgan Hill where we currently live.

I generally work in Credit & Collections/Accounts receivable departments formerly working for manufacturing companies in Semiconductor Equipment, Medical Equipment and Gateways.  Manuel is an Optics Technician, utilizing the training he received in the Army.  We both love going to the movies and eating lots of pop corn.  I enjoy knitting and crocheting and he plays with the computer.

We have three children, two boys and one girl:

Anthony (Tony) born Jul 2, 1980

Currently working as a car mechanic

Ryan born Jul 2, 1983

Currently working as a cook

Kassandra born Oct 21, 1986

Currently going to school and working part time

We are traveling together to the reunion

 

I visited the island of Vis with my mother, father and Manuel in the Spring of 1978.   I was fortunate to meet Teta Vinka, grandpa’s sister, who lived in Podspilje with her husband Ivo and tended the old Mariani vineyards.    We still talk about the fish she cooked over a wood fire. During this time there was a curfew on the island which was due to a large military presence.  You would see the "no camera" signs throughout the country.  We had taken the trip in our large van, that was in itself unusual for the area, but it also included US Military plates.  Needless to say, Manuel breathed a sigh of relief when our visit was completed.  

 

One of the antidotes from our visit I love to share regards my mother.  Since no one spoke English we relied on her as our translator.  We would listen to her and the others converse and then she would turn to us to relay the information, except she would forget to actually translate and we would always have to say "English, English".

 

 

 

 

Biography for Kathryn Porter Rapperport

Granddaughter of Luka Mariani

 

I am Luka’s oldest grandchild.  My mother, Sonja came from Komiza when she was three and grew up in San Pedro with her parents, Luka and Ina; brother, Nick; and sister, Arlene.  My mom moved to the Sacramento area soon after marrying my father, Bill Porter.  They raised three girls and two boys while my mother worked as a teacher and helped my dad with his various volunteer and civic activities.  

Although Sonja raised the five of us in the Sacramento area, we have fond memories of trips to San Pedro and Cupertino.  As a child I thought that San Pedro was composed of two worlds:  Grandma reigned over the upper sphere with her exacting culinary and hygienic standards, Grandpa reigned over the little backyard which included the barbecue, enormous succulents, a mini-citrus grove and access to the basement, redolent with fragrances of wine casks and an old sea chest filled with the treasure trove of golden apricots.  Grandma also liked to do things like put my hair into tight coiled braids, so I tended to hang out with Grandpa.  Trips to Cupertino involved bumpy roads through fruit trees, the good kind of dust, and racks of drying fruit.  I remember how animated my mother was on these trips and how we ran in the orchards and watched the Three Stooges while the adults talked to each other in a language we could not understand.  

Family life in Sacramento seemed busy.  We all went to Catholic schools and looked forward to sacraments and church festivals.  During summers, our house had one of the most active pools in the neighborhood, with a well placed apricot tree that allowed children to eat freely as they waited for their turn at the diving board.  We also spent a lot of time at our cabin at Lake Tahoe where we enjoyed winter and summer sports.  I helped take care of the four younger kids and worked for my dad at the tire company and Indian Jewelry Center.  When not at home, I participated in scouting, sports, drama, and politics.  It seemed like a lot of life was packed into that early period.

When I was seventeen, I went to college at the University of San Francisco.  While there, I met a nice Jewish boy from Boston who I stayed in touch with during my year working in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Two weeks before I started medical school, Dan and I were married.  He continued his studies in Palo Alto while I studied in Galveston.  We were able to settle down together in Boston where he worked for his father while I completed my studies.  Three days after finishing a residency in Psychiatry, Anna was born.  Leah came along three years later.  An illness slowed us down, but seven years after Leah was born, we were blessed with the arrival of David.  

We have been living in Lexington for over twenty years now.  I have a private practice in psychiatry and see an interesting mix of patients from ages fourteen to ninety one.  My husband, Dan runs Rapperport Associates, a scientific consulting firm that provides support for legal and insurance cases.  Our oldest, Anna is finishing high school at Cushing Academy and will probably attend Mt. Holyoke in the fall.  She enjoys volleyball, lacrosse, cooking and works at a farm stand in the summer.   Our younger daughter, Leah just started high school at Beaver Country Day and enjoys cooking, photography, and volleyball.  She has a list of a dozen different art and sports camps she would like to attend this summer, but has not been able to get her mother to sit down and commit.  Our youngest, David is a second grader at Waldorf School of Lexington and enjoys ice hockey and the Lightning Thief series.  He also collects rocks, Tin-Tin books, and maps.  David is enjoying learning some rudimentary hrvatski with his mother and is disappointed that he and Leah will need to stay in school while his mother and older sister travel to Croatia.

In addition to my commitments to work and family, I have been active in my parish, which had been slated for closure in the reconfiguration process in Boston.  We were fortunate to preserve our parish and have learned a lot about canon law and church politics in the process.  I am also active with the prison ministry at MCI-Framingham where we work with women who are adjusting to release from prison.  I am also a lector at church and active in liturgy.  Although the family attends Seders and the occasional Shabat service, Dan accompanies us to mass every Sunday and works in the inner city Food Pantries that our parish supports. 

 

 

Biography for Lydia Bondi Palmer and husband Ed Palmer

My grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani. My mother is Josip’s first child, Victoria Margaret Mariani, born in 1927 in Komiza on the island of Vis. My mom and her younger brother Nikola (Nick) left Komiza in 1935 with their mother Similija (Sima) Joncic Mariani. My grandfather had 2 more sons born in the US. My two uncles, Mitch and Andy, are only 6 and 4 years older than I am. They were more like brothers than uncles.

I (Lydia) am the second child of six children and was born in 1949 in Gilroy, California, USA. My husband, Ed, was born in 1944 in Fresno, California. He comes from a family of 4 children and is the baby.  Ed and I have 3 children: Christopher 29, Andrea 28 and Kimberly 26. Ed also has an older son, Nathan 38.  Our children are all married and live in various places in California. Chris is a story-board artist, Andrea is a teacher and Kim works in finance. Nathan works at Lockheed (like his dad).

 

I have worked for Santa Clara County for just under 42 years and am retiring April 29th of this year (2011). I started as a teenager and am retiring as a grandmother. I have worked the last 37 years in the Controller’s office of the Finance department. It has been a blessing working in a job that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Ed retired a year and a half ago from Lockheed after 40 years. 

 

As a child I ran around Grandpa and Grandma’s ranch enjoying all kinds of experiences. As a teenager I would cut apricots every summer and advanced to a shed lady. Grandma Mariani once told me when we were walking through the dry yard that apricots had lots of ‘Vytemins’ (her pronunciation). I had to think for a while to understand that she meant vitamins. Grandpa Mariani made the best roasted chestnuts in the fireplace. Also, he would sit on a bag of assorted Hersey miniature chocolates and pretend that they came out of his tush. We would be thrilled that our Grandpa was so talented.

 

My life and family are truly a wonderful blessing. 

 

HEIDI CHRISTINA MARIANI - BARBERIO

 

   I am the daughter of the Jacqueline Lea Shupe and Nick Mathew Mariani. Nick Mariani, son of Josip (Bepo) and Similija Mariani and grandson of Nikola Mariani, who was brother to Paul, Sr., Jack, Sr., and Marian Mariani.  My father arrived in the United States in 1935 with his older sister Victoria and my Uncle Mitch and Uncle Andy were born in the USA.  I was born in 1963, while living in Morgan Hill on the family ranch with my 3 older sisters, Robin Bjorstrom, Similija Hoover and Victoria Combs, yes I was the youngest. That was until my father remarried and I had a little brother Nicholas Mariani. 

 

   I have very warm hearted memories of the holidays with all my family and a lot of cousins on the ranch. Grandma Sima was always cooking up a feast which often included oxtail soup and fussing over my hair in my eyes and me being too skinny.  If she could see me now, ha, ha.  I also remember sitting on Grandpa Joe’s lap or playing peek-a-boo with him while he sat in his chair watching Bonanza. Not all the kids would sit on Grandpa Joe’s lap probably because they thought he was scarey lookin’ with his huge hairy eyebrows, but I just loved him. Growing up I had a very active childhood on the ranch in Morgan Hill and time shared with mom in Bay Area and East Bay Area (Palo Alto, San Francisco,  Danville/Alamo and Pleasant Hill). Always on the move and I never had a shortage of friends especially since I had the “pony”. My sister Simi was the horse rider and was determined to teach her younger sister how to ride by jumping on Samuel the pony and immediately getting brushed off from under a tree. I have very fond memories of helping pick cherries in June on the ranch….all the ones I could eat. Then I would go in the house with a tummy ache and sit with Grandma while she crocheted wonderful blankets (some of I still have) for all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I also recall helping my dad with the orchards on Cochrane Road… chasing the squirrels that loved to eat the apricots just as they ripened. Then  I crashed my step mom’s VW into the fence, then crashed another car and yet another car. Some say I was following my father footsteps. I will never forget when Dad caught me coming home through the window after sneaking out and being out all night.  He didn’t whip me but just shook his head and of course I was grounded. For that matter Mom caught me once too. I guess I wasn’t too great at sneaking around from my parents as they had already done it all. 

 

   My father was a wonderful cook and a very charismatic which was an asset when he decided to spring from the family farm and try his luck in the restaurant business and bought the Villa in Morgan Hill. In 1978 I joined him with a job as a waitress and go-fer. My father was fond of food and especially octopus suction cups, at least from my recollection, and also lamb. I’ll never forget when he butchered little bow peep’s little lamb and I got sick of lamb…wouldn’t eat it until later in life, but love it now, thanks to Dad. You will always be in my heart. I was always bringing home “abandoned” pets and they always ended up at the ranch for my wonderful Uncle Andy to care for, not always willingly, for example the pigeons, uncle Andy was always very cool. I remember Uncle Mitch would come in the house for lunch after working in the orchards and sometimes speak Slavic, I know now it was just bad words for the sake of my virgin ears. 

 

  In the summer of 1976 I had a major career evolution when I was the “Shed Lady,” at the ripe age of 15,. That was it: management was in my blood. I thought it was the coolest thing to get paid to be bossy. Especially while growing up with 3 older, very bossy sisters.  I went on to graduate high school in 1981 with no honors. I then tried my hand in the Pleasant Hill local junior college but flew the coop just a few credits shy of an AA degree.  I got happily married in 1990 and still married for 21 years to the same wonderful man, 1st generation Italian, Jeff Barberio. We had our first child in 1991, a girl. Rejena Marie Barberio, now 20 years of age and working hard at having fun, studies to follow, we hope. In 1994 we had a son, Nicholas Joseph Barberio, now 17 years of age who is a honor student on his way to college, possibly SFSU. While the kids were young I was very active in the PTA for several years and was the Team Mom several seasons of baseball. My children have been a large part of my life, and we have a very tight family. Every year we take 2 vacations, always the whole family. While our children were young, we went camping all around California and then in the winter, we went snow skiing. My kids now ski better than I. This trip is a huge leap for my husband and me as it’s the first vacation since 1991 that we have had without children. I just hope we have a house to come home to, ha, ha.

 

My professional life expands of 20+ years in a Banking career. I have been with Bank of the West also known as BNPA or Bank of Parris for 10 years, and I’m currently the V.P. of Operations in the Equipment Finance Division/Trinity Financial for the Collections Department. I still enjoy being bossy.  

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHY OF NICK MATHEW MARIANI (1929-2004)

 

Writer’s Note:   I was asked by the family to provide a biography of my older brother Nick.  Nick was born in Komiza but never had the opportunity to return for a visit; he lost his battle with cancer in 2004.  He would have loved being on this trip with us---several of his children, many friends, and family.   ----Andy Mariani

 

Nick arrived in California in 1935 with his mother and older sister, joining his father who had come several years earlier.  Nick was a skinny little immigrant kid who didn’t speak English when he began school.   However, he was quick to make friends.  He once told a story about his first days in school.  Our mother would fix him a hardy lunch of canned sardines on French bread---typical of the Mediterranean diet.  Nick became a little self-conscious when the olive oil from the fish began soaking through his lunch bag---a red flag that the contents was some really strange ethnic food.  

 

Nick solved his embarrassing problem when he made friends with twin boys. They appeared to be All-American-type kids, according to Nick, with freckled faces, looking like they had just jumped off a Norman Rockwell magazine cover.  Nick noticed that they were eyeing his sardine sandwiches; an exchange was negotiated.  Nick managed to get some really American food in return---a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and so began Nick’s assimilation into American culture.  

 

That was Nick---always quick to make friends.   He was also a bit of a mischievous kid.   It can be said of Nick that his youth was not misspent, especially if one accepts the premise that in youth the sole purpose of living is to satisfy one’s curiosity and to have fun.  Growing up in rural Cupertino, he would play with other Croatian kids like Betty  Mardesich.   One of Nick’s ideas was to climb a tank house, tie handkerchiefs to live kittens and launch the furry little paratroopers off the tower while his playmate Betty watched in horror.   Surprisingly, even when a chute didn’t open, the kitten would land on its feet.

 

Nick’s mother drew the line, however, when Nick shot Betty in the leg with a BB gun and made her cry.  It’s a cold case now; we’ll never know whether it was pre-meditated or simply a ricochet.   However, the mothers, Rita and Similija, who grew up together in Komiza and were best friends,  consulted and came up with a punishment to fit the crime.  Mom confiscated the gun, buried it, never to be seen again.

