Adelaide Brieto Moita
1926 - 2021
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Adelaide Brieto Moita
October 14, 1926 - January 30, 2021
Resident of Hayward, CA
Adelaide was born at home in Hayward and raised as a farmer's daughter. She was predeceased by her parents, Antoine and Emma Brieto, husband Leo Moita, sisters, Margie Souza, Virginia Rose, Jean Lydon, and sons Daniel and Antone Moita. She is survived by her daughter Johanna Aldrich, her longtime caregiver, and sons Jeff and Jim Moita as well 8 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter. Adelaide's middle name was Grace, and she lived her life with a full abundance of this virtue. She was the 3rd of 4 girls. Adelaide attended Hayward schools and was a straight "A" student. She loved to read from an early age. Using kerosene oil lamps for light because there was no electricity available at her family's hillside farmhouse.
Her early life revolved around farming. The family planted seed and picked produce by hand in the 1930's and 1940s. Adelaide often said it was dusk to dawn & back bending work. The family raised apricots, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes in the hills and on the flatlands near the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on various parcels from Jackson Street south to Decoto Road in Union City.
Adelaide drove caterpillar tractors and her beloved Farmall pictured above with steel wheels that still sits at her home today. The circa 1942 picture shows Adelaide on her Farmall pulling 192 loaded tomato boxes on a wooden wheel produce trailer ready for market. We think the picture was taken north of where Tennyson High School is located today.
This was a time well before homes were built upon some of the most fertile alluvial soil land in the world. Adelaide always felt that the flat lands should have remained in farming and the hillsides should have been developed like in Portugal and Europe.
Eight decades ago, the Bay Area climate was cooler and moister than today. There was more fog and dry farming was the norm. Adelaide told the family many times that she would hand plant tomatoes and pour 1 cup of water for each plant to grow for the season. And, that the water was enough to sustain the plant's growth until the harvest of fresh tomatoes a few months later. Please think about this statement. Our climate is warming.
Near the end of WWII, Adelaide received a letter of recommendation from Judge Harder (Harder Road), after disking around Mr. Harder's home and fruit trees without hitting anything. He felt a woman of her intelligence and personality should work professionally in an office. With Judge Harder's letter she applied for and received a job with AT&T where she worked for over 25 years as a telephone operator and in many other capacities. She rarely missed work as she did not believe in sick time and did not take any. She took pride in her work.
Adelaide was introduced to Leo Moita by a her cousin Bob Valine. They married in Hayward in 1948 and raised 5 children: four boys and one girl. Adelaide decided to use the extra family hands and started and ran three successful home-based businesses. She taught her children the virtue that "busy hands are happy hands." First, she started a fruit and vegetable stand on 27826 Mission Blvd in 1960. Then a wood business where the family split, stacked, and sold up to 500 cords of oak per year. Adelaide could stack more wood than most men. The final family business was a trailer rental business named L & A which stood for Leo & Adelaide.
The word "impossible" was not part of Adelaide's vocabulary. She and her family travelled by trailer many times to Washington and Mexico. With Leo she traveled up and down the west coast from Baja to Alaska and later the world visiting every continent. Their favorite place was southern Portugal and the Madeira Islands.
She was well read and researched places she later would visit. In her library there were books ranging from Steinbeck to works on Christopher Columbus. As well as nautical charts and sailing books. After retiring she took up oil painting creating beautiful paintings of her family, children, grandchildren and landscapes scenes of where she had travelled. She was a caring person and the glue that held the family together. Her outlook was positive, grateful, and that with hard work anything could be accomplished.
Adelaide was protective and loved her family. She always said to get a good education so you could get a good job and be self-sufficient in life. Adelaide was a very even keeled person and loved to sail with Leo in the SF Bay or out on the California coast. They sailed their 47' "Little Tramp" for about 10-years out of the Berkeley Marina in the 1970's.
Adelaide loved and was loved by many and will never be forgotten by family and friends. She has a special place in Heaven and is graciously smiling down upon all of us.
Services: 2/23/21
Viewing 12:00 PM
Burial services: 2:30 PM
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery:
1051 Harder Road Hayward CA
(510) 537-6600

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Published in East Bay Times from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021.
12:00 PM
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