Service Oct. 7 for Minden centenarian Aldo Biaggi | RecordCourier.com

Service Oct. 7 for Minden centenarian Aldo Biaggi

by Sheila Gardner
Special to The R-C

Aldo Biaggi at his County Road home in Minden where he celebrated his 100th birthday.

It's the everyday routine that family and friends miss about Aldo Biaggi, who died Sept. 14, four months after celebrating his 100th birthday.

The nightly 7 p.m. telephone call to his daughter, Carol Aldax, that he was "OK and tucked in to bed."

The garage door left open every day revealing Biaggi's little red truck to let his County Road neighbors and passers-by know that he was home.

The gifts of vegetables from his large garden.

His presence every Saturday at 4 p.m. Mass at St. Gall Catholic Church (before the time changed and it got dark earlier and he attended 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.)

And his wisdom and generosity that guided his family for the last century.

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Biaggi was found sitting in a chair in his garage at 7:45 a.m., Sept. 14, still clutching his cane.

The three newspapers he read every day were on the dining room table. The small flock of sheep he tended had been fed and were out in the field that surrounds his two-acre property. It was as if he had come into the garage to rest after completing one of his daily chores.

"Every day, he got up and brought in the newspapers and fed the sheep by 6:30 a.m. or 6:40 a.m.," Aldax said. "The sheep were out and the gate was open. He hadn't fed the rabbits yet."

Aldax said her father "had the most peaceful look on his face," on the day he died.

"As much as we miss him, this was truly a gift and a blessing. We prayed every day if he could just go to sleep. There was no struggle."

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Oct. 7, at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville, the parish Biaggi served his whole life. He was born May 14, 1917, the same year the parish's original church was built on Highway 395.

News of her father's passing has brought fond reminiscences from friends who said, "he was the greatest ever," Aldax said.

"Everyone loved his little grin, and just driving by and seeing the garage door up," she said.

Aldax said her father's spirit and work ethic remained strong, but he was beginning to diminish physically in the past few months, and was frustrated by it.

"He had chairs placed all over the house, in the garage, the garden and outside in the pens. He was really bothered that it took him so long to do something. He told me, 'I go outside and I can work five minutes, then I have to sit down for 20. I can't get anything done.'"

More than 100 friends attended a reception May 13 at St. Gall on the eve of Biaggi's 100th birthday.

"Even though Daddy was reluctant to have the party, we are so happy we did," she said. "He was just the type of person who thought you shouldn't get too excited about anything, even if it was your 100th birthday."

He loved his weekly trips to Starbucks for coffee and weekend breakfasts with his son, Allen Biaggi.

"He was still on top of things," Aldax said. "His checking account was up to date and he wrote everything down in a ledger. It was like his own handwritten version of QuickBooks," she said.

Biaggi will be buried in Mottsville Cemetery alongside his wife of 64 years, Mary, and their daughter Darlene, both of whom died in 2005.

"He was a little lost after my mother and sister died the same year, and he was the last of his eight siblings," Aldax said. "It was sad for him, too, that so many of his friends were gone. He already had the headstone all prepared."

Aldax said she hopes her father is remembered for his work ethic, generosity and simple spirit.

"He certainly was his own person and had his own mind," she said. "He just had his kind way and that little glimmer of a smile."

Donations may be made in Biaggi's name to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, PO Box 2911, Gardnerville, NV, 89410, carsonvalleycommunityfoodcloset.org; Douglas County Historical Society, 1477 Highway 395, Suite B, Gardnerville, NV 89410, historicnv.org; or Dangberg Home Ranch, PO 1158, Minden, NV 8923, dangberghomeranch.org