"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Jun7th2019

Welcome Home

by  Phyllis Zeck

del principe, winikeWhen my sister Lori and I decided to sell our homes and purchase a new house together we had to say goodbye to some of our excess belongings. However, sending certain pieces of furniture and knick knacks to new homes was not an option. Lori had furnished her spare bedroom in Utah with our mother’s bed and two dressers along with other keepsakes which she isn’t yet ready to part with. Our new guest bedroom is now called Grandma Corinne’s Room. 

When the movers brought our mom’s chair inside we were debating where to put it.  In the shuffle the chair landed in our upstairs hallway which happened to be the perfect spot for it. On our party days I’ve often found our teenagers (who are too old for the toy room and bored by adult prattle) lounging in the chair reading their books or their tablets. This makes my heart happy!

As we began hanging our photos this last winter we contemplated what to put above mom’s chair. Lori had a large photo that she was ready to discard but we decided to keep the frame and make a family tree collage.  We had so much fun placing the puzzle pieces of our favorite memories into the tree template. It was impossible to decide which photos to use as we created our design using Photoshop Elements. The last photo we slipped into the tree was a snapshot of some of mom’s great grandchildren sitting in her chair. We printed the matt at Costco and are so happy with the results. Lori ordered an engraved plate for the frame which says Winike & Del Principe Family Tree and glued it on. Every time I come up the stairs this new space says Welcome Home in so many ways.

 
 

Mar29th2019

Aerial View of Pescasseroli & Opi

by  Phyllis Zeck

Pescasseroli Italy Del Principe

Pescasseroli, Italy

This winter I was looking for some images to purchase for the walls of our new home. I bought these panoramic photos of the towns of Pescasseroli and Opi. After having 11×14 prints made I bought new frames and hung the photos in my bedroom. They look wonderful. The photo on the left is the birth town of my great grandparents Cesidia Elvira Tranquilla Ciolli (1867-1939) and Pietro Giovanni Del Prinicipe (1853-1922). The photo below is the town of Opi where my great great grandmother Filomena Ursitti was born in 1837.  Filomena married Don Pietrantonio Amabile Ciolli and they raised their family in Pescasseroli. 

Opi Italy

Opi, Italy

While I was looking for photos I came across the website Life in Abruzzo. If you plan to visit Italy this site has some info about the community of Pescasseroli and things to do in the town. The writer mentions Salvatore, the owner of the B&B via Della Piazza, at the end of the article.

 

 
 

Mar17th2019

Italy’s Alpine Soldiers

by  Phyllis Zeck

Pescasseroli alpine soldiersSeveral years about I wrote a post about Italy’s Alpine Soldiers (click link to read). Last November I received a message from Francesco Gentile who lives in Pescasseroli. He wanted to share the news that there was to be a special ceremony for the fallen soldiers of World War I. Medals were given to the soldiers heirs. The photo above was taken at the town hall where 43 medals were laid out in preparation for the ceremony. There are about 15 medals that Francesco and the community are unable to find relatives for.

One of the soldiers Pasquale Di Nella is a great uncle to my cousin Vickie. Vickie’s great grandmother, Bibbiana Celestina Ciolli, was the sister of my great grandmother Elvira. Another soldier Giuseppe D’Addezio is the brother of Francesco’s grandmother.  A third soldier who was honored is Paolo Del Principe. Francesco doesn’t know who Paolo Del Principe’s heirs are and I’ve not been able to find a link to Paolo in my research. Pasquale Di Nella

The medal to the right honors Pasquale Di Nella. He was killed about 1918. It’s wonderful that Pescasseroli honored the soldiers who lost their lives for our freedom 100 years ago.

 
 

Jan13th2019

Bernice’s Manicotti

by  Phyllis Zeck

Standing L to R: Lois, Lorraine, Helen, Bernice (in black dress), Marion & Grace. Seated: Grandpa Charles Bihler (Bernice’s father) & Paul

Bernice Dorothy Bihler is Joe Del Prinicipe’s mother. Joe shared his mother’s Manicotti recipe with me and said that he recently taught his granddaughter how to make it. Joe’s mother Bernice and Bernice’s father Charles Bihler are in the photo to the left taken approx 1950. Also in the photo are Bernice’s sisters. The photo below is Bernice’s mother Augusta Voss Bihler.  Thank you Joe.  Lori and I hope that Holly makes this soon!

From Joe:  Below is a recipe handed down from my mother for my favorite Italian pasta dish. It is not a quick and easy recipe to produce, but I have always found it to be well worth every minute of prep time while enjoying the fruits of the labor, or maybe it is from enjoying the wonderful glass of sherry while I was making it.   

