Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 2, 2011

Five generations

Family spans from 96 years to 2 months

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Maria Lima celebrated her 96th birthday recently with five generations of her family; the youngest was her great-great-granddaughter Keira Uribe, who was born just 2 months ago.

"Keira seemed very interested in her great-great-grandmother, and my mother held her and was goo-gooing at her," said Liz Davidson, the second youngest of Maria's 10 children.

Maria, her husband John and their children immigrated to the United States in 1960 from the island of Faial in the Azores. They settled in Pleasanton where John had a job waiting as a carpenter at the Pleasanton Cabinet Shop, owned by Swiss friends Conrad Rickenbach and Frank Auf der Maur

"I was 9," Davidson recalled. "The youngest was 6."

The oldest, Joe Lima, was 22 and is now 75. It was his son David Lima who was the first grandson, and David's daughter Kristine Uribe who was the first great-granddaughter. Her daughter Keira is the first great-great-granddaughter, for a total of five generations.

The Lima family first lived in a home on Angela Street, Davidson said, then moved to Railroad, then Division. The children attended Pleasanton Grammar School and Amador Valley High.

"When we went to elementary school in Pleasanton, we were the only Portuguese children," Davison remembered. "Others came after us that had children our age."

In 1969, Maria and John moved to a home off Valley Avenue, where Maria still lives although John died in 1983.

"She comes from real hardy genes. She has longevity on her side," Davison said. "My mother is the oldest in a family of six and they are all over 80 now. Only one has passed away, at 90."

Maria's siblings immigrated after she did, and they live in Northern California as do their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Davidson noted that her mother's childhood was interesting in part because she helped her father, a farmer, deal with the outside world, since he could neither hear nor speak.

"Mother, being the oldest, when a young child would go with him to communicate. All his children understood him. They had signs for different people, friends or neighbors, their own homemade sign language," Davidson said. "The amazing thing to me was he and his wife were able to connect, court and then get married."

Although, she pointed out, the island was small so they knew each other growing up.

"He was a great dancer," she added. "He sensed the music with his feet."

Although Maria has some paralysis due to a stroke, Davidson said, her mother's mind is sharp and she is able to do many things -- such as hold her 2-month-old great-great-granddaughter.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields