In 1917 an Italian man, Mr. Traditi began traveling back and forth from Italy to work in American. He maintained this schedule until 1929. During that time, he married in his home town of Popoli, Italy, and he and his wife had two children, a son, and a beautiful daughter they named Dora. In 1929, Mr. Traditi decided to stay in American and told his wife and children to join him. So, Mrs. Traditi and her children began their journey and a new way of life. She left half her heart in Italy and sailed to join the stronger half of her heart in America. The daughter, Dora, was a wide eyed nine year old when the family came through Ellis Island like thousands of other immigrants. The trio joined the father and now the complete family settled in Ossining, New York.
The Traditis had lived a very comfortable, upper class life in Italy, but soon found things very different in America, a country about to crumble into what has become known as The Great Depression. All of them had to work, and work hard. As she grew older Dora learned to knit and made many of the garments she wore. The family struggled but made it through the hard economic times in America, and then came World War II.
Dora did her part for the war effort by working as a nurse’s aide. Her passion for and dedication to this job earned her a special citation from President Harry Truman. Although she yearned for a higher education, college was not an option for Dora. She had to work and help support her family.
While Dora worked on the home front, another Italian American, Joe Calabro was in the middle of the action on the war front. He was a bomber pilot, and had immigrated to America with his family from Sicily. When Joe returned home from the war, he met and married beautiful Dora Traditi in 1946 and worked at American Airlines. Dora also worked and maintained a business in her home making meatballs and sauce. She sold her food products to grocery stores, but when the business grew too big, she sold it, in time to begin yet another journey, to a far different place than New York.
The Calabros now had children and in 1970 American Airlines moved the family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, that place so different than New York. Dora and Joe didn’t know anyone in Tulsa, but wherever they go, Italians will find other Italians, and so it was for the Calabros. They met several other Italian Americans and together they formed the popular Tulsa Italian American Club. This lively group held many events and activities and gave Dora many opportunities to interpret and translate.
The club also provided Dora an outlet to interview Italian celebrities, including the world-renown Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. Dora also appeared on television and radio in ads for an Italian restaurant. She also visited numerous schools and shared Italy with hundreds of school children. At this time she also began a 30 year stint reading to kindergarten students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Tulsa. For this special effort, Dora received a special sweet reward when she was asked to pose for a statue. She did and that likeness now sits outside the school’s library.
Although she was unable to pursue her dream of a college education, Dora never gave up and thanks to Tulsa Community College and Pam Chew, Dora, at age 90 began her college career. She completed Italian 3, and said her goal was to “learn Italian grammar and speak ‘high class’ Italian like Pam.”
At age 90, Dora became a member of Eta Mu Chapter of ESA. She said she loved all her sisters because they are so kind to her. Since she had knitted all of her clothing during the depression, Dora loved to knit and made an ESA blanket which she donated to Eta Mu.
Dora leaves behind a loving family including:
Daughters and sons-in-law;
Linda and Ed McCaffrey of South Jordan, Utah
Suzanne and Rick Dossett, of Owasso, Oklahoma
Son and daughter-in-law; Dr. Joseph and Regina Calabro, of Hyde Park, New York
E.J. McCaffery and wife Danielle, of Salt Lake City Utah
JoAnna Dossett and husband Chris Barber, of Owasso
J.J. Dossett and wife Ashley, of Owasso
Anthony Calabro and wife Shelby, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Haro Calabro, of Poughkeepsie, New York
Lydia Calabro, of Hyde Park, New York
Great grandchildren; Isabella, Charlotte, Madeline, Kain, Kash, Jude, Dora Marie, Hugh Joseph, Brayden, Michael Anthony, Lucien
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and two brothers, Fulvio “Foo” Traditi, and Donato, Traditi.
Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Owasso with Father Matt LaChance officiating. Committal service and interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Tulsa. Arrangements and services were entrusted to Mowery Funeral Service of Owasso. www.moweryfs.com
Message Suzanne I work the front desk at OBHC. I met your mother when I brought Shannon girls to your house. Such a nice lady, so sorry for your loss. Praying for peace and comfort.
— Donna Liston-Pippin, Tuesday – May 16, 2017
Dear Dora, Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ability to tell a story. When I read “Strega Nona” to new group of students, I always hear your voice. Heaven has gained a beautiful spirit.
— Tina Koenig, Tuesday – May 16, 2017
— , Wednesday – May 17, 2017
The one thing I will always remember about my Aunt Dora is her smile. It literally could light up a room. We wish we could be there with everybody. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family.
— Don & Carol Stone, Wednesday – May 17, 2017
Mowery Funeral Service
9110 N. Garnett Road
Owasso, OK 74055
Tuesday – May 16, 2017
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
St. Henry Catholic Church
8500 North Owasso Expressway
Owasso, OK 74055
Wednesday – May 17, 2017
Note: A Rosary will be held 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at St. Henry’s Catholic Church
81st & South Harvard Ave
Wednesday – May 17, 2017
St. Pius X School Library
1717 South 75th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74112