Thursday, February 19, 2009

Albert Agadoni obituary and follow-up

**Edit** Found a follow-up on the same site. See the 2nd half of this post.

Every once in a while I Google "Agadoni" because all the hits relate directly to my family. New stuff pops up from time to time, and this morning it was an obituary for Albert Agadoni, my great grandfather who died in 1932. My grandfather had told me that he drowned when he was little, but I'd never heard all the details until reading this.

"Albert Agadoni is Drowned in Fall From Sea Cliff - Albert Agadoni, until a few weeks ago a Patterson resident, was drowned Tuesday afternoon when he fell from a cliff into the ocean about a mile and a half from Davenport, north of Santa Cruz. Agadoni had left Sunnyvale, where he has a service station, that morning for a day's sea-fishing, accompanied by his brother in-law, James Fasola, and William Brill of Sunnyvale. They had established themselves on the cliff and were busy fishing when Jim went some way off for a better position. Looking across the rocks, he suddenly noticed that Albert had vanished, the only trace left being his hat floating on the waves. Waves were dashing high at that point and Fasola's theory was that Agadoni had seen a wave sweep up from behind on the point where he sat and had involuntarily dodged and lost his footing. Searching parties were organized as soon as possible to hunt for the body, a party of Sunnyvale American Legion members going over to aid Frank Totman of Santa Cruz, brother-in-law of the deceased, sighted the remains once and attempted to catch them in a net he had in the boat but was unsuccessful and the body disappeared again. Agadoni's handkerchief, pipe and pocket book were recovered from the water, however. The dangerous cliffs, rough water and beds of seaweed along the coast at that point made the search difficult and dangerous. Charles Gustafson, father of Mrs. Agadoni, has made a couple of trips over to render aid, and brought the three children back, but Mrs. Agadoni is staying at the coast till the hunt is successful. The deceased was 39 years of age, a native of Switzerland, and had been in this country about twenty years, much of the time in this vicinity. He was a leading worker in the activities of the Stanislaus County Swiss club, being secretary for a number of years, and was also active in the work on the Patterson Legion Post. Beside the wife and children, he is survived by his parents, living in Switzerland, and eleven brothers and sisters, most of whom reside in the East. Mrs. Fasola and Mrs. Totman, James Agadoni of Sunnyvale and Charles Agadoni of San Francisco are the brothers and sisters residing in this state."

"Patterson Irrigator, 08/05/1932, p. 2 - A hand protruding from the waves at almost the same spot where he lost his life, led to the recovery of the body of Albert Agadoni, former Patterson rancher, Sunday morning, along the ocean shore near Davenport. The discovery was made by Chas. Gustafson of Patterson, father-In-law of the deceased, a member of the large party of searchers that has maintained a five-day vigil in that area following the mishap In which Agadoni lost his life on the preceding Tuesday. The exact manner of his death will remain a mystery, but he fell from the high cliff on which he was fishing in some manner. Following the inquest, the remains were brought to Patterson, funeral services being held at Sacred heart Church Tuesday morning with Rev. A. Martins presiding. Agadoni had been an active worker with both the Stanislaus County - Swiss Club, of which he was secretary for a number of years, and the American Legion, and a large turnout of members of both organizations lined in the services. Members of the Legion comprised the pall-bearers and the Legion firing squad took part in the final rites at the grave in the family plot in Del Puerto Cemetery."

3 comments:

Nobody said...

Your background is Swiss?!! I always thought Agadoni was an Italian name.

Ryan said...

It's Swiss Italian. The city we're from, Gnosca, is an Italian town in Switzerland, just over the border from Italy.

Nobody said...

Your mystique increases with each passing revelation -- how alluring!