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 Elsie Josephine <I>Badella</I> Ratto

Elsie Josephine Badella Ratto

Madera, Madera County, California, USA
Death 20 Jan 2008 (aged 91)
San Leandro, Alameda County, California, USA
Burial Hayward, Alameda County, California, USA
Plot Mausoleum of the Apostles, MA-2A-127(2)
Memorial ID 24095646 · View Source
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Elsie Badella grew up on a farm. By the time she was 12 years old, she was doing most of the cooking for the family because her mother was doing farm work outdoors.

She was the last child in her family to leave home. When she was in her late 20s, she moved in with her elder sister, Rose, who was married and living in Oakland. She worked in a canning factory slicing apricots and then in a paper-bag factory. She met my father, Peter Ratto, at a dance in December 1945 and got married on March 1, 1946. They were married for 57 years until his death in 2003.

At my father's request, she quit her job after they got married –- but she never quit working. She cooked three hot meals a day, took care of paying the bills and making the investments, and kept the house so clean that you could eat off the floor if you wanted. For a couple of years she took upholstery classes at the local adult school and recovered several easy chairs and our entire dinette set. She also sewed many of our clothes and crocheted some beautiful afghans.

They lived in Oakland until 1957, then they moved to San Leandro. They adopted me about a year later when they were in their early 40s.

In 1978, we took a three-week camping trip that included Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a couple of national parks in Utah. Up until that time, neither of my parents had been very far from California, so it was an adventure for all of us.

Finally, when she was 73, she became a grandmother. Even at that age, she would get down on the floor and play with her grandson, Brian. The following year, when her second grandson, David, was born prematurely, the doctors said he might not ever learn to eat properly and we might have to feed him through a tube. She said, "The hell with that!" and commenced teaching David to eat with a spoon.

There were many times when I would call my mom at seven in the morning and ask if she could babysit that day. She was always pleased to come to the rescue.

In 1998, we took a cruise to Mexico. That was the farthest away from home that my parents ever traveled.

In 2000, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Although the chemotherapy treatments cured the cancer, she was never the same after that. Several small strokes and some dementia slowed her down more and took away her memory.

On January 16, 2008, my mom was diagnosed with pneumonia. We took her home and made her comfortable. Although she stopped speaking, up until the last day she was able to recognize us and respond to questions by nodding her head. She slipped away peacefully four days later.

If everyone lived their lives like my parents, there would be no need for people like Dr. Phil.

Daughter of Michele Badella and Saturlina Felicita Gerbi Badella

Wife of Peter Ratto

Sister of Rose Josephine Badella Graziano, Lidio Leo Badella, John Badella, and Albert Badella.

Mother of Deborah Ann Ratto Dash

Family Members


  • Maintained by: countedx58
  • Originally Created by: Travelingal
  • Added: 22 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24095646
  • SCG
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elsie Josephine Badella Ratto (10 Oct 1916–20 Jan 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24095646, citing Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hayward, Alameda County, California, USA ; Maintained by countedx58 (contributor 46619236) .