 

Nick attended local high schools (Live Oak and Fremont) where he excelled in sports, particularly basketball, and graduated from Fremont High School in 1947. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Ord during the Korean Conflict, and in 1957 received a degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University.  From 1957 to 1965, he operated Mariani Orchards, a family-own business, in Morgan Hill where he grew apricots, cherries and prunes.   In the 1960’s he also worked as a teacher/counselor at the James Boys Ranch in Morgan Hill and later as a teacher at Quimby Oak School in San Jose.  At one time he also owned and operated a local restaurant, The Villa, in Morgan Hill. 

 

He had four children.  From his first marriage (Jackie) there are daughters Simi, Tori and Heidi and from his second marriage (Louise), his son Nick.  His grandchildren include Leah, AJ, Robyne, PJ, Brandyn, Rejena and Nicholas.   

 

Nick’s greatest legacy is probably that he lived life to the fullest for which he’ll always be remembered by his contemporaries.  Someone said that he crammed about 300 years of living in 75.  One need only bring up his name, and his old friends, would immediately recall a few choice stories about Nick.   Nick passed away peacefully in 2004, but he always dreamed of returning to his birthplace.  With his 2 daughters and son attending, along with the rest of his family, we are assured that Nick will be there in spirit.        

 

  

Personal Biography for Nick M. Mariani, Jr.

 

Nick Mathew Mariani, Jr. was born in January, 1969.  Nick’s father, Nick Mathew Mariani, Sr., and Louise Mariani, married in 1968, and were both longtime residents of Morgan Hill.  Nick Jr. was Nick’s youngest, and only son, who to this day still resides at the same residence he lived at since birth.

 

My grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani.  Nick’s Jr.’s father was Josip’s second child, born Nikola Mariani in 1929, in Komiza,  known as Nick

Mathew Mariani, in the US.  Nick Jr. has three older half-sisters, from his fathers first marriage, Simi Hoover, Tori Combs, and Heidi Barberio.

 

Nick Jr. has two uncles, who were his father’s younger two brothers; Andrew Mariani, and Mitchell Mariani, as well as one aunt, his father’s older sister, Victoria Bondi, all of whom are residing in Morgan Hill.

 

Nick Jr. graduated Live Oak High School in 1987, and has been working in the Information Technology (computer) field since that time.  In addition to regular employment, Nick, Jr. has been involved in a variety of projects and endeavors over the years, such as the founder, owner, and operator of the internet firm, NectarTech, LLC, which formerly provided web hosting services to a large array of clients around the world.  Nick, Jr. operated this business for nearly six years from 2002 to 2007, before selling his company in 2007.  Nick currently performs an array of computer consulting services, and hasprojects for various clients.

 

When Nick is not working with computers and technology, he enjoys traveling; taking road trips across the country, reading, coin collecting (numismatics), and most recently started traveling overseas on various journeys.

 

Nick has a wealth of knowledge in various subject areas.  His favorite topics are current events, geography, economics/finance, politics, aviation, engineering, and anything new, or cutting-edge.  Nick loves pasta, steak/beef, chicken, and of course PIZZA!  He’s not too fond of seafood, however!!

 

Nick’s father, Nick Mariani, Sr., who passed away  in 2004 played a profound role in Nick Jr.’s love for travel.  Nick and his Dad would often take road trips every summer.  One of the more memorable trips during the summer of 1982, was an adventure journey driving from California to Alaska, taking nearly a month.

 

During many of the road trips, Nick Sr. would often refer to his Son as “The Navigator” as it was always Nick’s “job” to make sure that his Dad didn’t get lost, and also plan the upcoming route.  Nick, Jr. recalls one night, driving back to California on a return trip from Washington state to visit his Sister, Simi Hoover.  Someplace in Oregon, off Interstate 5, Nick’s Dad needed to find a gas station.  It was a foggy, dark night, and after exiting the freeway, they ended up driving for what seemed like forever looking for this “gas station” Nick Sr. thought was there…  Well, it turned out there was no gas station to be found, and no I-5 highway, either...

They ended up on some lonely highway in the middle of nowhere, and ran out of gas!  Nick Jr. recalls walking down this lonely road for what seemed like forever to some old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere to use the phone to call AAA!

 

The funny thing about this scenario is that it happened more times than Nick could recall on their road trips.  Not so much because of the fault of the “navigator”, but the real moral of the story is that the cheapest gas station is not ALWAYS  where you think it is, even it’s just a few miles off the highway!!

 

Mitchell (Mitch) Mariani

 

My grandparents were Nikola & Victoria Mariani.  Nikola was the older brother of Paul, Jack, and Marian.  My father, Josip (Bepo), was born in Komiza in 1904 and was the oldest of four children.  My father immigrated to the USA in 1931, followed by his wife Similija, daughter Victoria, and son Nikola (Nick) in 1935.  I was the first child born in the USA, in San Jose, California during the spring of 1944.  My brother Andy was born in 1945.

 

At the time I was born, my family lived in Morgan Hill, California.  In 1946, the family moved to Cupertino, California where we grew apricots and prunes.  The residence and ranch was located on Highway 9 (North De Anza Boulevard), which is now a small shopping center.  To supplement the family's income, my father was a fisherman for the commercial tuna industry in San Pedro, California.

 

During the twelve years we lived in Cupertino, I attended Collins School and Cupertino Junior High.  The family moved back to Morgan Hill in the summer of 1958.  I attended Live Oak High School and graduated in 1962.  I enrolled at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in the fall of 1962, where I majored in Farm Management.  I returned home to manage the family orchards in 1966.  I spent a few months in Australia in 1968 overseeing a pear drying enterprise for Paul Mariani Junior, and working  at Simarloo.

 

I married San Jose resident, Dolores (Dede) Ardizzone in 1971 and we made our home on the ranch in Morgan Hill. We have two grown children.  After many years together, my wife passed away in 2007.

 

After returning home from college, I was witness to the modernization of agriculture, and along with my management, lead to the success and profitability of the business.  When I first started to manage the ranch, we were growing apricots and prunes, which were processed for the dried fruit market.  Cherries were eventually added to our array of fruit trees that occupied the property.  In the late 1970s, I decided to increase our drying capabilities.  We increased our dried apricot output by sourcing fresh apricots, but we also began to dry peaches and pears.  With a large variety of dried fruit, we began to direct market to the public through on site sales and mail order. Also at this time, apricots and cherries replaced the prune acreage.  Cherry growing and packing became the largest segment of the business by the late 1980s.  Except for a few acres of apricots, much of the acreage was converted to cherries.  Looking forward to retirement, I began downsizing in the early 2000s.  I continue to grow cherries, but much less acreage than I did  in years past.  I also continue to grow and dry a few acres of apricots.

 

I have been involved in many community activities through the years. I was active in the Farm Bureau at the county and state level.  I served on the county board for 32 years and as county president for two years.  I was a state board member representing San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties in Sacramento for six years.  I have also served on various county commissions and commodity  advisory boards.  I am currently a member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Advisory Board and have served on this board for many years.

 

My hobbies include traveling, RV camping, fishing, walking, and most recently surfing the Internet.  I'm looking forward to my first trip to Europe, meeting family and connecting to my family’s history in Komiza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIKOLA MARIANI FAMILY

 

1. Josip (Bepo) Mariani/Similija Joncic

               A.  Victoria/Sam Bondi

(1) Sylvia/Albert Cook

a. Deborah:  Shannon, Matthew, Victoria, Joshua

b. Eric Bell/Lori:  Alexander

                            (2) Lydia/Ed Palmer

                                    a.  Christopher Palmer/Robyn

                                    b.  Andrea/Herbie Lee

                                    c.  Kimberly/Dylan Youngblood

                            (3) Cynthia/Manuel Souza

                                    a.  Anthony

                                    b.  Ryan

                                    c.  Kassandra

                            (4) Joann/Andrew Perez

                                    a.  Matthew

                                    b.  Phillip

                            (5)  Joseph/Shirley

                                    a.  Jennifer/Nathan Sabri

                                    b.  Samantha/Andrew Beier

                                    c.  Jessica

                                    d.  Alexandra

                                    e. Rachel

                            (6)  Gina/Ed Elliott

                                     a.  Marcella Chambless:  Marcus, Ava, Audrey

                                     b.  Ken Brown, Jr

              B. Nick Mathew Mariani/Jackie Shupe, Louise Williams

                            (1)  Similija (Simi)/Greg Hoover

                                     a. Lea

                                     b. AJ

                            (2)  Victoria (Tori) Combs

                                     a.  Robyne

                                     b.  PJ

                                     c.  Brandyn

                            (3)  Heidi/Jeff Barberio

                                     a.  Rejena

                                     b.  Nicholas

                            (4)  Nick Mariani, Jr.

 

 

C. Mitchell Mariani/Dolores Ardizzone

(1) Mitchell II

(2) Stacy

D. Andrew (Andy) Mariani

2. Vinka/Ivo Marinkovic

                      A.  Vinko (Voje)/Antoinette, Blanka

(1) Anthony 

(2) John Vince

(3) Donna Vinka/David Villaescusa

         a. Derek Vincent

         b. Drew Michael

              B. Domina/Jure Kordic

                            (1)Gino

                                                      (2) Loris

                 3.  Luka Mariani/Cvijeta (Ina) Stanojevic

                                      A. Sonja Victoria Mariani/William (Bill) Porter

(1) Kathryn Elizabeth Porter/Daniel Jon Rapperport

a. Anna Porter Rapperport

b. Leah Porter Rapperport

c. David John Rapperport

(2) William Louis Porter/Lori Jean Sequist

       a.  William David Porter

b. Sarah Jean Porter

(3) John Paul Porter/Joanna Lynn Ahern

       a.   Madeline Jean Porter

b. Daniel John Porter

(4) Julia Marie Porter/Guy Douglas Miller

        a.  Reed Edward Miller

 b. Nick Paul Miller

(5) Victoria Teresa Porter/William Royal Scribner

       a.  David Anthony Scribner

b. Luke Edward Scribner

         B.  Nick Joe Mariani/Brenda Kay Frick

(1) Jeffrey Scott Mariani/Karie Mariah Zafiropoulos

       a.  Isabella Rose Mariani

(2) Ena Marija Mariani/Ryan Chenoweth, Gerald Francis Buscemi

a. Ryan Joseph Chenoweth

b. Mackenzie Brook Chenoweth

c. Gerald Nicholas Buscemi

(3) Nick Andrew Mariani/Donna Ann Castro

a. Cara Ann Mariani

 

 

         C. Arlene Louann Mariani/John Kielbasa

(1)John Kielbasa, Jr./Marie Trimarchi

a.Alessandra Kielbasa

b.John Anthony Kielbasa

(2)Michele

                                              (3)Michael

(4) Katherine

(5) Christina

B. Miljenka Mariani/Jozo Martinovic

        A.  Ivo

        B.  Varjanka

        C.  Ljiljana/Petar Milovic                            

                            (1) Jana

                       

 

Biography for Gina Marie (Bondi) Elliott – May 2011

 

The youngest of six children, I was born on May 22, 1959 in Gilroy, California, USA.  My parents Salvatore (Sam) Bondi and Victoria (Mariani) Bondi lived in Morgan Hill, CA, while raising my siblings, Sylvia, Lydia, Cynthia (Cindy), Joann, Joe and me.  We all grew up in the same house, and it is still the family homestead today.  My mother’s father was Josip (Bepo) Mariani and her mother Similija (Sima) Joncic Mariani.  My mother is Josip and Similija’s first child, Victoria Margaret Mariani born in 1927 in the town of Komiza on the island of Vis. In 1935, my grandmother left Komiza, taking my mother and her younger brother, Nikola (Nick), to join my grandfather in California, USA.  My grandparents had two more sons born in California, named Mitchell and Andy.

 

My husband’s name is Ed Elliott.  Between us we have six children named: Marcella (Brown) Chambless, Kenneth Brown, Jr. (Gina’s children), Yahna Elliott, Christy Elliott, Tonya Elliott and Megan Elliott (Ed’s children).  Ed is a retired police officer, and I have worked for a construction company for the past 26 years.

 

As many in my family, I had the opportunity to work at Mariani Orchards, known as “The Ranch”, while growing up.  The ranch was like a second home.  Our family Christmas celebrations were always at the ranch with a lovely tree and a mountain of gifts due to our every-growing family.  Winter was also the time of year that my Grandpa Mariani (Bepo) would repair fruit trays and performed other tasks to prepare for the next season.  He would let me sit and watch him as he diligently worked with his hands.  My summers were spent cutting countless apricots, sorting cherries and a variety of dried fruit.  When sorting fruit, Grandma Mariani (Sima) would instruct me to “Pika-lika-chicken” while demonstrating a quick up and down hand movement (like a chicken pecking the ground) to remove unwanted fruit or debris from the sorting belt and tossing it into the appropriate box.  Grandma had a green 1960 Chervrolet Impala car that she drove with style – complete with plastic on the seats to keep them from getting soiled.  I stayed with her often and we would take the car for trips to Nob Hill Foods (grocery store) so she could prepare the best pasta with meat sauce or some kind of “fish surprise” in a pot.  

