Francesco (Frank) Puricelli & Family
Frrancesco Puricelli and Enrichetta Brasca were married in Cuggiono in 1897. In September of 1898, their first child, Theresa Puricelli was born. I believe that Frank traveled to the US in 1897 and likely found work, or established contacts here in St. Louis so that he would have employment when he came here to stay. He probably returned to Cuggiono for a short time and Enrichetta and Theresa joined him in the US in December of 1900.
After arriving in the US, Frank worked in the clay mines, Enrichetta worked at home since they took in boarders to help make ends meet. The young family gradually grew larger. Another daughter, Maria, was born in October 1901, followed by Emma in 1904, Rosa in 1906, Mario in 1912, Gaetano (Tom) in 1915, and Mary in 1922. They moved numerous times over the years to accommodate the growing family.
In 1909, Enrichetta and her four daughters at the time, returned to Cuggiono for a visit. On the return trip, little Maria, 7 years old, died aboard the ship. Family lore tells that a seasick woman fell on her, and was too weak to get back up. Maria was smothered to death by the woman and was buried at sea just two days before the ship arrived at Ellis Island.
Francesco Sebastiano Puricelli and Maria Enrichetta Teresa Brasca Puricelli had seven children:
1. Teresa Gaetana Puricelli was born 19 Sep 1898 in Cuggiono. See the Tribute to Aunt Theresa page for more information about this amazing woman.
2. Maria Giuseppina Puricelli was born 25 Oct 1901 in St. Louis. She died 4 Apr 1909 at the age of 7 aboard a ship returning to the US from a visit to Cuggiono. The only known picture of Maria is shown at the right.
3. Emma Puricelli was born 21 Feb 1904 and died in July of 1997. Emma married married Francesco (Frank) Berra on 26 Apr 1922. Emma and Frank had 5 children, Louis, Johanna, Henrietta, Frances and Theresa.
4. Rosa Puricelli was born 20 Nov 1906 in St. Louis. She married Emil Colombo, and they had one child, Cynthia. Rose passed away in 1985.
5. Mario Gaetano Puricelli, AKA Mario T. Puricelli, SJ, was born 8 November 1912. He was ordained as a Jesuit Priest in 1945. "Uncle Mike" spent many years serving at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He also served several parishes and schools in Pueblo, Colorado. He died on October 19, 1993 and is buried in the Jesuit plot in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. He is pictured at the left offering his First Holy Mass on June 24, 1945 at St. Ambrose.
6. Gaetano Carlo Puricelli AKA Thomas A Puricelli was born 7 Nov 1915. He married Miriam Lawler. He died 7 June 1961. They had 3 children, Wayne, Karen, and Marcia.
7. Mary Antonietta Puricelli was born on 17 Jan 1922. She married Edward R Huss on 20 June 1953 at St. Ambrose. Mary and Ed had 3 sons, Michael, Joseph, and Thomas. Mary passed away on 19 Oct 1997, and Ed on 17 Jan 2002. They are buried in Resurrection Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. Mary & Ed instilled a great work ethic in their boys, taught them to treat people kindly, and also a love of sports. Most of all, they were wonderful in-laws, Mary and I had a very special relationship for the 2.5 years that I had the privilege to call her Mom, as well as the 3 years before I came into the family. May they both rest in peace knowing that their immigrant families will be forever remembered by their children, grandchildren and hopefully successive generations will know of their Italian and German heritage. RIP Mary and Ed.
There are at least 4 generations beyond this, but I do not post information pertaining to living relatives. If you are a member of this family and interested in more information, send me a message through this site and I'll share what I know.