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Personal Butera History | Butera's Place
Personal Butera History

Personal Butera History

This is the history of my immediate family as it was related to me by my grandfather, grandmother, and father.  It’s been a while since my grandfather last told me this, and I pieced it together from information given to me by my grandmother and my father, so if anyone finds any inaccuracies, please let me know.

On September 3, 1904, Angelo Butera was born to Gasper and Leona Butera in Serradifalco, Sicily.  As a young man, he worked in a Sulfur mine until, in 1921-22 when he was about 17 or 18, his older brother, Joseph, called on him and another brother, Leo, to join him in America.

In Palermo, Sicily, Angelo and Leo boarded a passenger ship and set off on their journey to America.  Stopping first in France, the port officials there wouldn’t allow Angelo to continue on because of the redness and swelling he was experiencing in his eyes. Because of the health precautions taken at the time concerning immigrants entering America, the condition of his eyes was enough to cause concern with the port officials who didn’t want to take the chance of infecting any other passengers with whatever malady was inflicting my grandfather.  Because of this, he was forced to stay behind in France for about a week until his eyes cleared up, while his brother Leo went on to America ahead of him.  As it turns out though, the ship that Leo was on experienced some mechanical problems and, although he left France later, Angelo ended up arriving in America before his brother.

Once in America, Angelo and Leo went to Pittsburgh, PA where they were reunited with their brother Joseph.  In Pittsburgh, Angelo worked for a short time in a glass factory until, finally, he settled with Leo in Pittston, PA.  There, he went to work in the coal mines.

Prior to this, in 1912, Anna De Rosa left Serradifalco, Sicily and made a similar journey from Palermo, entering the US port of Ellis Island, New York to be reunited with her husband John.  With her was their newborn daughter, Carmella – only 3 months old at the time.  The De Rosa family also settled in Pittston, PA, and like many other Italian immigrants, John De Rosa also went to work in the coal mines of Pittston.  Some years later, in the mid to late 1920s, John De Rosa met a young man named Angelo Butera.  Soon after, as was common at the time, Angelo Butera asked John De Rosa for the hand of his daughter Carmella.  On June 30, 1929, in a traditional family match wedding, Angelo and Carmella became husband and wife.  A year later, they had their first son, Gasper (my father), and 5 years later in 1935, their second son, John.

My grandfather worked in the coal mines until around 1935-36 when the mines started closing down.  He then got a job for Pittston school district where he worked as a custodian until he retired at 65.  He continued to live a healthy life, seeing 6 grandchildren born to him.  On January 30,1992, my grandfather passed away at the age of 87.  He died from complications due to Black Lung disease from working in the coal mines so many years ago.  He is surely missed.

My grandmother continues to live in Pittston where she enjoys the love of her 6 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.