 

My mother, Victoria (Mom), is one of the hardest working women I know.  When I was young, she worked in canneries about half of the year and still managed to do all of the meal preparations (including fruit canning), shopping, cleaning tasks, making treats to take to school and the list goes on.  She also mended and made clothes like the matching black velvet jumpers for Cindy, Joann and me.  Mom also had a way of seemingly tossing anything in a pot, pan or oven and a wonderful meal would emerge. I don’t ever remember saying, “There’s nothing to eat!” although the variety of foods was sometimes unique.  For example, we enjoyed fried smelt fish, oxtail soup, fried frog legs (that my father had collected), a pot of robins (yes, the bird) in a red sauce thanks to my bother’s hunting skill and my mom’s lightning-fast plucking. We even ate cleaned garden snails that made a clanking/clicking sound as you stirred them around in the pot.  One of my mother’s specialties was Peas and Eggs.  A very simply meal, typically served on meatless Fridays, that was prepared with canned peas in a tomato sauce base with sautéed onion and salt & pepper for seasoning.  Once heated through, raw eggs are gently added to poach within the peas.  Only bread is needed to round out the meal.  Last year, my sister, Joann, came to my home to prepare this “comfort food” treat for me while I was recuperating from surgery.  Therefore, I can now attest to the tastiness of Peas and Eggs and its healing abilities, too.

 

During the summer many food items came straight from the garden – picked and served the same day.  My father, Sam (Dad) was a barber, bowler and avid gardener. To encourage my gardening interest, Dad would let me plant flowers, fruits and vegetables in different plots, and he would demonstrate planting, repotting and give general guidance.  If Dad saw an odd plant sprouting up in the yard, he knew to call me first-- surely I was the culprit.  He also taught me some basic yards skills, such as, mowing the lawn, grooming hedges and pruning shrubs and trees.  My godfather, Andy Mariani, is an advisor, too, and has contributed to my interest in more unusual plants and trees.

 

Andy is also a good teacher.  In 2007, as a surprise for my Mom’s 80th birthday party, we (her six children) wanted to sing “Happy Birthday” to her in her native language of Komiski.  Andy taught us the words and pronunciation then we practiced and practiced.  At Mom’s party, with many relatives and guests present, we truly surprised her with a rousing rendition of “Sretan Rodjendan.”  

 

Today, new memories are being made as I drive my grandchildren around in my white 1966 Ford Falcon.  I see their smiles and believe that if I asked them if this old car could take us to the moon and back, they would say “Yes.”  They tell me it’s their favorite car and they don’t seem to mind that we have no air-conditioning or power steering, and you find every bump on the road the hard way.  

 

Since high school, another interest for me has been tumbling (gymnastics) for fun and exercise.  Although, recently I had to modify this activity to hand stands and cartwheels.  Still lots of fun!

 

Currently, my husband and I live in Morgan Hill and I work full-time. 

We both enjoy gardening, rock collecting and spending time with family, friends and our grandchildren.  We thank God for the many blessings we have been given and our family that have added to our full life.

 

 

 

My name is Joe Bondi.  My great-grandfather was Nikola Mariani and my grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani.   

 

I am the only son of Victoria Mariani and the late Sam Bondi. I was born in 1957 and raised in Morgan Hill, California.

 

My wife Shirley and I have been married for nearly 33 years now.  Initiated by the US Army and then by wanderlust, Shirley and I moved around a little bit before settling back down in Morgan Hill in the late 90s.  Following in my father’s footsteps, I have five daughters (but no son).  There is a wide range in age between them.  My oldest is in her 4th year of teaching 8th grade.  The next two are in college, number four is in high school and the youngest is in elementary school.  Our oldest daughter will make us first time grandparents by the time we meet at the family reunion.

 

I work as a Manufacturing Engineer for a company in Silicon Valley that produces equipment for the slowly dying disk industry as well as newer products for the Biotech industry.

My interests have always been with building machinery and then making them work.  I developed this interest at an early age while working on automotive and farm machinery at the Mariani Ranch in Morgan Hill and through exposure to my family’s association with many other farming families in our community.  I also like to pretend I am a farmer by hacking on the fruit trees around our yard.

 

Some of the fondest memories of my youth were from the times I spent out at the ranch.  It was my refuge from home and my five sisters.  Grandma Mariani bought the premium cereals (Life, Chex, etc.) and her soft boiled eggs were always perfect, and of course, so was her pasta.  I also got to spend a lot of time with grandpa Mariani.  We would repair fruit drying trays in the winter (good wood for building toy airplanes), get our news from Huntley and Brinkley and watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  

 

My uncles Mitch and Andy were like older brothers to me.  I worked with them all the way up through my teen years.  It was with them that I drove for the first time (an old farm truck which I got to steer), caught my first fish, and went to my first SF Giants game.

 

Being part of the Mariani family has always been something that I have been proud of and I am very pleased to be able to go back to where it all started and enjoy the experience with the entire family.

 

 

Julia (Julie) Porter Miller 

I am Luka Mariani’s granddaughter.  My mother is Luka’s oldest child Sonja “Victoria” Mariani Porter.  My mother Sonja was born in Komiza, Yugoslavia on July 31, 1936. I was born June 3, 1963 and am one of five children born to Sonja and William Porter.  We grew up in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, California.  We all attended Catholic schools 1st grade through college.  I also received a basketball scholarship and graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and earned a Masters Degree from C.S.U. Sacramento in Educational Administration. 

 

I have been a teacher/administrator for 25 years in the public school system in the Sacramento area.  I have been married to my husband Guy Miller since 1993.  (He was raised in Santa Clara, CA.)  We have two children, Reed Edward (15), a Freshman at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA and Nicholas Paul, a fifth grader at Holy Family Catholic School.  We live in the small rural town of Loomis, CA just outside of Auburn.  

 

Some of my favorite memories of my Grandparents stem from visits at both ends of the state.  I always remember how Luka and Ina, and a car load of friends would drive up 99 and later I-5, from San Pedro for the entire day.  The big old Buick would pull up at our house and out would come Grandpa in a full three piece suit, a Fedora on his head and dark sunglasses.  He always looked like the Mafia!  That thick accent added to this image as well.  In his pocket he would always have a handful of butterscotches to dole out to the kids.  When they were there we ate a lot of fish and fought over the marinated octopus and squid.  We all loved it! There was also an entire day spent making hrustule with Grandma.  What a mess but a great treat! Luka always loved to work with his hands in the gardens and at our vacation home in Tahoe he built an entire rock wall around our driveway and parking area.  Its example still stands there today with some structural improvements for large snow years.  When I was in college I would visit Grandma and Grandpa (Luka and Ina) often and would bring my friends.  We all enjoyed our visits and they loved to cook for us.  To this day, some of my friends still remark their favorite catch phrase from Grandma – “EAT! EAT! EAT!”  Grandpa’s best advice was – to always work hard and get an education.  He was a fisherman out of San Pedro Harbor.  He said that he always worked hard with his hands because… “No Money—No Honey!” as he shot a thumb toward his wife.


 

Jack Mariani Family

 

Son Luka (Louise)  died in 2007. Luka had four children

Jack Mariani; m Linda Flood;  m. to Marjorie Jane Armstrong 

o Matt married Laura Tocco and children Miles 2007, Mia 2009 and Tyler 2010. 

o Justin married Erina Marchini and children Jack Paul 2008, Angelina 2010, Grace 2010

o Megan married joseph Lombard and children Logan 2011

 

Diane - deceased

Louis Mariani Jr.

o Son of Louis 

o Ben in 1990

Marty Married to Theresa Avellar

o Andrew Paul Mariani

o Adam Mariani

 

Helen Mardesich Schoen

 

                     During the past year and a half I've been living in Palm Desert, Calif. in the Sun City Retirement Community by Del Webb.  I moved here from Sun City West, Arizona, because  my husband, Ted, passed away 7 yrs. ago and I have kids in this area, namely, a granddaughter, Dina, her husband, Jeremy, their three children, Isabelle, 16, Natalie 8, and Penelope 4.  Dina, Jeremy and Isabelle are on the Mariani Flotilla trip with all of us.  Jeremy is a Chiropracter and Dina runs the office.  A good family to be close to me.

 

I am 76 yrs. old and still very active both socially and physically.  It is very enlightening living in a community of retirees and acting as though we are in high school again except for the bodies not working quite the same.  I will add here that I have had both knees replaced and a partial shoulder replacement.

 

My brother Anton and I lost our father when I was 10 and he was 4.  We lived in Everett, Wash. at the time.  We then moved along with our mother, Winifred, to Cupertino, Calif. to live with our grandparents, her parents, Jack Mariani Sr and Lukrica Mariani.  Our Uncles, Jack Jr, Louie Mariani and Nick Petrucela (Katie Mariani's husband, my mothers sister) were very much in evidence during our growing up years.  The orchards were around us and we were with cousins all of the time, way out in the country.  Gradually we worked in the orchard, the packing shed and the apricot cutting shed.  Those days were carefree with being out picking prunes all day or whatever and not worry about getting taken by strangers. Anton has many stories to tell about driving trucks of fruit etc. etc.

 

I attended San Jose State and finished at Healds Business College.  That diploma opened the door to many different jobs I had.  Santa Clara County Government, Lockheed Missiles and Space, Hughes Aircraft, eventually to be a buyer of fine gifts for Allied Arts in Palo Alto, went on to be a Broker/Realtor and loved selling Real Estate.

 

The father of my 2 sons, Peter and Dino, was Pat Guzzetti.  When we married we lived in San Jose.  He has now passed away as has one son, Peter.  Dino lives in Washington State.  One of his daughters, Jeannie, lives in the Bellingham, Washington area with her husband and 3 children.  His other daughter, Dina, lives here in Calif.

 

Dina and Jeannie have a half brother, Nick, by their mother Teri, who is also close to me.  Nick's wife Shawna and their new baby live on the Marine Base in Thousand Palms near me and spend time at my place a lot.  Often, Teri, their mother, is visiting here along with her husband.

 

I have 3 generations of family with me on this family reunion.   Total, I have 2 granddaughters and an adoptive grandson and 7 great grandchildren.

 

I married a second time to Raynold Webster who helped raise my two boys and we also raised three of his children.  So I was cooking for 7 every night.  We lived in Georgia for about 10 yrs.  Ray was with Lockheed.  Our lives there were full of kids, school, fishing, hunting, big meals and fun.  We moved back to southern California and were divorced after 10 yrs. of marriage.  Ray has passed away.

 

I stayed single for 17 yrs, was a bit scared of marriage and continued in an active career, kids getting married and new adventures. Around that time I became very friendly with Mary Frances Mariani and Gladys Mariani.  We had some big laughs together and good talks and family time.  I always wished I could have spent time with them when I was younger.  The difference in the American woman influence verses the old country influence was great for me.  I do love all of the old country cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting etc. etc. that my mother and grandmother taught me.  Teta Justine also was a favorable influence on me with her American ways.  I loved it all and was fortunate to be exposed to both.

 

I married Ted Schoen who was my cousin Marty Petrucela's buddy and his wife had passed away several years before.  Out kids were friendly and also adults by this time.  We were married 18 yrs. when he passed away.  He was a gentle Hawaiian man and was so supportive of me when my son Peter passed away as a result of Hodgkins Disease.

 

Living near my grandchildren and great grandchildren is a joy and exciting and sometimes exhausting.  They do look after me and helped me out with some of these joint surgeries I've had.  I'm blessed.

 

Living in this retirement area is a wonderful experience. I'm at the gym daily doing as much as possible and it keeps me moving well.  I also attend a Solos group and have met many widows and widowers.  We have many group functions and some private home dinners.  Occasionally, there will be some dating and turn into permanent relationships.  When I see you I'll tell you about the experiences of a retired senior that is 76 yrs. old.  Never let the grass grow under your feet.

 

I'm very excited about this trip and look forward to my young ones meeting all of you.

 

 

Helen Mardesich Schoen

 

 Anton Mardesich married Joan Garcia

   They had 3 children

            Antonine born 1966

            Jeffrey born 1969

             Jill born 1971

 

           Antonine  married Chris Brosious

 

                     They had 3 children

                         Hudson Born 1998

                         Hayden Twin born 1998

                         Parker born 2001

 

                Jeffrey married Brook Brothers

                          They had 4 children

                              Madison born 1995

                               Mason   born 1998

                               Davis    born 2000

                               Ally        born 2003

 

                  Jill married Dan Stephens

                            They had 3 children

                               Alexandra born 1999

                               Caroline   born  2001

                                Elizabeth  born  2006   


 

Simi & Greg Hoover

 

Simi's grandfather was Josip (Bepo) Mariani, Simi's father was Josip's second child, born Nikola Mariani in 1929, in Komiza, now known as Nick Mathew Mariani, in the US. Nikola left Komiza in 1935 with his mother Sima (Similija Joncic) Mariani and sister, Victoria. 

 

Simi (Similija), Nick's oldest child, was born in Gilroy Calif, in 1959. Simi's husband, Greg was also born on the west coast in the Portland area. We both now live on the Oregon coast, where we own and operate a small resort with ATV rentals and sand dune access.  We've been there 9 yrs, after leaving the Seattle area.

 

We have two children:  Lea is 20 yrs old, a junior at Oregon State, majoring in Interior Design; and AJ is 16 yrs old, a junior at Reedsport High, loves motor sports.  Simi still has horses, almost consistently since high school, when Grandma (Sima) would say "what good is a horse, just a waste of money", after all there were plenty of tractors around which would work more efficiently.  Greg enjoys working on computers, old vehicles, fishing, and eating seafood.  Simi's been a vegetarian for a few decades, watching (trying not to watch) grandma eating fish; she would save the head for last, savoring her favorite part - the eyeballs - "Simi Simi wats the matta with you", as I sat staring away from her plate. Then she'd chuckle saying something about me not knowing what's good.

 

A quote from grandma I share with my kids and employees - "keepa da hands movin".  Good advice while sorting apricots and cherries, and still good advice to get many tasks done, or least appear to be working hard.  Grandpa didn't speak much english, but he knew how to get his point across, I remember him with respect and affection.

