Clementina DeMartin Mazzalon

Clementina was born on September 24, 1898, the fifth child and the third daughter of Giuseppe and Elisabetta. That she was born in a small village in the Dolomites, at that time in history, dictated the path her life would take. She watched the departure of her two older brothers and a sister to seek a life in America that would provide more opportunity, and with a bit of luck and lots of hard work, enough dollars left over to send back to the family.

At 16, she was called by her brothers to join them, skipping over her older sister Maria who lacked the strong body and will for the long journey. On the voyage to America, she would carry her 19-month old niece, Edda, the first-born of her brother Gabriele.

She arrived at Ellis Island in May of 1915, days before Italy declared war on Austria, which lies just kilometers from Dosoledo. She lived almost 70 years more, married, had two daughters and eight grandchildren. She worked hard, suffered greatly, loved to the fullest. Her heart was as tall as the mountains of her youth, and her fundamental goodness and strength of character prevailed. This is her story, as seen through the prism of just one of the many who loved her and who found in her a lifeline of wisdom.


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