This post will be updated as new members of the family or other aquaintences are introduced; last updated Feb. 12, 2012.
By now, only a few letters into the project, we have already met Babe, of course, and his parents, Frank and Florence Mauro. This letter is the first mention of my mother, Rosemarie. My father always called her Ro. She was not quite 3 when Babe went into the army, which means he was about 15 years older than her.
As far as I know, that’s the last time they saw each other.
Frank and Florence had four children. Vincent (Vin or Vince) was the oldest; he served in the navy around the same time Babe was in the army. Babe was the second. Robert was the third and he was too young to serve in World War II; he was 15 when Babe left for the army. His nickname at this time was “Bib,” and you’ll see references to “Bib” in the letters.
My mother was the baby of the family. Bib was about 11 years older than her.
They’re all gone now. Vin died in 2009; Bib died in March 2011; my mother died Aug. 6, 2011.
The same letter also mentioned Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary. Mary LePre was Florence’s younger sister. David LePre was Mary’s husband. By the time I’d come along, David Lepre, my great uncle, had died; I don’t know the circumstances. Mary was still alive; in fact, my family visited her and her daughter Gevena in La Mesa, Calif., a few times and my great Aunt Mary came to my wedding in 1987. Gevena’s brother Gene was, of course, also a cousin to my mother and Babe. Florence, my grandmother (Babe’s mother), died in 1988.
Luca (Lugi) Conte was from Mount Kisco and was slightly older than Babe. They apparently knew each other before the war and they went over to North Africa together on the same troop transport ship, though they served in different units. Babe refers to him in one of his letters as “Lugi,” but his son Luca Edward said his father was also called Luca.