 

 

Sonja Victoria Mariani Porter

 

In the words of the King of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, let us “Begin in the beginning”. As was the custom in Komiza and maybe all of Croatia, for all I know, since I was the first daughter of Luka Mariani and Ina Stanojevic I was named after my paternal grandmother Viktorija Mariani, wife of Nikola. I was born on July 31, 1936 in Komiza, Otok Vis, Croatia. 

Momma took care of me while Daddy sailed off to America in order to earn enough money to purchase tickets for us to be able to join him. Dad worked for some time for great-uncle Marion, who paid for his passage. I believe he also worked for my uncles Jack and Paul in their Santa Clara orchards. This was the time when war was eminent. Hitler had invaded Poland in 1936. Dad was just in time. Mom and I sailed on the last passenger ship allowed to leave Europe, the U.S.S. Manhattan bound for New Jersey. 

While on the ship, my mother came down with pleurisy, a painful lung infection. Because of the times of unrest that we were subjected to, there would be at least one “abandoned ship” drill nearly each day. We would hear sirens and had to rush onto the decks wearing our life jackets. Mom was too ill to go, but a young man I met again years later would take me to the drill each time. 

For years, I had thought I had gone through Ellis Island, but found out as an adult while visiting there, that the only Marianis to pass through there were Italian. We debarked in New Jersey and rode a train cross country to Los Angeles Union Station. A kindly porter tried to help us and was quite friendly, though none of us spoke English. Momma later told me that she had never seen a black man before in her life. She was frightened at first but later eased up when he taught me to play patty-cake and other children’s games. 

It had been a long trip but we were met by my cousins Katie, Dolly, and Louise Kordich at the station. We were taken to San Pedro to their home on the corner of 11th and Center. It was the house of Teta Milica and Barba Kordich. They lived with their teenage children, including a son Andy on the lower floor, while Milania and Stipe lived upstairs. He played a tamburitza and she, a wooden spoon. Melania would occasionally babysit and threatened to use it on me if I didn’t behave – she never did. 

When I met my dad for the first time, they asked me how I recognized him. I did not want to tell them that I recognized him because I knew he had an eye injury from an automobile accident in Croatia. I told them that I recognized him by the pants he was wearing. It was dad who insisted I be called Sonja, not Victoria. My mother joked that perhaps he had fallen in love with Sonja Henie, an Olympic skater and movie star. 

In a few months, we moved to a “court”, little, one-story bungalows joined together with common walls, only one bedroom and one bath and an “ice box”, not a refrigerator. The ice man came a couple of times a week to put a huge ice block in it to keep our food cool. Trips to the grocery store were frequent and mom would send me to the store when I grew older. We would charge everything until dad came back from fishing trips. Soup bones would be free!! 

It was after WWII had broken out that we bought our first house on 13th street between Walker and Patton. Dad paid $3000 for it and paid it off in two years. I started school at Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. It was a Catholic school with nuns in habits. I spoke no English. When I got home, I told my mother that I was not going back ever. They didn’t know the right way to talk. But stay I did and later I realized that these were wonderful days in my life. I learned to read, play the violin (sort of), to dance on toe. I made wonderful friends - some are still there for these many years. One of my best friends was Sylvia Herrera Lawlor. She was my maid of honor when I got married and she married a friend of my husband Bill whom she met at our wedding. 

We lived in San Pedro with more Komizani than were on Vis. During WWII, in 1944 with the war raging in Europe, as to protect civilians of Vis from the conditions of war, the British had a plan: all women and children and some of the elderly would leave to go to Italy by British ships. From there they would be deported to a desert tent camp ten or fifteen miles north of Suez named El Shat. They were transported by rail and cattle cars. After WWII was over, many of the women and children who had been held at the refugee camp were being brought to the United States by their families. These families from Mama’s side of the family lived with us in our tiny house. What an education! 

The 50’s were a grand time for me – high school and college. In high school I worked at Newbury’s Five and Dime and spent many summers working in Cupertino orchards, picking prunes and cutting “cots” – at 50 cents a tray!  I stayed with my Aunt Similija and Uncle Bepo in Cupertino with many fun nights with my cousin Luanne Mariani.  In 1953 I was selected to be the Skipperette of the annual Fishermen’s Fiesta, which attracted a crowd of over 200,000 to San Pedro. What a blast! It was a time of movies, parties, dances, the beach. In spite of all the fun, I did manage to be class valedictorian and win a merit scholarship for four years to Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood (Daddy, being the fisherman that he was, referred to it as  “Mackerel Heart”). Attending a women’s college is not as dire as it sounds, though it was a far cry from USC. We worked and studied for the week and partied on weekends. I met Bill Porter, my future husband, during a weekend on Santa Catalina Island. He was a student at USC on the G.I. Bill, having served in Korea. Bill had a football scholarship at Loyola University, which dropped football after his freshman year, so Bill enlisted. Now he was back. Bill and I rekindled our interest in each other at the wedding of Tony Wayne, a sorority sister and daughter of actor John Wayne. We were both invited and we had the time of our life. 

We both graduated from our respective schools, married, worked, bought homes and had 5 children. During this time, we moved from San Pedro and Los Angeles to San Mateo and finally to the Sacramento Area. Bill was an elected official in local government, an entrepreneur, real estate investor and a staunch Republican.  We spent many years raising children, various forms of community service, building vacation homes in Tahoe and Cabo San Lucas, and staying very active on the political scene.  Bill passed away in February 2010, when we were vacationing at our condo in Cabo San Lucas. He would have loved being here today. He enjoyed Croatia so much that we returned here for five different trips. 

I have retired after 32 years of teaching, but I am still surrounded by my 5 children and 11 grandchildren. Kathy, a graduate of USF and University of Texas Galvaston, is married to Dan Rapperport. They live with three children, Anna, Leah and David in Lexington, Massachusetts. Kathy is a psychiatrist in private practice and Dan is in biomedical engineering. My son Billgraduated from USF and McGeorge School of Law and is an attorney. His wife Lori has her own public relations firm. They have two children, Billy and Sarah, both attending St. John’s School in Carmichael. My son John graduated from CSU Sacramento and owns a high tech electronics sales company.  He is married to Joanna Ahern, a C.P.A. Their children are Daniel, a freshman at Jesuit High School and Maddi, a freshman at UC San Diego.  My daughter Julie graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she received a basketball scholarship.  She then went on to earn her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from C.S.U.Sacramento.  She has been a teacher/administrator for the past 25 years.  She married Guy Miller in 1993.  He owns his own trucking company.  They have two children. Reed is a Freshman at Jesuit High School and Nick is in the 5th grade at Holy Family School.  My youngest daughter Vicki graduated from Gonzaga University and is employed by the State of California as an analyst.  She married Bill Scribner in 1994.  He owns his own IT Management Consultation Company.  They have two children.  David is attending Jesuit as a Freshman in the fall and Luke will be a 7th grader at Holy Family School.

Many years ago, when my husband and I first visited Croatia, we joined in a conversation with some Croatian University students.  They asked us if we had children.  We replied, “Yes.”  They then asked how many.  We told them, “five.”  They retorted,     “ WHY?”  Now I know why.   What a wonderland my life has been…..SO FAR!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Victoria Porter Scribner

Daughter of Sonja Mariani Porter

 

The youngest of Sonja and Bill Porter’s children, I was named after my mother and her paternal grandmother, Victoria.   I soon came to find out that my name has a long history in my mother’s family which I find a delightful tradition from the “old country.”  I also loved that one of my mother’s older aunts kept calling me Sonja when she visited when I was a little girl because I reminded her of my mom as a little girl in Croatia.  I think it was even then that the dream of visiting my mother’s birthplace began.  

 My childhood growing up in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, California, was always interesting.  We especially looked forward to visits from my mother’s parents, Ina and Luka Mariani.  Even though my mother didn’t pass on many Croatian words that were considered polite in mixed company, which limited my understanding of their conversations, I always knew which of us kids they were talking about and whether or not we were in trouble.  I will never forget the time my Grandpa came to visit with fresh squid, which the thought of eating I approached with some trepidation.  Ever curious, I tromped out to the back of the yard where Grandpa had set up his cleaning station to check it out.  I was fascinated by his slicing and cleaning and scraping but when he made a point of showing me something he thought was pretty cool – and then poked the squid which oozed purple liquid everywhere- I burst into tears and ran away crying.  I will never forget Grandpa’s laughter behind me as I fled into the house.   Needless to say, I was the topic of conversation that night as I sat swollen-eyed at the dinner table refusing to eat our special dinner.  Luckily for me, I have since learned to appreciate this delicacy. 

I also loved to visit our grandparents in San Pedro where all kinds of family and friends would come to see us.  I still find it hysterical how they would stand around talking about us as we sat before them eating while they knew full well we couldn’t understand a word they were saying other than our names over and over again.  I remember overhearing many conversations about Tito and a vivid concern about what would happen after he died.  This was certainly borne out in the years since.  My favorite memory is of a smell, Grandpa’s cellar where he made red wine and port.  He would be puttering around down there frequently and I loved to hang out with him and watch him fixing something or sorting his tools.  I remember how he lovingly cared for his orange and lemon trees and picked the citrus with his own little invention, a basket on the end of a stick.  I thought he was a genius!   My mother used to always tell us how Grandpa Luka would show her his hands, gnarled from years of pulling in fishing nets, and tell her, “Don’t use these, use this,” then pointing to his head.  I believe our family’s strong value of education started here.  

But Grandpa was also a very funny man, always teasing Grandma about his supposed “girlfriends.”  She would pretend to be angry and shake a spoon at him over the stove and then grin and shoo him out of the kitchen.   Grandma was very serious about her cooking and it took me years to figure out that the meals she served with three or four main courses were the norm in her house.   She would stand over us at the kitchen table, never sitting with us to eat, and make sure we ate continuously . . . no pauses for conversation allowed!  “Eat, eat!”   I loved her baking fests when she visited us and it was always amazing how quickly all five of us kids would blaze through the huge batch of hrustule she would spend hours cooking.   Sometimes I was allowed to help do the powdered sugar, but she didn’t usually like to have too many people in the kitchen with her.  

I attended Catholic grade school and Mercy High School in Carmichael, and then received an academic scholarship at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.  I am an alumnus of the 100th graduating class and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in English.  Soon after graduation, I began working for California Governor Pete Wilson as a legislative analyst.  I mostly wrote analyses on proposed legislation dealing with local government issues such as water (a very controversial issue in our state) and some crime bills.  I also edited a series of growth management publications while working for the Governor’s Chief Economist.  During this time, I met and married and became a full-time mother to my step-son Michael, then eight years old.  Before long, I had two more boys, David Anthony and Luke Edward.  We lived in Roseville for the first five years of our marriage and then moved to the neighboring community of Rocklin where we currently reside.  After the Wilson Administration ended, I moved on to another position as an analyst for the Department of Social Services where I have continued my career.  

As for my family, my step-son Michael is the father of a new baby, Alexander, which makes me Grandma (and, no, I don’t mind the moniker!).  Continuing in my family’s Catholic education tradition, my two younger boys attend a Catholic grade school in the area.  Luke is now finishing up sixth grade, while David just graduated from eighth grade and is planning to attend Jesuit High School in the Fall.  I have high hopes for my boys following in the tradition of education that my Grandpa Luka set so many years ago with my mother.  Their legacy spans a century and I am proud to be a recipient of it.  

 

 

Victoria Margaret Mariani Bondi

 

My parents were Josip (Bepo) Mariani and Similija Joncich Mariani.  My “Nono” was Nikola Mariani.  I was born on March 5, 1927 in Komiza.  I am the last surviving Mariani family member born in the old Mariani home and came to America in 1935 at age 8 with my mother and younger brother Nick, age 6.   Our father migrated earlier in 1931 and was sponsored by our Uncle Marian (Nono’s brother) who lived in Cupertino.  Uncle Marian’s wife, “Teta Margarita” (Burich) was my godmother. 

 

At age 84, I am proud to have arranged for my children, all six of them, to visit the town of my birth this year and attend the Mariani reunion.  Many are traveling with their spouses and eager to learn first hand about our family’s heritage. 

 

Remembrances of my early childhood in Komiza include helping my mother deliver a daily lunch to Nono who owned and operated a fish cannery in town.   As a little girl I played in the street near our home with other children like Andro Vitaljic whose widow may also be attending the reunion.

 

At a very early age, I also participated in the local Poklad festival, jumping through a fire, which deformed my toe nail, a little “scar” that I still carry---a reminder of my childhood enthusiasm.  Poklad is a holiday equivalent to Carnival or Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday” prior to Ash Wednesday) in which lighting fires was part of the festivities in Komiza.

 

At the reunion in June, I promise to curb my enthusiasm by not jumping through any more fires.  I have two artificial knees and being a mother of six, grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of 8,  I am a little too old for that now, but I may not be able to contain my excitement over being in Komiza one more time,  with my children and the rest of the Mariani  family.  

 

I’ve been a widow for 5 years but still live in Morgan Hill where I’ve lived since I was first married, over 60 years ago, surrounded by my children who all live in Morgan Hill except one daughter living in nearby Hollister.  I enjoy travelling, cooking, dining out, family celebrations, and babysitting my great grandchildren.   

         

 

 

 

 

 

BURINI KUĆA (THE MARIANI HOME), KOMIŽA

 

The Mariani home in Komiža has been in our family for generations, exactly how many years is not accurately known; however, it is likely among the dwellings built during the time Komiža was settled by Dalmatian families in the 17th century.   Since there are other families with the Mariani surname living in Komiža, our family uses the more specific “Bura” (meaning Northwind) clan name.  The term Burini (plural, possessive) Kuća refers to the House of the Burini or Northwind clan. 

