Date of Arrival

Age on Arrival

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By: Carmela Capellupo-Beaver


My father, Vincenzo Capellupo came here to the US from Sersale, Calabria, Italy in 1924. He came with his mother and two brothers. He was only 16 so he was issued a joint passport with his mother, Carmela and older brother Antonio. His brother Salvatore was old enough to come on his own passport. They settled in Reading, Pennsylvania. Carmela's husband Giuseppe Capellupo had come earlier to find work to support his family.

My father met my mother Philomena (renamed Florence at Ellis Island) Gazzillo through his niece Mary Borelli. Mary and Florence were close friends. They went to Mass together, often. One special Sunday, Florence was wearing a big picture hat. Vince who was an usher at Holy Roasary Church took collection that day and saw this beautiful woman with the big hat. He playfully tipped over her hat. Florence was wondering who this handsome man was who had the nerve to knock off her hat. The rest, as they say is history.

My parents raised us as Italian-Americans. I spoke Italian to my father and English to my mother. I had no idea there were people in the world who did not speak two languages. Over the years I have become increasingly proud of my Italian heritage. My father did not live to see me win many awards as an Italian American in the Italian community.

My story is a happy one. I went to college and became a Secondary Education teacher. I have 4 children: Anna, Vincent, Maria and Tommy. I work as an Academic Advisor at the Reading Area community college. My husband, Thomas W. Beaver, is an attorney and proud husband and father. He boasts to all that he eats like a king everyday!!!!!

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