On March 26, 2008 Catherine Logozo, our dear “Auntie,” passed into the next life in the same manner that she moved through this one, with peace and grace. Auntie was 97 years old.
She was born in Mammola, a small Italian hill town in Calabria, Italy of peasant parents, Stefano Mazzone and Anglea Bruzzese. Like so many other southern Italians in that era, her family eventually emigrated to America in search of “a better life.” Thus it was that ten year old Catherine landed on Ellis Island in April 1921, with her mother, Angela, and her younger brother, Dominic -- their father having come here several years earlier to find work and save up enough money to send for his family.
As a young, unschooled immigrant with no English, Catherine was put with the first graders at St. Benedict School near Greenlake. Much taller and more mature than her classmates, she soon came to be seen by them as a kind of ‘big sister.’ After she learned English, though, her big sister role quickly evolved into young adult. At home, she was responsible not just to help with household chores, but also gardening, translating for her parents with shopkeepers, doctors, etc. For instance, as a young teen she missed school one day every week in order to take her 2-year old sister by trolly from Greenlake to and from Childrens Hospital, which then was atop Queen Anne Hill, to receive her physical therapy treatments for severe scoliosis. Catherine lived the rest of her long life as one of the most selfless, joyful and gracious caretakers you would ever hope to meet.
At age16, she married a young Italian, Joe Logozo, whose family had also come from a town in Calabria. Joe was a recent veteran of the Italian army, and just starting his own, long career in heavy construction. Catherine and Joe built their first of two homes in W.Seattle, where they became permanent residents.
Soon after building and occupying her own, first home, she bought another house nearby, for her own parents. This was the only house in America in which they were not renters. Meanwhile, her husband’s widowed mother moved into their home, where Catherine cared for her for almost 20 years. When Catherine and Joe built their next house just west of the W.Seattle Junction, it was home first to Catherine’s mother in law, then to her own mother, who lived there for about 15 years.
When her husband, Joe, died unexpectedly, leaving virtually no assets other than their home, Catherine immediately set about securing her future by serving as a Nanny, working in the kitchen of a local catering company and renting her basement apartment. All the while, she continued to create the most amazing vegetable and flower gardens, prepare the world’s most delicious meals (everyone wanted Auntie’s recipes), knit afghans, and care for others.
Auntie will long be remembered by all who knew her — not for what she accomplished during her long life, but for the kind of person she was. All who are fortunate to have known her, from mail delivery persons to visiting nurses, developed a fondness for her. Those of us who knew her as Auntie have been immeasurably blessed by her gentle joy, her utterly non-judgmental acceptance of others, her quickness to forgive, her childlike trust in the Lord, and her hugely generous and loving heart.
In thankful celebration of Auntie’s great life, a Funeral Mass will be offered at 10 AM on Saturday, April 5, at Holy Rosary Church in West.Seattle, which all are most welcome to attend.
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Published April 2, 2008 in the West Seattle Herald.