 

It is a located a short walk off the waterfront or “riva” in Komiža and it’s nestled among the clustered dwellings that make up the little village.   These homes are not villas but modest dwellings built condominium-style, often with common stone walls and sometimes common roof tops made of red tile---typical of Mediterranean architecture.

 

It’s thought that the old Mariani home was originally a two-story structure with a cellar or “konoba” at ground level and living quarters above.  Based on differences in the quality of the stone work, it appears that the older,  roughly hewn stones represent the original house while a third story using more precisely cut stones was added sometime later.  (See photo)

 

Although the quality of the photo is poor, probably taken  circa 1920’s, it shows that the Mariani home was once a hub of family activity with as many as 14 relatives hamming it up for the photo.  The view of the home is from the street showing a door to the konoba at the ground level.  There is another konoba entrance on the side.  Historically, these “cellars” were used to stable animals, store wine, hang garlic and carob pods for drying.  

 

Also on the side there are stairs leading to the living quarters.  The second story is the kitchen and dining area along with a small bedroom used to isolate any family members who may be sick.  An interior stairway leads to a third story and the other bedrooms.  There is also an attic mostly used for storage, particularly dry storage of foodstuffs.  My sister remembers dried fig cakes stored in the attic. 

 

When I visited in 1972, there was a commode located in the konoba.  It did not have a flushing mechanism and was activated by adding a bucket of water to the bowl---very crude but still a technological upgrade from the traditional chamber pots.  I also remember that there were no window panes, only shutters to keep out the winter cold, and with no screens, flies were often unwelcome guests during the summer months. 

 

My sister Victoria Mariani Bondi is the last surviving Mariani  born in the Mariani home.  The story of her birth follows.  In 1927,  our mother Similija was only 19, barely a hundred lbs. and  carrying her first child---my sister who turned out to be a very large baby---apparently too large for our mother’s slight frame.  

 

Before Victoria’s birth, mom fell unconscious for three days, and there wasn’t a doctor in Komiža.  It was not clear where our father Bepo was, perhaps out fishing, but a group of the younger Mariani boys, including my uncle Luka and cousin Jack, Jr. (at that time also called Bepo and father of Louann and Dennis), were dispatched to fetch a doctor from Vis town across the other side of the island.  

 

It was early March, the island was bitterly cold, and a rare snowfall, apparently too deep for horses, disrupted travel.  It was a rough journey so the boys at times had to form a litter with their arms and hands and physically carry the doctor through the deep snow.

 

After delivery our mother continued ill, and baby Victoria was  given rock candy to suckle and was later wet-nursed by a close neighbor, a member of the Petrić family.

 

This story recalls one of the last births in the Mariani home, and a great example of how all our relatives and close friends pulled together during difficult situations---a family tradition that continues. 

 

Much can be discerned from this old, tattered, and grainy photo of the family home.  Both inside and outside the home, there appears to be relatives  everywhere.  Our great grandparents Josip and Vinka had 6 children---Andrija, Nikola, Paul, Jack, Marian and Matija, who all grew up in this cramped dwelling.  There simply was no room for the next generation of Marianis.   It is no wonder that several of the sons decided to head to America.

 

My grandfather Nikola stayed behind because as the oldest living son he had inherited family property and business interests.   The brothers who migrated to America still shared ownership in the home, but my grandfather later purchased his brothers’ interests. 

 

When Nikola passed away, the dwelling was inherited by my father Bepo, and his siblings Luka, Vinka and Miljenka.  Now legitimate ownership is held by my first cousin Ljiljana (daughter of my aunt Miljenka), who actually lives up the coast in Sibenik but uses the old family home in Komiža as a summer retreat.  She has taken upon herself to help preserve the house, but it still in need of extensive repair. 

 

I am currently in the process of contacting Ljiljana and arranging to have her open the home for us and be a part of our reunion festivities. 

 

Andy Mariani, December, 2010

     

 

Paul Andrew Mariani Sr.

 

The Paul Andrew Mariani Family came from the Bura clan or “North Wind” an apparent reference to our Austrian lineage. Both Paul Mariani Sr. & Victoria families grew wine grapes, lavender, olives, and vegetables & fished, made wine and olive. Small animals were kept on the first story of the house for heat. The heat generated by the goats heated the upper 2 stories during winter.  Fireplaces were used sparingly. The fireplaces that were used were mainly for cooking – hardly a regal existence given our roots.

 

Vis is one of a chain of Islands in the Adriatic Seas, known as “The seas of a thousand Islands”. Maybe that’s where Minnesota got the idea of calling its State “The State of a thousand lakes”. Vis with its white sand beaches and stunning aqua blue waters is one of the most idyllic coast lines on earth. Upon closer inspection Vis along with neighboring Islands are generally rocky and often with few trees. 

 

The sparsely forested island landscapes were not always the case.  Since the time of building Roman wooden war ships more than 1000 islands were decimated of its trees. It was an ecological disaster. It was an startling contrast of Vis’s rocky landscape with the fertile soil of Santa Clara Valley for as far as the eye could see. It captured the imagination of Paul Mariani Sr. “Imagine”, Sr. would say (circa 1910), “There were no rocks that need to be moved and hauled away just to plant a few square feet of crops or plant a tree. Every time I manage to save up to a dollar, I am going to buy another acre of land in Santa Clara Valley, soon to become Silicon Valley. Upon my first visit to Vis my mouth was agape to see fields with huge mounds of rocks in the middle with rock walls to hold the rocks pile high. The rock came from clearing small plots of land. Literally millions of rocks were moved by hand throughout the Island.  

 

The Paul Mariani family story is one of contrasts - nobility and refined education on one hand and illiterate paupers on the other. We came from both traditions, making us both proud and humble, mostly humble.

                                    

Paul A. Mariani Sr was born in July 1885 of Josip Mariani and Winifred Stonejevich. He was one of five brothers and one sister; sister Matija and brothers Nikola, Jack, Marian, Andrew.  Some called Paul A. Mariani Sr. just “Paul”, some Mr. Mariani.  We knew him as Djede meaning grandfather in Croatian.

 

 

PAUL ANDREW MARIANI FAMILY

 

By Mathilda Mariani Sousa

There were five sons and two daughters born of Joseph and Vinka Mariani in the Dalmatian

town of Komiza, on the island of Vis, now in Croatia, but at that time part of the Hapsburg Austrian Empire. Paul Andrew Mariani, my father, the third son, was born on July 22, 1885. The family had a vineyard, made wine to sell and fished in the summer. Near the vineyard the Svilich

family had their home and when young Paul went to the vineyard with his father he made friends with a little girl named Victoria. He came to see her more often as he grew up and then she left in 1900 with her mother and sister, Antoinette, for California. Other families and friends were leaving for the New World and young Paul became obsessed with the same yearning and finally his family provided him with a ticket and forty dollars and in 1902, when he was 17, he sailed for New York and got job at a coconut factory for $1.50 a day to earn enough money for his transportation to San Francisco. (He would never again eat anything that had coconut in it). 

 

The family of Dr. Kucich gave him a job as a cooper in North Beach. During his apprenticeship as a cooper he was surprised and delighted when the Svilich family came to call on his friends and brought Victoria with them. Thereafter, young Paul often rode his bicycle from San Francisco to Cupertino or came to Murphy's (now Sunnyvale) on the train and either bicycled or rented a horse and buggy to visit Victoria and the Svilich family.

 

In April, 1906 Paul and his brother. Jack, who came to California in 1905, obtained a contract to make barrels in Alaska for the fishing industry. The night before they left San Francisco, April 18, an earthquake rocked the city. Paul was hit on the head by an alarm clock and when he recovered he realized one side of the room was completely gone. In the confusion and fire he

made his way to Oakland. He wrote a message on a piece of cardboard from a match box to Victoria stating he was safe and the Red Cross delivered it to her.

 

After a short time in Oakland, Paul obtained a job salmon fishing on the Columbia River. The

boat almost sank, so Paul, hearing he could get work in St. Helena making barrels, contacted his brother Jack, and both went to the Napa Valley to make barrels.

 

 

In 1907 Paul and Victoria, daughter of John and Irene Svilich of Cupertino, were married in the Mission Santa Clara and moved to St. Helena. On March 4, 1908 their first daughter, Winifred, was born and on September 4, 1909, their second daughter, Irene, was born. In 1909 the fumes from the heated oak staves in the cooperage work produced an allergy and Paul became seriously ill. He had just about made up his mind to return to his native land with his

wife and two daughters when his father-in-law, John Svilich, learning of his intentions, persuaded him to come to Cupertino and work for him. His health improved rapidly in Cupertino. He was cured by an Italian lady in Santa Clara who prescribed a steam bath of garlic tops and elderberry leaves to counteract the allergy.

 

From his father-in-law Paul learned how to estimate fruit on the trees. In his quest to be

certain of his ability he once stripped a tree of ripe and green apricots to check the amount of

fruit on the tree and he thus became so proficient that he could estimate crops in four figures to within 3% percent.

 

Their third daughter, Mathilda, was born on June 23,1911 in a home on the "Dagget Place" on Fremont Road in Cupertino (now Sunnyvale).

 

In 1913 Paul went into the business of buying fruit on his own. In 1914 he and Victoria put a down payment on 4 acres on Laurel Avenue, Cupertino, and built a 4-room house for $200.00. Laurel Avenue later became a part of Sunnyvale through boundary changes and annexation. They installed an electric and wood stove and had electricity in the house. They also put a bathroom inside the house. The neighbors tried to dissuade Paul from installing the bathroom between the two bedrooms but Paul insisted and we had our first indoor bathroom. Until then we had to go outside. Sunnyvale now occupies land south to Homestead Road, the new boundary with Cupertino, with exceptions such as the Cupertino de Oro Club and some county in holdings like the Robert Butcher property on the comer of Wolfe Road and Fremont Avenue.

Business prospered, so in1916 Paul bought his first car, a Model T Ford. Previously, the family's  means of transportation was a horse and buggy. Paul loved to race the horses coming home from St. Joseph's Church in Cupertino. They saved money and everything looked bright until 1918.Paul contracted to buy many tons of green prunes. The prunes were drying on the trays

In early September when it began to rain and the fruit all spoiled. They lost everything. The growers realizing the extent of the disaster were more than fair and settled for the down payment, but Paul was broke nevertheless. The following year the growers asked him to handle their fruit again. They were agreeable to wait for the money until after the fruit was harvested. So a bargain was made as Paul struggled to regain his footing. When the growers had been paid'

Paul found he had made a profit so he and Victoria made a down payment on 17 acres on the

corner of Highway 9 (now DeAnza Blvd.) and Homestead Road and built a 3-bedroom house and moved their family in. The house was torn down in 1990 when the family redeveloped the property. Although dehydrators were something new, Paul made up his mind never to lose fruit through a rainstorm again. He built a 2-tunnel dehydrator and then added 7 more tunnels to  dry his prunes on his Cupertino ranch. On May 5, 1919 Paul was very proud to become an American citizen.

 

On July 8, 1919 Paul and Victoria were blessed with the birth of a son, Paul, Jr., which

completed their family of three daughters and one son. They later welcomed into their home a foster daughter. Flora (Mrs. Marvin Williams).

 

Every year in May and June the cherry building was used to pack cherries and in July the shed was used to cut apricots and the dry yard was filled with trays of beautiful golden apricots cut in half, drying in the sun. During the summer all the children and grandchildren worked in the orchards, cut apricots or picked prunes during the fruit season. In September, after the prunes were dried and sold, many dances were held in the barn by the local baseball team and  the local Jugoslav community.

 

After many meetings in the Mariani home from 1925-1928 the Napredak Club, a Jugoslav

group, purchased the Milliken School on Lawrence Road and then held their meetings and I dances there. Victoria Mariani was its first president

 

In 1925 Paul started shipping prunes to the Midwest and in 1930 he started to ship his own cherries which were packed in lug boxes in the cherry building to New York under his own  Mariani Brand. In 1931 Paul, with the help of George Sousa, Sr., started to export prunes to Europe in 100 lb. sacks. This was the beginning of shipments to Europe of the Mariani Dried Fruit, and the entrance of the MARIANI name into the dried fruit business throughout the world. In 1943 the family was deeply saddened by the death of Victoria. She had been so important to all of them, well remembered especially at mealtime sharing of laughter and experiences. Never did she fail to contribute service to friends and to the community. She had helped Paul through all of his trials and tribulations and was enjoying the fruits of his labor and the love of her grown children and grandchildren. However, the family was very happy when Paul married Lorena Rogers in 1944. The family was complete again. Lorena was a second mother to Paul's children and grandmother to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lorena passed away in 1987. 

 

The three sisters attended the Collins Grammar School on the comer of Homestead Road

and Highway 9 until transferring to the new Cupertino Union Grammar School on Stevens

Creek Boulevard. Winifred, the oldest, was a member of the first graduating class of the new  Cupertino Grammar School in 1921 and after graduating from Notre Dame High School and San Jose State College returned to teach in 1931-1932 in the Cupertino Grammar School from  which she had graduated. 

 

Irene, the second sister was in the first graduating class from the Fremont Union High School in 1927 and all 5 of her children graduated from the Cupertino Grammar School and from Fremont High School. Mathilda graduated from Fremont High School in 1929 and Paul, Jr. graduated in 1936 and continued his education at the University of Santa Clara, University of California at Davis and did post-graduate work in food technology at the University of California at Berkeley.

