Share Your Memory of
Obituary of Adalgisa Calcagno
Adalgisa Calcagno (Algi) was born and raised in Abruzzi, Italy. She grew up in a humble environment and lived through WWII’s German occupation. Her family of four children struggled but survived. In 1951, through mutual acquaintances in America, Adalgisa met and married Joe Calcagno Jr., a farmer from Portland, Oregon. They were married in her hometown of Cologna Spiaggia on March 29, 1951. After a harrowing trip to Portland, alone, due to visa issues; she settled in with Joe at his family’s home along with Joe’s father and three brothers. She quickly became accepted and loved by everyone. With the help of family and friends she learned English and became an American citizen. Five years later, they moved to a new house and farm on Columbia Blvd. By 1960, their family had grown to five with three children, Joey, Howard, and Joanne. By this time they had made many friends, mostly Italian Americans from all parts of Italy. Whenever friends of any kind came to help on the farm, or just visit, Algi and Joe always invited them to stay for dinner and made sure they left with a box full of vegetables. Algi’s mother Maria and father Auro came in 1957 to live and work with them until they missed Italy and their other children too much and returned in 1961. Finally in 1971, Algi returned to Italy with her family to visit for the first time since she left, 20 years earlier. In subsequent years they made several more trips back to Cologna Spiagga. After retiring, in 1987, they moved to a new home in Happy Valley. Algi and Joe’s work ethic and generosity over the years were appreciated by all and Algi will always be remembered for her Italian cooking. She never used a recipe which made those favorites difficult to recreate. On one occasion her son Joe had her make her amazing spaghetti meat sauce and took careful notice to write down the ingredients, amounts and procedure. It is still our go to recipe for spaghetti sauce. Her cooking was enjoyed by her kids, and her grandkids almost every Sunday, when we’d regularly meet to enjoy her amazing stuffed zucchini, or fresh caught salmon with peas, along with the pasta, of course. Algi and Joe loved to dance. Every Saturday night when they were retired they joined other couples at the Elks or Eagles club for dance night. Occasionally they would babysit the grandkids, but on Saturday nights, don’t even ask, they were not available. Algi loved her grandkids, and always did little things to make them feel special. She always insisted on a hug and a big wet kiss on the cheek, each time she saw them. And although she reminded them constantly not to play in the living room, she was quick to sneak an extra cookie for them when nobody was looking. Adalgisa is pre-deceased by her daughter Joanne, (2006). She is survived by her husband, Joe, sons Joe (Deana), Howard (Patty), and son-in-law Frank Battilega. She had eight grandchildren Anthony Calcagno, Matt Battilega, Kim Lilles, Andrea Calcagno, Amber Van Cleve, Chris Battilega, Laurence Calcagno; and Joe Battilega. Algi also had six great grandchildren. For information on her virtual funeral mass ceremony go to www.sjbcatholicchurch.org on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Due to the corona virus restrictions, there will be no traditional funeral gathering at this time. Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association at website act.alz.org/donate. Flowers may be sent to Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial Funeral Home.