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Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Family Love Stories #2: Frank and Angelina

     After Frank Stefani called off his engagement to his girl back home, Monica Remondini, he needed a wife.  In 1890 he was a miner in Norway, Michigan, although he may have lived across the river in Hurley, Wisconsin. At any rate, he frequented a Saloon in Hurley owned by Louis Bonino and his wife, Rosa Tinetti. This is where he met Angelina Tinetti.  I have four different versions of that meeting. The least romantic version is told by their son, Clement. He says that Rosa sent for her sister Angelina to come help them in the saloon so Louis paid her passage.  She came in 1890 and was working there and Frank met her.They were married in 1891. Another family version is that Frank saw Angelina working in the saloon and he told his friend, "I'm going to marry that girl!" The third Stefani family version is told by his granddaughter, Marion, in a taped interview I have.  Frank told her and her cousin Virginia that he had seen Angelina in the window of a tavern and fallen in love with her. These are basically all the same story.

     More recently I have been in touch with Ruth Marcotte who is a granddaughter of Angelina's sister, Rosa.  She wrote me that her mother told her the true story that she said Angelina's family didn't know. This is that Frank knew Rosa and Louis and really liked Rosa.  He knew that Rosa had arranged for her sister Minnie to marry a miner in Illinois and he asked her if she had any more sisters at home.  She was reluctant to suggest a sister because the man that Minnie had married beat her and Rosa felt bad about her part in arranging the marriage. But Frank said that he would pay the fare for her sister to come and if it didn't work out he would pay her fare back home as well. So she sent for Angelina.They hit it off and were married 2 Jun 1891 in Hurley. Angelina told her daughters that she wore a lavender dress with a fur collar. I believe that this is a wedding photo because you can see the fur collar!

 Frank wedding photo
Rosa, Angelina and Luigi

What I don't know is if Frank ever told Angelina about this arrangement! Would she have
felt that she'd been bought or sold? Certainly none of their children ever heard this version! At any rate I suspect that all versions are true. He did arrange for Rosa to send for her. He did see her and fall in love with her and he did tell a friend that she was the girl he was going to marry! Certainly they did marry and were married for fifty-six years and eight days! 

True love lasts a lifetime (at least).
Frank and Angelina 50th Wedding Anniversary

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