 

In 1945 the Paul A. Mariani Co. was founded with Paul, Sr., Paul, Jr. and George Sousa, Sr. as partners. In 1952 the children of Paul, Jr. and Mathilda Sousa were brought into the Partnership. In 1946, Paul, Jr. after his graduation from Davis and completing his work for the government during the war (dehydrating onions in the state of Washington) came home to take over the management of the business. It was at this time that Paul, Jr. introduced Ready-to-Eat prunes and apricots in transparent one-pound bags for the local markets. This developed into a market

for all varieties of dried fruit throughout the United States and a large cement building was built to process the fruit.

 

In 1946 the first Japanese-Americans to be relocated from the internment camps were located

On the Mariani property and housing and work were provided for them. Mr. Mariani received a citation for his humanity. 

 

Paul, Jr. was named to the Agricultural Prorate Commission by Governor Earl Warren and Re-appointed in 1966 by Governor Edmund G. Brown. The U.S also honored him in 1952 for his part in assisting the Economic Co-operation Administration in acquainting foreign visitors with this area's deciduous fruit industry. On May 5, 1955 the Mariani Foundation was founded by Paul, Sr., Lorena Mariani, Paul Jr, Mary Frances Mariani and Mathilda Sousa.

 

Due to various developments in the Santa Clara Valley, Paul, Sr. ventured into Sonoma County and purchased a prune ranch and built a dehydrator. He dried not only his own prunes but those of other growers. The Paul A. Mariani Co purchased these prunes.

In 1960, Paul Jr seeing the potential for farming in Australia, started and headed a farming operation there. Since the harvesting season starts in December in Australia, dried fruit can be purchased and shipped to the US. when the supply is low here.

In 1960 Paul, Sr and Lorena moved to a new home on Orange Tree Lane in Cupertino and their old home on De Anza Blvd. was converted into an office to accommodate the expanding business. Although Paul Sr. had moved, he was always available as an advisor to the children and grandchildren and he was missed after his death in1966.He left his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a heritage which showed the strength of his vision and faith in his adopted land, and proof that a man doing a honest job can build a solid reputation for himself, with hard work to succeed.

 

Paul Jr died in1979 in 1982. A new Mariani Packing Company was formed by Mark Mariani,

Richard Mariani, George Sousa and Marian Ciabattari. The packing plant moved to San Jose in

1984.The property on De Anza Boulevard is now being developed for housing by a Mariani family partnership called Mariani Group of Companies.

 

 

 

 

Paul Andrew Mariani III

1945-2008

 

16 February 1945 in Palo Alto California was born of parent Mary Francis and Paul and elder sister Linda. He then played the playfully mischievous and protective role of older brother to John, David, Mark, Rick and Lisa.

 

The Mariani Family have been in the Dried Fruit business since Paul’s grandfather migrated to the USA from Croatia at the age of sixteen and started the Mariani Dried Fruit Company USA in 1906. Paul Mariani III was born and educated in the USA, completing his Bachelor of Food Science at Cal Poly University California. He served in the USA army in Vietnam as a first lieutenant with an honorable discharge in 1969. After the army Paul began his career in the family food processing business. He served as President of Mariani Frozen Foods. Paul moved to Australia in 1971 to oversee the family operations in Australia and Fiji.

 

Paul married Kerrie Hayes in 1977. They had four children, Kristie, Shannon, Katherine and Andrew. Paul became chairman of Angas Park Fruit Company in 1987 and went into a very constructive partnership with his father-in-law Colin Hayes.

 

As a father and a husband, Dad was superman. He fiercely protected his family in all aspects of their lives. 

 

If Paul was their superman, his time in the Vietnam War was his kryptonite. It was to be, that his experiences gained through his time at war emotionally scarred him for life. What was simply exceptional about how Paul faced his post traumatic stress disorder, reached inside himself and managed to overcome the debilitating symptoms that have resulted in isolation for so many others. In actual fact, Paul blossomed as a person. 

 

Due to Dad’s incredibly active mind, it is no surprise that his business experience was very broad. His family values transcended into his business philosophy, which placed him as a key strategist in a number of organisations. In his time, Paul held positions on the following company’s Boards: 

 

Mariani Industries

The Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association

Angas Park Fruit Company

The South Australian Company Store

Labtech Ltd

Vet Biotech

CMV

Nut Producers Australia

Angaston District Hospital Board

And of course, PAMCO

 

In his role as Executive Chairman and CEO of Angas Park in Angaston, Australia, the company flourished so as to employ many hundred of the local community. It was through this achievement, as well as the restoration of the historical A&H Dodridge Blacksmith Shop, his position on the Angaston District Hospital Board and the Angaston Main Street Cttee, Barossa Vintage Festival Cttee and his unfaltering approach to treating all people with equal respect, that he was awarded the Barossa Valley Citizen of the Year Award in 1998.  

 

Paul’s love of family leaves us with no doubt that he joins us at the Komiza family reunion in spirit. 

 

Kristie Maiden, daughter of Paul Mariani III and granddaughter of Paul A. Mariani Jr.

Kristie Anne Maiden
Born: 7 December 1978
School: Wilderness School
University: Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice, Flinders University, South Australia.
Relationship status: Marriage to James George Stirling Maiden on 01 March 2008
Favourite quote: "Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." - Hans Christian Andersen
About Kristie: Is it okay to eat chocolate for lunch? Two days in a row?
Day job: Executive Officer at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Headquarters in Indonesia.

Dream job: Artist (hopefully one day)
Daughter: Grace Judy Maiden - born 21 November 2008.

 

Paul Andrew Mariani IV

Born: 18 November 1983

School: St. Peters College 2001

University: Bachelor of Oenology 2005, University of Adelaide

Currently studying a masters in business

Girlfriend Anita Buckle.

Favorite quote: Wanna see a magic trick

About Andrew: 

I'm an Ex- Jazz flute prodigy turned slacker, turned business man who enjoys afternoon wake up calls, Women’s beach volleyball and hot sauce!

 

 

Katherine Nina Mariani

born 21 June 1982

school: Pembroke School 2000

Uni: Bachelor of Early Childhood education, University SA

Life highlights, travelling the world, having endless adventures

Relationship Status:

Ashden Saegenschitter, been dating for 2 years

 

I am currently working in St. Catharine, ONTARIO. I work as a personal trainer. I have a lot of interest, reading, skiing, AFL, fitness, yoga, cooking, photography. I am rather competitive.  I really enjoy working with Children, and people who I feel really need my help. My favorite client at the moment, is a young girl with cerebral palsy, named Krystine. Krystine shocks me on a daily basis. She is university educated, personal trains twice a week, and does yoga, every time I work with her, I feel like my heart grows 3 time it natural size. It truly makes me happy. I feel the same way when I work with children, especially when I spend time with my nieces.  On a less Marianism way. I am partial to some bad reality TV. I also find the inappropriate, humor, hilarious. 

 

Shannon Mariani Leake

Born: 22 July 1980

School: Wilderness College 1998

Uni: Bachelor of Law, Bond University

Children; Charlotte Mariani Leake Born 17 March 2010

Marriage

Jonathon Mariani Leake, March 24 2007

   Shannon and Jonathan have been in love since the tender age of 14. 

   Favorite quote: The future belongs to those who plan for it.

 

 

Kerrie Mariani ne Hayes

 

Born: 12 January 1956

 

Married: Paul Andrew Mariani 3, November  19, 1978

 

Kerrie’s roles: Nurse, Mother, Gran mother, Auntie, Sister, Daughter, girlfriend, business women, real estate developer. 

 

Favourite quote: “Action not words”.

 

Kerrie: Keznut, is always on the move. Making the most of opportunities. She always puts family first, and is constantly travelling all over Australia, and Indonesia to visit children and gran children. She always seeks to make the people around her, lives better

 

 

John Guilbert Mariani

 

Father John Guilbert Mariani was born 1947 in Palo Alto, California.  He was graduated from St. Leo the Great Grammar School in San Jose, and Holy Cross Abbey Preparatory School in Colorado, where he served as class president.  He studied religion at Mont La Salle in Napa, and received a BA in Art History at Saint Mary's College, Moraga, California in 1971.  He studied graduate philosophy and theology at St. Albert the Great for another year and a half in Berkeley, California. Until 1992 he worked as Vice-president of the Mariani Group of Companies, where he received the National ADDY Award for design. In San Jose, he served on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Symphony and the San Jose Museum of Art.

He married Elizabeth Agnes Cousineau in 1978 and the marriage was annulled in 1992 leaving no children. During their marriage they lived in London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Bali, and San Francisco. After his annulment, he received his Bachelor of Theology and Masters of Divinity in 1996 at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He studied Spiritual Theology at the Angelicum Pontifical University in Rome, and was ordained for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity by Bishop Pierre DuMaine in 1997. After assignments in Texas and England, he was assigned in 1999 as Chaplain to Domus Pacis, the World Apostolate of Fatima Guest House, in Fatima, Portugal. Father Mariani is now canonically incardinated in the African Diocsese of Saõ Tome e Principe as Chancellor to the Diocese in Europe and the Americas, seated at Casa Alta Royal Lodge, Portugal, where he also works as its present Rector, established under the authority of the Bishop of Fatima/Leiria. In 2000, Casa Alta Royal Lodge was expanded in scope and mission to receive pilgrims to the nearby Fatima Shrine and casual visitors alike, operating the premises as a bed and breakfast. Guests of all religions or none are welcome.

Fr. Mariani also serves as chaplain to the Royal House of Portugal and is an active participant in the religious and cultural life of Portugal  and beyond. Below is a list of some of his chaplaincies and memberships.

¥ Chaplain of the Foreign Delegation of Dynastic Orders to the Royal House of Portugal

¥ Chaplain of the Royal Brotherhood of the Most Holy Miracle (Santarém) 

¥ Chaplain of the Order of Malta 

¥ Patron of the Vatican Museums, Portuguese Chapter Vice-president 

¥ Chaplain of the Duke of Braganza's Own Regiment Legion of Frontiersmen (UK) 25th Rifle Battalion Reserves (Portugal)

¥ Confraternity of the Holy Grail in the Cathedral of Valencia, member of Honour (Spain)

¥ Chaplain of the Italian National Institute of Honour Guards of the Royal Tombs and Pantheon 

¥ Chaplain of the Royal Portuguese Guards 

¥ Royal Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, Grand Cross  (Portugal)

¥ Chaplain of the Royal Order of Vila Viçosa of Our Lady of Conception de Vila Viçosa(Portugal) 

¥ Chaplain of the Foreign Delegation of The United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Great Britain, of the Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Wing, Grand Cross 

¥ Chaplain Royal Order of Sts Maurice and Lazarus (House of Savoy) 

¥ Imperial Solomonic Order of Merit (Ethiopia)

¥ Order of the Crested Crane (Rwanda) 

¥ Order of the Dragon of Anam (Vietnam) 

¥ Chaplain of the Order of the Tunic, Grand Cross (Georgia) 

¥ Chaplain of the Royal Order of Grue, Grand Cross 

¥ The Venerable and Noble Pontifical Archconfraternity of Sts. Peter and Paul (Italy) 

¥ Chaplain/Confrater of the Noble Company of Knights Arbusters of St. Felipe and St. James (Spain) 

¥ Imperial Order of the Star of the Ethiopian Empire, Commander with Star 

¥ Order St. Thomas Apostle, Grand Cross with star(Sao Tomé and Principe)

¥ Member, Napoleon I Institute of Historic-Military Studies (France)

¥ King Kegeli Society (Fellow) 

¥ Chaplain protector Royal Association of King Carlos I (Portugal)

¥ Royal Confraternity of Wine and Gastronomy of Ourem 

¥ Board Member of Oureana Foundation (Portugal)Portuguese Ex Libris Academy

 

 

 

David and Arlene Mariani

 

I am David W. Mariani, son of Paul Andrew Mariani Jr, and grandson of Paul Andrew Mariani Sr.

 

After living in Los Altos for 40 years, we moved to Carmel. Then within 7 years, our children began to give us grandchildren – 12 in total so far.  So we made the move back from Carmel Valley to Saratoga to be close to our grandchildren. Saratoga was where we lived after we got married in 1971. We are enjoying coming back to our old stomping grounds. The close proximity of our adult children and our grandchildren is turning out to be treasured times for us. 

 

Dave after developing property for 35 years is semi-retired writes and likes to sail as often as possible. He helped found the Presidio Business School, an environmentally oriented MBA program in the Presidio and serves on the World Centre Board (an adjunct agency of the United Nations.

 

Arlene is trying to understand how she accumulated so much! Photos have been a big project. Arlene says, “why do I feel as though the boxes are multiplying? 

 

Arlene’s started “Walk 4 Pancreatic cancer” 3 years ago to help find a cure or at least a way to detect the cancer before it is beyond the state of curing. Arlene says, “this my passion which I put on with the help of my family and Santa Clara University every May”. We are both so excited to the Croatia Family reunion since we are both ½ Croatian.

 

We will be married 40 years on May 23rd. We have 5 daughters, Nancy, Molly, Janna, Julie and Tracy. All are married except for Tracy.

 

WALLACE FAMILY

Our oldest, Nancy, married Jon Wallace and have three children, Joe (7), Whitney (5) & Maddie ( 3) . The Wallace’s live in Los Gatos. Jon just finished his 12th season coaching at Santa Clara University. Nancy is enjoying being a stay- at-home mom and busy settling into their new home.  Joe is a budding builder, Whitney loves gymnastics and Maddie is the happiest little girl you’ve ever met.  For that matter they all are!

