She led a life of adventure that took her to two continents. She fell in love with a World War II fighter-pilot, barely made it out of Europe before Benito Mussolini’s fascists, and she helped to build steel for the U.S. war effort. Her disabled daughter was also advocated for in a less enlightened period. Her daughter described her as someone who never gave up.
Primetta Giacopini, 105 years old, died in a pandemic.
Dorene Giacopini (61), her daughter, stated that “I think my mom would have lived quite a while longer” had she not contracted COVID. She was a fighter. Her life was hard and she believed that all Americans who weren’t there for World War II were spoiled brats.
Primetta Giacopini was 25 when her mother, Pasquina, died from the flu in Connecticut in 1918. The flu pandemic claimed the lives of approximately 675,000 Americans. This death toll was eclipsed by the 2020-21 coronavirus pandemic.
Primetta was two years old when her mother passed away. Primetta’s father, a laborer in the textile industry, did not want to care for her and Alice, her younger sister. He took Alice back to Italy, their ancestral home, and gave Primetta to an Italian foster care family, who then moved to Italy in 1929.
Dorene said that Mom spoke about it as if he didn’t want to have those children alone. Men didn’t have that option at that time.” It’s absurd to me.”
Primetta worked as a seamstress to support her family. She was a raven-haired woman with sharp features and dark eyes. She eventually fell in love, however, with Vittorio Andriani, an Italian fighter pilot.
Primetta stated that he didn’t appear to see much of her because he was always fighting somewhere. Primetta spoke to the Golden Gate Wing in Oakland, California in 2008.
It entered World War II on June 1940. Primetta was warned by the police to leave, as Mussolini wanted American citizens expelled from the country. Primetta refused. A few weeks later, Primetta refused to leave the state police, who warned her she might end up in a concentration prison.
Primetta discovered that Andriani had died in a crash near Malta in June 1941. She joined a group that was traveling to Portugal on a train from Italy while he was gone.
Primetta wrote a letter to a friend during her flight, “In Spain one can still see, after 2-4 years, the traces [of the atrocities] of the past.” “At Port Bou at the Spanish border, there is not one house left standing. This is because the town was an important train transit point for supplies to the Reds, the enemy…. I’ve seen enough destruction. Tomorrow is the day I board the ship and everything will be fine.
She boarded a steamer bound to the United States from Lisbon. After returning to Torrington, she bought a Chevrolet sedan at $500. She was offered a job in a General Motors plant near Bristol to grind steel for ball bearings. On the job, she met Umbert “Bert” Giacopini, her husband. They were married until Umbert “Bert” Giacopini’s death in 2002.
Primetta gave birth in 1960 to Dorene and was shocked to learn that the infant had spina bifida. This is a condition in which the spinal chord doesn’t fully develop. Dorene was unable to walk for 50 years. The family moved to San Jose in 1975, fearing that Dorene might slip during Connecticut’s winters.
She said, “My parents were born a long way ago.” “My parents’ attitude regarding disability and my mother’s about disability was that I would not be getting married or having children. I am lucky that I was intelligent and got a job I enjoyed. They didn’t take parenting classes.”
Dorene stated that Primatta was “pushy” and would not stop fighting for her.
Dorene was able to convince school officials to move the accelerated classes from Dorene’s third floor to the first floor. She demanded that the city sweepers clean their streets of salt and sand during the Connecticut springs so Dorene wouldn’t slip.
Dorene noticed that her mother was suffering from a cough during a Sept. 9 visit. It was obvious that her mother’s caregiver had been feeling sick since her husband returned from an Idaho wedding. All three of them had been vaccinated. As Dorene drove off, Dorene realized that her mother had COVID-19.
“I made sure that we said ‘I loved you.'” Dorene added. “That was my last time seeing her.”
Primetta was admitted to the emergency room two days later. Over the next six days, her oxygen levels continued to drop until she was placed on an oxygen mask by nurses.
Dorene stated that she became confused and had to be sedated because she was fighting them so hard. The story was told by chest X-rays: pneumonia. Primetta was faced with the decision of whether or not to place her on a ventilator.
Nobody over 80 can get off a ventilator,” Dorene stated. She decided to take out her mother’s oxygen.
Primetta died two days later, on Sept. 16. She was 105 years of age.
Dorene stated that Dorene was impressed by her strong heart and she survived for over 24 hours even after the oxygen was removed. “I have so many questions, I don’t know what to do with the ventilator. . . It broke through three people who were vaccinated.
She continued, “I’m reminding myself that she was only 105.” We talk about… our grandmother and mother. A worldwide pandemic was the only thing that could endanger them.