Mercer Island, WA
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Lydia Bassetti entered the presence of the Lord peacefully, with family at her side, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at her home in Mercer Island, WA. She was 87 years old. She was born November 4, 1925, in Celerina, Switzerland.
Lydia was the oldest of seven children born to Andrea Scandella and Maria Oprandi Scandella. She was raised in Celerina by her aunts and loved her home in the Swiss Alps and the Engadin Valley. As a young woman she worked for a family that owned Testa Sport, a ski and clothing store in St. Moritz. She loved skiing in the mountains, ice skating on the local lakes, singing in the church choir and acting in church plays. In 1947, Lydia married Silvio Bassetti, the handsome Swiss soldier in the audience watching her perform at church.
Lydia and Silvio moved to Salinas in 1948 and started their family. She was a devoted mother who carefully taught her daughter Nancy, and son Andy, strong Christian values, the importance of family and the value of a good education and hard work.
Lydia was also a fabulous cook! She cooked traditional Swiss and Italian meals of gnocchi and polenta and stew, while Silvio and his brothers made flavorful red wine. These meals amounted to celebrations and were full of love and fun. Lydia was a gifted seamstress and knitter and made many of her family's clothes. She shared this interest with others while she worked at Sak's Fabrics in Salinas. Loving, nonjudgmental, compassionate and caring, Lydia was always available to listen and help. She gave generously of herself to her friends and her immediate and extended family in the Salinas Valley.
Always a busy and social person, Lydia was active in many community and church organizations. Lydia was a member of St. Mary of the Nativity Catholic Church in East Salinas and for many years was a parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church where she served on the Altar Society. She was an active member of the Italian Catholic Federation, the Swiss American Club of Monterey County and the Monterey County Rock and Mineral Society. Her beloved Silvio died on March 16, 2003. Soon thereafter, Lydia moved to Mercer Island, WA where she attended St. Monica Catholic Church.
This account of Lydia's life would not be complete without mentioning her love for and mastery of languages. She spoke German, Italian, English, some French and Spanish, several Swiss and Italian dialects and Romanisch, a language spoken only in a small area in Switzerland. She also had a strong love and enjoyment of all things chocolate.
Most of all Lydia loved her family. She and Silvio were married more than 50 years. She cared for him through cancer and heart surgeries and at the end of his life. She was proud of her two children, Nancy and Andy. She unconditionally welcomed their respective spouses (John and Richelle) with open arms, and celebrated and loved her grandchildren, John Henry Christ VII, Joseph Andrew Bassetti and Will Thomas Bassetti. She enjoyed caring for John while he was growing up in Salinas. While living in Mercer Island, she happily attended many of Joe's and Will's sporting events and music performances, even on cold rainy nights. Lydia was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and friend to many.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Silvio; and by her siblings, Maria, Cathi, Gianni, Pina and Luigi.
Her life and legacy live on in the hearts of her children, Nancy Christ (John) of Sacramento and Andy (Richelle) of Mercer Island, WA; her grandchildren, John Christ (Christy Pecceti) of San Mateo, and Joseph and Will of Mercer Island, WA; her sister, Umbertina Visconti of Zurich, Switzerland; and many nieces and nephews in the United States, Italy and Switzerland.
The family wishes to express gratitude to her caregivers at Sunrise Assisted Living who lovingly cared for her the last years of her life and treated her with the dignity she deserved.
A Rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2013, at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis St., Salinas, CA 93901.
Graveside sService will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 23, 2013, at the Garden of Memories Cemetery, 850 Abbott St., Salinas, CA 93901.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her memory to
(501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105), Providence Hospice of Seattle (425 Pontius Avenue North, No. 300, Seattle, WA 98109-5452), the
(P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718), or the
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis Salinas, CA 93901
Published in The Salinas Californian on Mar. 19, 2013