Lillie Pellegrinelli Rotta died in Pleasanton with her family by her side Sunday, April 24, at the age of 100.
She was born Aug. 2, 1910, in Montague, Texas. When she celebrated her 100th birthday last August, President Obama sent a certificate to her from the White House. She lived in Pleasanton for 41 years and was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church, known as "Nana" to all.
Ms. Rotta is survived by her five children, Vincent Rotta Jr. of Utah, Lenora DiDonato of Modesto, Maryann Hallum of Pleasanton, Betty Kaufman of Livermore and Glenna Rotta of Colorado; 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. A vigil was held April 27 at Graham-Hitch Mortuary, and a Mass was celebrated the next day at St Augustine's.
Walter "Walt" Rodoni, a longtime Sunol resident, died April 24 at the age of 98 at the Gobel Ranch.
He was born Jan. 23, 1913, in Saratoga. He owned a waste management company in Garberville in the late 1940-'50s, then moved to the Bay Area, first to Concord, then to Sunol, where he lived and worked at the Gobel Ranch. For the past three years he had lunch every day at the Pleasanton Senior Center, and also enjoyed its trips to casinos and poker games. When he was 97 years old, he renewed his driver's license for five more years, to expire when he became 102. He attributed his longevity to eating 20 pounds of onions each month, cooking them in olive oil and putting them on all of his food. He loved to share his history including life before the Bay Bridge was built and buying his first car for $5.
He is survived by his sons David and Jim Rodoni, twin granddaughters Jen and Susie Rodoni, and niece Joyce Tafoya. A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Gay Nineties Pizza, 288 Main St., Pleasanton.