July 2, 1912 – September 23, 2014
Sofia, 102, Beba as she preferred to be called, died early Tuesday morning September 23, 2014 at The Village at Legacy Pointe senior care facility in Waukee, her home for the past seven years. A funeral mass will held at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church at 11:00 am on Monday, September 29, 2014. Following the mass a light lunch will be served and a reception held in Monsignor Gerald Ryan Hall at the church. After the lunch and reception there will be a 2:00 pm graveside service at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Madrid, Iowa, where Sofia lived from 1950 to 1989.
Sofia was born July 2, 1912, to Enrico and Clotilde Milani in Cambria, Wyoming. When she was less than 3 weeks old her family consisting of her father and mother and two older brothers, Armando age 2 and Silvio age 1, returned to their native Italy. Three more siblings a brother, Giuseppe and three sisters, Diva, Rosa and Oliva were born in Italy. She grew up in Cargedolo, a small mountain village in the beautiful Emilia Romagna district of Italy. As a young girl she had a passion for cooking and sewing and became very good at both. In her early teens, armed with these skills, she traveled to the big cities of Milan and Florence to work as a housekeeper, cook and nanny to help support her family. Sofia lived through both world wars. The years just preceding and during the Second World War would be the most difficult and traumatic for her and her family because of the hardships resulting from Italian Fascism and the brutal Nazi occupation.
Sofia married Nello Battani in October of 1937, and had three children, Mariano, Lorenzo and Juliana. In 1950 she had the privilege of returning to her country of birth with her young family. She came back to the United States primarily so that her children would have more opportunities for a better life. They settled in Madrid, Iowa where her brothers, Armando and Silvio had lived for many years after returning to the United States to work in the coal mines. In addition to being a loving wife, mother and a great cook, Sofia was an accomplished seamstress. For many years she designed and made clothes for family and friends. Later when her children had finished high school she went to work for Sears Roebuck making intricate draperies.
Sofia was a devout Catholic all her life and brought her children up according to the tenants of her faith. She did not just talk her faith, she lived her faith. She was an inspiration to all who had the good fortune to know her, most especially her family. Even when her health brought much pain and suffering she never wavered in her beliefs. Up until her mid 90’s she enjoyed sewing knitting and cooking and being with her extended family.
Sofia will be reunited with her loving husband, Nello; her beloved son, Mariano; her granddaughter, Angela; her father, Enrico and mother, Clotilde; her brothers, Armando, Silvio, Giuseppe and sisters, Rosa and Oliva and her many other relatives and friends.
She is survived by her son, Lorenzo (Judy) Battani; her daughter, Juliana Andersen (Tom); her grandchildren, Rodger Battani (Chika), Lisa Battani, Lawrence Battani, Jason Battani (Susan), Mark Andersen (Chandra), and Eric Andersen; her great grandchildren, Jessica Battani, Emily Battani, Kyle Battani, Luca Andersen and Sofiangel Battani; and her sister, Diva.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES ~ WESTOVER CHAPEL.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Westover Chapel 6337 Hickman Road Des Moines, IA 50322 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com