 

PASSANISI FAMILY

Molly and Joey Passanisi live in Los Gatos – about 5 minutes from Nancy & Jon 

and mom and dad. They have 3 children, Emilia (8), Sofia (5) and Nico (1)…

Molly works at Google and Joey has started a Cross-Fit personal training business and 

is keeping us all in shape! 

 

Emilia is in 2nd grade at Sacred Heart and Sofia goes to school with her

everyday attending Sacred Heart’s pre-school program.  Nico is all boy and is constantly in someone’s arms.   

 

STONEBARGER FAMILY

Janna, married Erick Stonebarger and have four children, James (7), Wil (5), Stella (2), and Emerie (1). Life is busy at the Stonebargers.  Erick and Janna run all the family herb business (Maristone), sales, production, and accounting.  Erick is busy juggling responsibilities as President of Maristone, working in sales for his families corn business serving as Vice Mayor for the City of Brentwood. 

 

Janna besides active in Maristone, has gotten involved in the school district fundraising as well as volunteering time in James’ classroom. She is a very busy mom.  

 

James is in first grade and loves sports. Wil attends pre-school 3 days a week 

and keeps up quite well with his brother. The girls stay busy taking care of their babies and “helping mom around the house!!” They are a busy family with soccer, football, basketball, baseball, golf and any other sporting activity that comes along.

.

CASSEL FAMILY

Julie married Jack Cassel and have two children,  Nellie (2 yrs old) and Beau (5 months) Cassel  move this year from Santa Monica up to Redwood City. They are happy to be in Northern California and we are thrilled to have them live so close to us. Jack retired from professional baseball and is now working for  Morgan Stanley in wealth management in San Francisco. He loves his new adventure.

 

Julie is busy keeping up with Nellie, protecting  Beau from the big sister who wants to hug him constantly. She is assisting Arlene with her affairs work for David and 

with his projects. 

 

Nellie is a charming, loveable 2 year old with abounding energy. She loves being 

around all her cousins and she can talk your ear off! Oh my dear.

Beau is one of those happy, smiling babies who just melts your heart. 

 

TRACY

Tracy graduated from USC and she will begin the physician assistant program at Samuel-Merritt in Oakland, CA this fall. It is a 2 year and 3 month program full time so she will be busy. She hit the “5 year and cancer free” mark since completing cancer treatment October 2010 so she is officially cured of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 

 

She loves playing with her nieces and nephews, and most of the kids get confused whether she is a kid too or an auntie!

 

 

David W. Mariani

LIFE’S WORK AT A GLANCE

 

 

I earned my BA from the University of San Francisco with both undergraduate and postgraduate work at Santa Clara University. I served on 27 corporate boards, including but not limited to private corporate boards, industry agency boards, and public boards. Professionally, I began in agri-business, then dabbled in venture capital, real estate development, and private and public banking.

 

Growing up, our father was all business and no play. He often said “his work was his play”.  The worth in my fathers eyes for my brothers and sisters depended upon if you work hard, really hard, and if actively engage in business. The only reprieve was if we decided to become either a nun or a priest. Well this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of an exaggeration. Mom had a softening influence of dad’s  strong work ethics. 

 

Not surprisingly, coming from the above mold, I spent most of my productive life working. During my early career, I served as the Chief Financial Officer of my father's enterprises, in three continents in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Those were very crazy days. I served as Chairman of the Board of California Security Bank for 15 years, and served as the managing partner in a SEC-registered REIT. (Glenborough MLP)

 

Over the last 35 years, we did a lot of projects. After figuring out the list, it got a lot longer than I thought. I am tired thinking about all that development. I am currently writing a book called, “Poverty of Affluence”. I am about 80% done which gives a more detailed account of what it was like growing up in the valley of hearts delight now known as Silicon Valley.

 

The Mark Mariani Family

 

Mark Mariani is 59 years old, and is the son of Paul A. Mariani Jr. and MaryFrances Mariani.  He has continued the legacy of Paul A. Mariani Sr., the founder of Mariani Packing Co., as Chairman and CEO for the past thirty years.  The Company enjoys a Global recognition for it's diverse products and quality.  Mark married his childhood sweetheart Melody, and will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary this year. Together they have five grown children, and one grandchild. Mark enjoys golf and outside activities. 

 

Melody Ann Davis was born on March 8, 1952, in San Jose, CA to Lucille Marie (Argento) and Forrest Presnell “Dean”  Davis.  Melody and Mark moved to Napa Valley in August 2002.  They are currently “empty nesters” and LOVE it when the adult children return home.  Melody especially cherishes her role as grandmother “Mimi” to one grandson, Killian Joseph Kling, born May 21st, 2007.  In her role as domestic engineer she has worn many hats:  auto mechanic (has been known to wear a grease monkey jumpsuit when changing her own brake pads, oil and filter), contractor (just finished a home remodel project), party planner, home chef and entertainer for family, friends and business customers, and animal lover.  Most recently, Melody is a volunteer at her local library as a grandparent reader.  She enjoys walking, hiking, canoeing, nature and the pleasure of pen to paper.  She visited the shooting range last week to try out a .38 revolver and may just join the woman’s group.          

 

Natalie Mariani Kling is 33 years old and was married to Joel Kling in November 2006.  They have a beautiful 4 year old boy named Killian Joseph.  Natalie and Joel met in Los Angeles while attending Loyola Marymount University.  Joel was in the film school there, and they have stayed in Los Angeles to pursue his career as a budding writer and producer.  Natalie is a nutritionist and specializes in Detox and Cleansing while working part time for Mariani Packing Co. as their Corporate Communications Manager.  They both love writing, spending time in nature, at the beach, traveling to visit family, and working on their first home that they bought in May 2010.  They are currently very excited about planting their first vegetable garden!  Killian is a delight.  He is obsessed with gorillas, chimpanzees, and has gotten frighteningly good at imitating the entire Great Ape Genus.  He also loves playing with cars, dressing up in costumes, and running around naked…sometimes with tap shoes. (That’s Natalie’s fault)

 

My name is Michael Mariani, and I grew up in Los Altos, CA and spent most my time running back and forth to our rope swing with the David Mariani family.  At age 8, I moved to a 250 acre ranch in Pleasanton, CA.  I spent my childhood there running around the mountains, building tree forts, exploring old Indian caves and riding horses looking for new areas that we had yet to claim.  During those years I fell in love with the outdoors.  I went to high school at De La Salle and played soccer.  In college I wanted to get back to my outdoor roots and went to school out in Colorado.  During 1998-2002, you could find me in the Rocky Mountains camping, skiing and fly fishing.  After Colorado I came back to our family cattle ranch in Mt Shasta and spent a year working the cattle and harvesting alfalfa.  At the end of 2002, my twin and I packed up our truck with our camping gear, fly rods and our 2 Dogs and set out on a road trip across America.  I most recently bought a ranch of my own, and am gearing up to grow my own crops and work the land.  Today I’m amped up on dirt biking, fishing and boating.

 

My name is Christopher Mariani, and I was born on May 16th 1979 and have a twin brother Michael. I live in Sacramento with my brother in a little river house on the Sacramento River. I love all things water; fishing, boating, swimming.  I also love working on my house and in our garden. Got a big ol' vegetable garden this year...sweet! I also love my beautiful girlfriend of two years, Rachael Rose!  I love my family, my country and my World Series Champions the San Franciso Giants.

 

My name is Nicole Mariani and I am 24 years old. I am passionate about becoming a nurse. My plan is to graduate with a bachelors in Nursing and continue my education with a Masters as a Nurse Anesthetist. I love caring for others and aiding people in living the best quality of life.  My other passions are my family. I have been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend, Rees Purcell. I love children and I hope to one day become a mother. I enjoy horseback riding, being outdoors, fishing, riding dirt bikes, and spending time with my friends. I am very fortunate and I am working hard to provide for my family even a sliver of what I experienced as a child. Life is good and I cannot wait to fulfill my dreams. 

 

Joseph Mariani is 20 years old, and is a 3rd year student at Mission College in Santa Clara studying business.  He loves being with his friends, mountain biking, snowboarding, and motorcycle riding.  He’s passionate about his local sports teams including the 49ers (football), the Giants (baseball), and the Warriors (basketball), but no team has his heart like the San Jose Sharks (hockey).   He also loves his 11 year old yellow lab Wally, (named after William Wallace from the film Braveheart)

 

 

 

Rick Mariani Family

 

Richard Michael Mariani (Rick), the 6th born of Paul Andrew Mariani & Mary Frances Guilbert Mariani and just a “tad” over 50, born June 27, 1954.  (Grandson of Paul Mariani Sr  and great grandson of Josip Mariani.

) I  live in Healdsburg, California,  a small town about an hour north of San Francisco,  where I have raised four children with my wife Jeanne,  Natasha (age 24), Victoria (Torie – age 22), Nicholas ( age 17) and Mitchell (age – 17).  

 

Agriculture brought me to this town over 30 years ago, managing the family prune orchards, vineyards and dehydrator.  As, the prune orchards made way for wine grapes, I evolved.  Over 20 years ago, I started a specialty coffee roasting company, Wolf Coffee and I continue to roast and sell specialty coffee both wholesale and to mail order customers, many of them family members (thank you!).

 

I love history, especially the history of my Croatian ancestors and spent 6 weeks in Croatia in 1996, just after the Yugoslav wars.  I have spent many hours in the Split archives researching the family ancestry diving deep into volumes of historical records.  

 

My favorite pastimes are watching my high school boys play football, cuddling with my children and playing golf, not necessarily in that order.   Also I am a  huge 49er faithful and SF Giants fan!

 

Jeanne Marie Mariani is the 8th child of 10 born of Conrad Clark Hendrickson and Henrietta Frances Murack on June 9, 1958.  Currently at 52 years of age, she will be turning 53 on the Croatia trip so feel free to plan a surprise party in her honor!  She is the mother of 4 beautiful children, Natasha (24), Victoria (22), Mitchell (17) and Nicholas (17).  

 

My favorite times between work and raising a family, are girlfriend weekends’, swimming, family game night and reading a good novel.  On the Croatia trip I welcome anyone that wants to play a game of Charades, Cribbage, Banana grams, to come find me, I always have a game ready to go.  If we can find a foursome for bridge that would be awesome too!  Also, interested in any Giants games that are randomly being broadcasted in a quaint seaside café with a cold beer!

 

Currently, I am working at a social internet company that licenses and sells branded virtual goods in the social internet space, an interesting dynamic industry that keeps me learning about new technology.  

 

Natasha - Born 9/3/1986, oldest of 4, grew up in Healdsburg, CA a small town about 1.5 hours North of San Francisco.  I spent my childhood at small local public schools, where I was involved in student government, drama, and playing sports like soccer, volleyball, and swimming/diving.  I went to college at Villanova University ~ 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, where I met my fiance, Nick, the first week of school.  I majored in accounting and minored in finance, and was an active member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.  I love kids and babysat throughout college and still do for some of my favorite Philadelphia families.  Now, I am an auditor for KPMG in the Philadelphia office.  I spend a bulk of my free time visiting friends and family on the East and West coast or turning my brain off and enjoying some of my favorite tv shows, which include: Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Modern Family, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a variety of Crime Drama's.  I've also spent alot of time over the past couple of years training for triathlons, mostly sprint distance triathlons in the Philadelphia area.  Although, I spend most of my time, now, planning my wedding for the fall of this year

 

Nick - Born 6/1/1984, youngest of 2 boys, grew up in Staten Island, NYC.  Proud son of Richard, a NYC detective, and Donna, a department store manager.  Spent my childhood in school playing the baritone and trumpet in the school band and playing sports such as basketball, track, and primarily baseball.  I played for one of the top travelling teams in the north east.  I received a scholarship to Villanova University to play baseball and started school out as an engineering major and a student athlete.  My junior year I stopped playing baseball and focused more on my academics, changing my major to MIS in the business school.  I met my fiancé, Natasha, at Villanova my junior year.  After I graduated I moved to the Philadelphia area and started working at Johnson & Johnson as a safety analyst, where I've been working now for about 4.5 years.  I am an avid computer gamer, but I also love the outdoors where I love activities such as biking, hiking, and river rafting.  I have recently taken up an interest in photography and I am learning the basics as well as some advanced techniques and I hope to take some great shots on Croatia this year.

 

Victoria Marie Mariani (nickname Torie) - named after my paternal grandmother.

 

I am 22 years old and the second daughter of Rick Mariani, son of Paul and Mary Frances Mariani. I was a terror of a child and somewhere along the way I mellowed out, for which I think my parents were very grateful. I played soccer for 12ish years and became an avid book lover around the age of 12. I have dabbled in track, dance, snowboarding, leadership roles, and cooking. I still tap into my wild, independent spirit at times, so watch out! Anyway, I recently graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Hospitality where I learned about snow days in May, hangovers, roommates, and somwhere in there I think I went to a class or two. Some classes involved calculators, long papers, and lots of coffee while others involved an empty stomach for food and wine tastings, chef knives, or vineyard boots. While Ithaca, NY was a great community for my college experiences, I quickly moved back to California where the weather is really as wonderful as I had remembered it. I currently live and work in St. Helena, CA at The Restaurant at Meadowood. The job is consuming and stressful, but I belong to a gym where I relax, sunbath, eat, and occassionally work out (gotta be looking good for the trip and swim suit weather!!!). 

