Evelyn was born a farmer’s daughter and was destined to be a farmer’s wife. She was born January 11, 1929 at the home of her parents, Jack and Hilda Rossi, in Old River. And except for a short time in the Fairfax area, she never left Old River. She grew up on her parents’ small dairy and farm and she loved being a country girl. Evelyn attended Old River Elementary School and Kern County Union High School. After graduating from high school, she worked at the Hall of Records for a few years before marriage and children. Through the Old River community and her brothers, she met her future husband, Frank Del Papa, and they married in 1950. Their first daughter, Debi, was born on Christmas morning of that year, followed by Pati a few years later.
Evelyn was the ideal farmer’s wife. She understood the sacrifice, the hard work and the long hours. Like many women of her generation, her greatest passion and love was her family. In the eyes of Debi and Pati, and her grandson, Bernard, there could not have been a better mother or noni. She could do anything. She was an excellent cook and baker, and always had a dessert and cookies in the house, she sewed darling dresses, usually matching, for Debi and Pati, she maintained the house and the yard, did the bookkeeping for the farm, and so much more.
Words cannot fittingly describe her relationship with her daughters. Their relationship was beyond compare and the three of them were always and everywhere together. The girls adored their mother. And she was able to find the perfect balance between friend and mother.
She was happiest in her front yard with a hose in her hand. Anyone who drove down Old River Road can attest to that. Or maybe a shovel, or a rake, or a clipper, or any other garden tool, including for many years, a lawn mower. She was very creative when it came to landscaping with plants and nothing brought her more joy. Frank would often question her in bewilderment as to why she created so much work for herself, but to her it wasn’t work, it was pure pleasure.
Evelyn was loyal to all she held dear, she was very humble, and she was a peacemaker. She loved to laugh and she had a very witty and teasing sense of humor. She was loving and kind, and especially in her final months and weeks and days, she had such a sweetness and gentleness about her that was so touching to those around her.
The family is thankful for the kindness and prayers of friends and family during this time. They are especially thankful, as was Evelyn, for her wonderful caregivers who have become part of the family, and for family friend, Mike.
Evelyn will be lovingly remembered by her daughter Pati, grandson Bernard Ansolabehere and wife Diana, great grandchildren Betty and Will, sister-in-law Hazel Canevari and husband Ron, sister and brother-in-law in Italy, Joanne and Johnny Del Papa, special cousin Nancy Narducci, and other family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Frank, their daughter Debi, son Frankie, and numerous other family members.
Pallbearers will be Petey J. Agalos, Steve Narducci, Darrell Roberts, Anthony Rossi, Marcus Rossi and Mike Rossi.
Honorary pallbearers will be Michael Agalos, Joe Butkiewicz, Dennis Canevari, Ronald Canevari, David Del Papa, Mark Del Papa, Stan Del Papa, Steve Del Papa, Larry Fanucchi, and Michael Rouw.
A Rosary service will be celebrated in memory of Evelyn on Friday, February 4th, at 10:00 AM at St Francis Catholic Church, 900 H Street, in Bakersfield, immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 AM. Private graveside services for family will follow. The family understands and appreciates any concerns and reluctance to attend due to COVID. They also kindly request that guests please consider the safety of all in attendance and take proper precautions.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity.
Please watch for Evelyn’s obituary in the
Bakersfield Californian on Tuesday February 1.