Angelina Alioto Presti
Born in San Francisco, CA, April 23, 1917. Died on July 14, 2019 having recently celebrated her 102nd birthday with her family.
Angelina was the first to admit that she had a wonderful life. She was born to Domenica Lazio and Giuseppe Alioto. Her parents met on April 18, 1906, the day of the powerful earthquake. To prove good can come out of bad, subsequently, four Lazio siblings married four Alioto siblings. Her father and his brothers had one of the largest fishing fleets on the West Coast and together they created International Fish Co., an organization that was a cornerstone for what is known today as Fisherman’s Wharf. In her childhood, Angelina grew up with her siblings and cousins in the Saints Peter and Paul parish of North Beach. Angelina, or Sis, as she was known by all, graduated from Presentation High School. She was grateful that her mother, Domenica, insisted that all her children attend college. Angelina and her sisters, Stephanie and Antoinette, all attended UC Berkeley, traveling everyday by ferry since her father wouldn’t let them live away from home. Her brother Joe, attended St. Mary’s College. He was, of course, allowed to live on campus! Angelina studied foreign languages mastering French, Spanish and Italian, her first language. Her advisor, for reasons unknown, was physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.
After graduation, Angelina worked at the American Tobacco Company. She was soon promoted to a management position because most of the men were off at war. She left that job when her father insisted she chaperone her sister, Stephanie, who was completing an art internship in Mexico with Diego Rivera. Upon her return to San Francisco, through her brother Joe, she met the love of her life, Joseph Charles Presti, in 1945. Joe, from Baltimore, was serving as a physician transporting wounded soldiers across the country. They were married for 71 years. Together they reared the five children of whom Angelina was so proud. She was the consummate mother and wife of noble character. Her children knew that they were her first priority. Their home on Baker St. was known as Grand Central Station as all the kids in the neighborhood were welcome. Angelina was a fabulous hostess and the staff and residents at St. Mary’s knew that they would always be well fed!
Angelina, in addition to rearing her five children, volunteered countless hours at St. Mary’s Medical Center including serving as the President of the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary. She was a long time patron of the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony and the American Conservatory Theater. She was a member of 60’s Plus at San Francisco State University. While she was well traveled, her favorite week of the year was spent in Lake Tahoe with all her children and grandchildren, often being chauffeured by her devoted nephew Patrick Alioto.
Angelina is survived by her loving children: Christina (Arnaldo) Dall’Era, Marguerite (Ronald, deceased) Bartels, Laura (Peter, M.D.) Carroll, Torey (Virginia) Presti, and Joseph C. Presti, Jr, M.D. (Micaela). They will all attest that she was the best mother and mother-in-law that a person could have. Nonni, as her grandchildren called her, is also survived by: Maria Dall’Era, M.D. (Dan Durkin), Marc Dall’Era, M.D. (Stephanie), Joseph Dall’Era, M.D. (Tara Thompson), Joshua Bartels (Dani), Lauren Carroll Barshied (Matt), Ryan Carroll, Savannah Carroll, Joseph M. Presti, William A. Presti, Joseph T. Presti, her 10 great-grandchildren who lovingly called her Bis Nonni, her sister-in-law, Kathleen S. Alioto, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Angelina was predeceased by her devoted husband, Joseph C. Presti, M.D., her loving siblings, Antoinette Scarpulla, Joseph L. Alioto, former mayor of San Francisco and Stephanie Wilhelm and their spouses. She will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. Angelina’s cup was perpetually half full. One of her favorite adages was “Quando c’é un ballo, balliamo”… “When there is a dance, let’s dance.” Her grandchildren continue to live by this maxim today.
Angelina’s family would like to extend their gratitude to Mom’s loving caretakers, Lynn Ahokava and Lota Huanga. Many thanks for the long term medical care she received at UCSF, especially by her long time physican, Carolyn Welty, M.D. and finally, to Hospice by the Bay for their care in her last few weeks.
At her request, private services will be held at the site of inurnment in Holy Cross Cemetery. Her family appreciates donations to St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, 450 Stanyan St., San Francisco, CA 94117, San Francisco, Hospice By the Bay, 180 Redwood St #350, San Francisco, CA 94102 or to the charity of your choice.