Lisa Fernandez, The Des Moines Register
Some details about Manfredini, via a 2011 article from the Diocese of Des Moines:
Dina was born and raised in Sant’Andrea, a small town in northern Italy, the month the after William McKinley became president of the United States … It was still the Victorian age, in fact Queen Victoria was celebrating 50 years on the throne in England.
She came to America as a bride in 1920 and settled with her husband, Riccardo, in a tiny mining camp on the southwest edge of Des Moines. Riccardo was 15-years older and had come to America first before sending for Dina.
Right: Holly McQueen/The Register
Dina’s husband worked in the city’s coal mines until hurting his back. Then she went to work to make ends meet. As the nation prepared for World War II, Dina worked at the Des Moines Ordnance Plant in Ankeny where 2 million rounds of ammunition were produced a day. She also worked at Swift cracking eggs that would be turned into powdered eggs for U.S. soldiers. She also cleaned houses until she was 90, lying about her age so people wouldn’t think she was too old to work.
These days, she spends much of her day sleeping.
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