 

Nick, recently changed to Nicky because now another Nick, future brother-in-law,  will be joining the family. I was born 3/29/94, youngest of 4, son of Richard Mariani and Jeanne Mariani. I was born and raised in Healdsburg, “Da Burg” California… I have a clone, whose name is Mitch. He is two minutes older then I am. I have spent my life of 17 years playing sports, weight lifting, hanging with the big extended family, and trying to focus my left over testosterone on girls. I have a passion for football and weight lifting, some may call it an obsession… “Obsession is what the Weak call dedicated”.  My brother and I are best friends and have the same best friends Max, Trev Dog, and Jake. Mitch and I are very family oriented and we love family reunions. We have lots of friends sometimes too many, but we make it work. We hang out with our three “BFF girlfriends”; Milan, Marcella, and Bea and it is impossible to get out of the friend zone.  In My future I want to be an Entrepreneur, partly because of the family history of successful entrepreneurs and my obsession of expanding and spreading our Name of “Mariani”.  On the trip I would love to chat about any weight lifting ideas and tips, sports, girls, T.V. Shows, and business.

 

Mitchell Mariani – DITTO – Nick Mariani

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Jane Mariani: 

2011 age 68 years Daughter of Paul Mariani Jr, granddaughter of Paul A. Mariani Sr.

 

I have thoroughly loved my life! I recently retired as a school administrator and had the “ooops!” moment of “Oh my gosh, I have loved getting up every day of my life (except when I had a final test) because I have been able to live my passions…What am I going to do now???”

When one door gently, or not so gently closes, if we remain open to the possibilities and we gain clarity about what is important to us…others doors open wide. In fact, often too many doors open and clarity and direction needs to be reprioritized.

I have been blessed to have been able to grow up in the middle of a prune orchard as the oldest of seven children with animals to care for and hills to ride and explore. I gave  birth to four healthy children and  have five other children cross and join my path to nurture and love.

1. TJ Osborne – age 41 of  San Jose, CA

2. Geneva Jane Osborne Bigelow – age 37 of Sand Point, Idaho

3. William Andrew Pratt – age 33 of San Andreas, CA

4. Jennifer Leigh Pratt Miller – age 30 of Santa Cruz, CA

5. Laura Kay Pratt Kamper – age 41 of Novato, CA

I have lived on the San Francisco Peninsula, the Fiji Islands, and in the very rural foothiills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while raising my children. I have been married 3 times (two former spouses are deceased) and have been single for the past 15 years. It has been a  wonderfully fulfilling journey and I anticipate so much more! Currently, I am looking forward to participating in the Newark Peace Education Summit in May 2011. The participants will be exploring, sharing, celebrating and developing programs and protocols focusing on developing Peace Within, Peace in the Family, Peace in the Community, Peace in the Nation and the World. The Dalai Lama and six other recipients of the Nobel Peace Award will be working with the participants.

Below is a resume created for the Head Start Federal Audit Review Process as a member of the Board of Directors of the organization overseeing the program in Calaveras County. It summarizes my passions and activities for the past 50 years.

**********************

Linda Mariani is the Founder and past Administrator of Mountain Oaks Charter School. She brings 45 years of professional experience to The Resource Connection Board of Director in addition to the 50 years of volunteerism.

Education, Trainings, and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

California Life Teacher Credential, University of California, Berkeley

California Life Administrative Services Credential, California State University, Stanislaus

Student of Ancient and Classical History,  Literature and  Philosophy

Student of Organizational Leadership

Student of Transformational Leadership

Special Education extended trainings specializing in legality, accountability, autism, ADHD

Certifications in:

o Facilitating Learning Communities

o Coaching Learning Communities 

o Grant Writing

o Passion Test facilitator for Individuals, Groups, 4Kids and Teens, and for Business

o Professional Writers Association

o Professional Photographers Association

o Affiliate with Enlightened Alliances

o 4-H Leader

Professional Experience:

Taught in public and private education for 37 years

Founded and directed a public charter school for 17 years

Participated in the development of California’s Early Childhood Act

Taught from preschool through adult education

Developed curriculum in every level from Preschool through Adult Education

Developed curriculum for parents of children from preschool through high school

Produced photographic juried works that were included in traveling exhibits

Served as Board of Director of international corporation

Published in professional journals, articles and photographs

Wrote funded grant applications

Managed a certified organic farm

Trained apprentices for the organic industry

Currently writing a book for expectant parents focusing on the critical need and short window for developing empathy and compassion in their children. Developing an on-line support program for parents to continue with age appropriate activities and resources to nurture empathy, compassion and service.

Civic and Volunteer Activities:

Teacher for Developmental and Therapeutic Equine programs 

Aide in special education classrooms

Teacher in parent coop preschool 

4-H Community Leader for 12 years

Grant Writer for youth and educational organizations

Consultant with youth and educational organizations

Board of Director positions on local nonprofits

Developer of nonprofits

Consultant for program development

Consultant for local task forces dealing with children, local planning and civic projects

Developer and implementer  of lifeskills and career training for at-risk students and clients of Crisis Center

Conductor of workshops  for non-profit and school organizations to clarify core values and unique contributions

 

 

 

 

Mathilda Marie Mariani Sousa

 

  Mathilda Marie Mariani Sousa was the 3rd daughter of Paul Mariani and Victoria Svilich. She was born on June 23, 1911, and attended Cupertino Grammar School. After graduating from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, she attended business college in San Jose, California.
    Mathilda met George Sousa, from Santa Clara, while he was working his way through college as a milkman making daily deliveries to the Mariani family. She married him at the age of 19. They had 2 children, George and Marian. Mathilda lived with the Sousa family, and helped care for her father-in-law and other family members.
    In 1931, George Sousa started working for his father-in-law, Paul Mariani, while also attending law school part-time.  In 1945, Paul Mariani Sr., Paul Mariani Jr., and George Sousa started a new company called the Paul A. Mariani Company, which processed and packed prunes. George Sousa passed away in 1947, and Mathilda Mariani Sousa assumed his interest and actively worked in the business until her retirement in 1976. Her involvement in the family business ranged from picking fruit as a girl beside her father’s employees, to using her math skills as the company’s controller to help support her children. Today, the business is still owned and operated by Mark Mariani, George Sousa, Marian Sousa Ciabattari, and their families.
    Because her parents were from Komiza, Croatia, Mathilda belonged to the Napredak Club, a Croatian social club.  She was very active in Young Ladies Institute, St. Joseph’s of Cupertino Parish, and Resurrection Church in Sunnyvale. After her retirement, she became very active in the Cupertino and Sunnyvale Historical Societies.
    “Gram/Aunt Til” was always a proud Mother, Mother-in Law, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt, and friend to many people who admired her strength. She loved to travel and did so throughout her life. A softball player in her youth, she made it a point to be at as many sporting events of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as possible, and was an avid San Francisco Giants baseball fan.
She passed away on August 25, 2002, at the age of 91 due to complications following a stroke.

 

 

 

GEORGE SOUSA Sr FAMILY

 

George Sousa, the son of George and  Mathilda Sousa was born on February 14, 1931.  George went to St. Clare’s Elementary School and Santa Clara High School.  He graduated with a degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University in Dec 1955 He went into the Marine Corp in March 1951 and served time overseas in Korea. George married Lorraine Saich from Cupertino on January 18, 1959. They celebrated their 50 year anniversary in Los Gatos in 2009. George has been a partner at Mariani Packing Company for over 59 years. George and Lorraine have 4 children: George, Jr., Lisa, Karen, and Stephen, and 7 grandchildren.

 

Lorraine Anne Saich – Born in Cupertino, CA on February 21, 1933

 

George Sousa, Jr., was born on January 24, 1960. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Saratoga, and Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. He then attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduating in 1882 with an Agriculture Business Mgt degree.  He is the president at Mariani packing Company.  George married Wendy Schwartz on February 23, 1985 and they have 2 children Tyler and Sara who are twins.  They presently live in Davis, CA

 

Wendy Sue Schwartz – born in Newark, New Jersey on June 14, 1963

Sara Katharine Sousa – born in San Jose, CA on August 3, 1993

Tyler Anthony Sousa – born in San Jose, CA on August 3, 1993

 

Lisa Anne Sousa Carlson was born on October 11, 1961. She attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Saratoga, and Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose.  She received her BA in Business Administration with a minor in Women’s Studies from San Jose State University in 1983. She married Allen Carlson on March 31, 1990.  Lisa sadly passed away August 1, 1994.

 

 

Karen Marie Sousa McHugh was born on January 8, 1964 in San Jose, California.  She attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Saratoga,  and Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose.  She received her BS in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1986.Karen started dating Andrew McHugh from Oakland in 1988, and they were married on March 27, 1993.  They have 3 daughters, all born in San Francisco: Alyssa, Shaelyn and Karlina. They currently live in Walnut Creek.  They started  their own business , Pacific Kid in 2006.

 

Andrew Patrick McHugh – born in Oakland, CA  on July 24, 1964

Alyssa Nicole Mchugh – Born in San Francisco, CA on February 10, 1995

Shaelyn Terese McHugh – San Francisco, CA on August 20, 1998

Karlina Marie McHugh - Born in San Francisco on  April 1, 2002

 

 

 

Stephen Michael Sousa was born on January 12, 1969.  He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Saratoga, and Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. He then attended San Jose State University through 1994 and then started working for full time Mariani packing in January 1995.  He currently is the Director of Global Commodity Sales.  He married Patricia Ann Newsom  and March 25, 2006 and have two sons; Sam and Nick ages 4 years and 10 months respectively.  The family currently resides in Davis, California.

 

Patricia Ann Newsom – born in Woodland, CA on April 6, 1968

Samuel John Sousa - born in Woodland, CA on January 6, 2007

Nicholas George Sousa – born in Woodland, CA on June 22, 2010

 

Lisa Sousa - Deceased

 

George Sousa Jr married

Wendy Sue Schwartz – 1/14/1963

Tyler Anthony Sousa – 8/3/1993

Sara Katharine Sousa – 8/3/1993

 

Karen Sousa Married

Andrew Patrick McHugh – 7/24/1964

Alyssa Nicole McHugh – 2/10/1995

Shaelyn Terese McHugh – 8/20/1998

Karlina Marie McHugh – 4/1/2002

 

Steve Sousa married

Patricia Ann Newsom – 4/6/1968

Samuel John Sousa – 1/6/2007

Nicholas George Sousa – 6/22/2010

 

Thiltgen Family Tree

 

Paul Thiltgen, son of Winifred (Mariani) and Mathew Thiltgen.  Paul and Maureen Roll are retired and live in Santa Cruz, Ca.

 

Michele Thiltgen and her partner Dino Pizarro live in Santa Cruz, Ca. 

Michele works for Seagate Technology and Dino works as a consultant for 

AT&T.

 

Valerie Tamasi lives in Los Gatos, Ca. and is a very busy parent and mother.

Lisa Thiltgen lives in San Diego, Ca. and works for Plaza Home Mortgage.

 

Bart and Lori Thiltgen are retired and live in Spring, Texas.

Bart Thiltgen and Laura Fields live in Redondo Beach, Ca. Bart works in 

Banking investment and Laura is employed in the aeronautic engineering 

field.

 

Anne and Jeff Attinger live in the Palm Springs, Ca area. Anne is in the 

residential landscape design business and Jeff works in the golf 

landscape design field.

 

Grandchildren of Paul

 

Valerie Thiltgen Tamasi and Tony Tamasi's children:

Faith, born 2/01

Paige, born 12/03

Gavin, born 4/06

 

 

Bart John Thiltgen, born July 27, 1943, son of Winifred (Mariani) and Mathew Thiltgen

Married Christine Annette Pearson  April 22, 1967

 

Grandchildren of Bart

 

Anne Thiltgen Attinger and Jeff Attinger's child

Bailey, born 8/07

 

Bart Thiltgen Jr. and Laura Fields child

Sean, born 10/99

 

Bart John Thiltgen Jr., born April 30, 1972 (married to Laura Fields, and has a son Sean, born September 30, 1999)

 

Anne Catherine(Thiltgen) Attinger born January 24, 1976 (married to Jeff Attinger, and has a 

Biography

 

1966 – Graduated with Bachelor of Science degree from University of California at Davis

1966-1967 – Agricultural Research Assistant at Tillie Lewis Foods (subsequently known as Ogden Food Products) (fruit and vegetable cannery) in Stockton, California

1967-1972 – Agricultural Research Director at Tillie Lewis Foods

1972-1976 – Director of Field Technical Services at Ogden Food Products

1976-1983 – Sales Manager at OFP Containers (division of Ogden Food Products)

1983-1987 – attended law school and employed by District Attorney’s Office for San Joaquin County in Stockton, California

1987 – Admitted to State Bar of California as a practicing attorney

1988-1998 – Deputy City Attorney at the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Stockton, California

1998-1999 – Assistant City Attorney at the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Stockton, California

1999-2003 – City Attorney for the City of Bakersfield, California

October, 2003 – Retired

August, 2006 – relocated to Spring, Texas (north of Houston) due to Lori’s promotion and transfer to Houston Headquarters of Chevron Corporation.

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberly is the daughter of Katherine. Katherine was the daughter of Irene Perkov, sister to Paul Mariani Jr.

 

Kimberly Wassenberg Hull

Married to Aaron Johnson Hull

Children:  Elisa Frances Hull, Mark Davis Hull

Kim was born in Berlin, Germany, as her father was in the US Army and was stationed there.  She lived 2 years in Kansas, 6 years in Colorado (where her parents were divorced), and moved to San Jose (Cupertino) California when she was 10.  She has lived in the San Jose area ever since.  Kim graduated from Gunderson High School in 1985, and San Jose State University in 1994, and has a degree in Art.  She worked in restaurants through college and then became a professional children’s photographer.  She also does graphic design for photographers and small businesses, but at this time is mostly a stay-at-home mom to two small children.