Augusta Voss

Marion, Augusta Voss Bihler, and Lois. Approx 1926

Manicotti – Meat & Cheese filled 
Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 lb. Ground Pork
1 lb. Italian Sausage – casings removed
¼ Cup Cream Sherry
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
¾ cup Grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano Cheese
15 oz. Light Ricotta Cheese
2 ea. 4.5 oz Sliced Mushrooms

3 cans 6 oz. Tomato Paste
2 cans 14.5 oz. Diced Tomatoes
1 ½ Cup Water
¼ Cup Cream Sherry (Optional)
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 tablespoon Oregano
1 tsp Salt

Manicotti Pasta – 14 Shells
16 oz. Mozzarella Cheese Grated

Add olive oil to large 12” skillet, heat over medium heat. Add ground beef, pork, sausage, and mix in garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and cream sherry.

Stir frequently until brown and drain. Add parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and mushrooms to meat mixture. Mix thoroughly. Set aside while making sauce.
In a large mixing bowl mix diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, cream sherry, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, water, and cream sherry (optional – sometimes I prefer to just drink it).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Using a 14” x 10” baking dish, place a ¼” layer of sauce on bottom.  Using the meat mixture, stuff each pasta shell and place in baking dish until all shells have been filled. Mix leftover meat mixture with remaining sauce and spoon evenly over pasta shells.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes.
Remove from oven and increase temperature to 375 degrees.
Remove foil and place shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over top of shells.
Place uncovered baking dish back in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese begins to brown slightly.

 
 

Nov17th2018

I Will Love You Forever

by  Phyllis Zeck

Today is a very difficult day for my family and friends.  My brother passed away this summer and today would have been his 69th birthday.  Robert Gilbert Winike was the oldest of eight children born to Corinne and Robert.  Our father passed away when Rob was 20 years old.  Rob helped guide his siblings through life giving them strength and confidence as they forged their paths.

Rob was the first to move to Portland and one by one brothers and sisters followed him.  Many of us settled in the St Johns neighborhood where we raised our children who affectionately nicknamed Rob “Poppy”.  The Winike clan continued to grow. As my nephews and nieces arrived I realized that my siblings were the best gift my mother and father ever gave me. We leaned on each other as our children grew and we offered love, support, and guidance as our babies maneuvered through the bumpy road toward becoming adults. We made sure that family gatherings happened frequently.  With a clan like ours those parties were filled with stories of our childhood, teasing, laughter and love. Then, in the blink of an eye, there was a whole new generation of children and Rob became a grandfather.  The 1985 photo below is of  Rob, Lori, Janie, Paul, myself, Holly, Grandma Corinne (her grandchildren) and Steve.

Family was one of Rob’s greatest joys in life.  Rob loved to tell stories of his youth.  Until the age of 10 he lived in Chicago and was surrounded by Del Principe & Ciolli families, most of them living within a few homes of Rob, our parents and our grandfather. In 1958 our parents along with grandpa Gilbert and the 4 oldest children moved to the suburbs of Villa Park.  Janice was the first sibling born in Villa Park. 

Rob thrived on helping others. His service to the church started when he was a youth and lasted his whole life. When his children were young Rob would coordinate overnight shelters at his church so the homeless had a place to sleep.  Rob had a deep religious conviction, which helped comfort him through many of life’s good and bad times. Rob and my sister Holly are my daughter Ashley’s godparents.  Rob and his wife Judy are my granddaughter Abby’s godparents. 

Rob was an example of a Christian who used his faith and relationship with God to grow as a person.  He went through ups and downs and particularly during the lows in his life he leaned into his faith to improve his life and change for the better.

Rob and I shared the excitement of establishing this family history blog. He contributed so many of his memories to countless blog posts for which I will be forever grateful.  Rob was a gifted and talented writer.  Some of my favorite memories of researching and blogging with Rob is the time we audio recorded several interviews with Auntie Phyllis.  When you get lonely for Rob’s voice and laughter, click on one of the interviews. Click here to listen to one of my favorite posts.  This always brings a smile to my face. To hear more audio interviews click on the Category column in the right for “Vincent Family”.

Lindsay, Robin, Tyler, Rob & Judy

I feel the heartache daily of saying goodbye to this wonderful man and will for a very long time to come.  He has touched us all in different ways and for myself and Ashley there are endless memories of fun adventures that fill us with contentment and happiness.  We try to find peace rejoicing in the knowledge that Rob is in Heaven and watching out for us all, just as he did in life.  Rob will forever be deeply and dearly missed.