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Joseph Francis Azevedo
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Birth: May 19, 1910
Tuolumne County
California, USA
Death: Oct. 8, 1972
Tuolumne County
California, USA

Joseph Francis Azevedo was born in Tuttletown on May 19, 1910, in the family home on what is now Tuttletown School Road. His parents were Mary Oliveira Azevedo and John Pereira Azevedo.

Joseph's parents first named him Frank, but his parents changed it to Joseph, after both of his grandfathers. At the age of 58, he ordered a copy of his birth certificate and was surprised to find that his name had been Frank. To make the correction without cost, he had to apply for the name change with the signature of someone who was present when he was born. The only living person was an uncle, Manuel Oliveira, living in Manteca. He obtained his uncle's signature, and within that same week, his uncle passed away.

Because his confirmation name was Francis and he had used it as his middle name ever since, the name on his birth certificate now is Joseph Francis Azevedo.

Joseph had worked since he was a small child. He had a wagon bought from Montgomery Ward that was a miniature designed similar to the wagon the family used for transportation and to transport hay and produce from the ranch. He didn't remember ever playing with it but using it only for work around the ranch when helping his father and grandfather. When Joseph passed away, his wife donated the wagon to the museum in Sonora.

He married Nina Thoelecke on September 3, 1938, in Sausalito, Marin County, California. They had been married 34 years when he passed away.

He was the older brother of Madeline Azevedo Machado and had an older sister who was stillborn.

Joe graduated from Sonora High School, taking five years to do so because he also worked for the school. That kept him from taking the required number of courses to graduate in four years.

He worked as a janitor at Sonora High and drove the high school bus on the Groveland route.

He began his career as a blacksmith and machinist at the Tuolumne Foundry in 1931. He was featured in a front page story in Union Democrat March 1971, announcing his 40-year anniversary of employment.

He was Tuolumne County Historical Society's first president, a Member of Knights of Columbus and of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora where he passed the donation basket and ushered weekly at the 10:00 mass.

The following is part of the article that started on the front page and continued on page 8 of the Union Democrat, March 3, 1971.


Joe Azevedo, master blacksmith, celebrated his 40th year with the Tuolumne Foundry & Machine works yesterday.

Azevedo first showed up for work at 1 p.m. on March 2, 1931, for $2.50 per day --- if he put in a full eight hours.

In 40 years, he has tempered drill bits for the Hap, Springfield, Red Cloud and Janine mines, individual prospectors and highway contractors.

Azevedo tempered all the drills used in construction of the Cherry Valley tunnel leading from the reservoir to Granite Creek.
Family links: 
  John Pereira Azevedo (1876 - 1952)
  Mary Oliveira Freitas (1885 - 1967)
  Nina May Genevieve Thoelecke Azevedo (1917 - 2003)*
  Joseph Francis Azevedo (1910 - 1972)
  Madeline Lera Azevedo Machado (1912 - 2001)*
*Calculated relationship
Columbia Public Cemetery
Tuolumne County
California, USA
Plot: Pg 1, Sec 24, Plot 2
Created by: Mohr Historical Research...
Record added: Dec 10, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 5110412
Joseph Francis Azevedo
Added by: Mohr Historical Researcher
Joseph Francis Azevedo
Added by: Mohr Historical Researcher
Joseph Francis Azevedo
Added by: Mohr Historical Researcher
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Dad, how I wish you were here. I will join you when my chores on Earth are done and God takes me home.
- Mohr Historical Researcher
 Added: Aug. 30, 2011

- Lorraine Blake
 Added: Jun. 29, 2007

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