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Jennie E. Frassetto
Jennie E. Frassetto passed away peaceably in her home of 62 years after a long illness on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. She was 89 years old.
Jennie was born in Salinas on January 26, 1925 along with her twin sister, Edna. She joined four brothers and sisters, Rose, Jim, Flo and Art along with her parents, Romito (Hermit) Panziera and Delfina Antonini Panziera. Her parents had emigrated from the small town of Crodo in the Piedmonte region of Italy. Common in large families, Jennie was raised in town by her aunt and uncle, John and Rosie Panziera, but always spent a lot of time with the rest of her family on the Panziera Ranch on the Salinas River near what is now known as the East Garrison of Fort Ord. She had a wonderful childhood making life long friends such as Jean McDougal Goglia and Yvonne Kever. She attended Lincoln School, Washington Junior High and graduated from Salinas High School in 1942. Her father firmly believed in education for all of his children and Jennie attended Hartnell Junior College and transferred to San Jose State University where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in 1946.
Returning home to Salinas, she attended USO dances, was an active pen pal to local servicemen overseas and worked in the guayale fields (substitute rubber plant) to show her civic pride during World War II. But it was not until after the war ended, while working as a legal secretary for City Attorney Russell Scott that she met a tall Castroville farmer, John Frassetto. A first date on April 1, 1950 to a Police Variety Show at the Salinas Armory started a romance that lasted until John's death in 1997. She and John raised four children on the artichoke farm on Castroville Road started by John's parents, Leo and Maria Frassetto. Once the children were grown and established, John and she traveled extensively - visiting Italy, Australia and New Zealand as well as trips within the U.S.
Once her younger children were in high school, Jennie took her business skills and began work at the County of Monterey for over 20 years making as she always did life long friends who kept in touch long after she retired.
One of her life long passions was playing bridge. She was a long time member of the Palma Mothers' Bridge Club and played in several bridge circles with the "ladies."
She was preceded in death by all of her siblings, her husband, John and son-in-law, Carl Olsen.
She is survived by her children, James (Karen) Frassetto of Berkeley, Richard (Ellen) Frassetto of San Francisco, Anne Olsen of Spreckels, Paul (Kate) Frassetto of San Francisco, her sister-in-law, Virginia Frassetto of Salinas, her three grandchildren, Gina Frassetto of San Francisco currently working with the Peace Corps in the former Soviet Union Republic of Georgia, Katharine Olsen of Spreckels, Elizabeth Olsen of Spreckels and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and devoted wife and friend. Her family and many friends will never forget her generous heart, gentle soul and grace and wit.
The family would like to express their great debt and appreciation to Nuku, Maria, Patsy, Samantha and Linda for the wonderful care they gave to Jennie during her last illness.
There will be a Memorial Service for Jennie at Our Lady of Refuge Church, 11140 Preston Street, Castroville, CA at 11:00 a.m. on April 1, 2014 - the sixty-fourth anniversary of Jennie and John's first date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, P. O. Box 267, Moss Landing, CA 95039 - a favorite place for Jennie for bird watching.
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.
For more information and to share a memory visit www.struveandlaporte.com.
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis Salinas, CA 93901
Published in The Salinas Californian from Mar. 22 to Mar. 31, 2014