Deluvina Sinforosa Jaquez was born on October 7, 1912. She was the second child with her older brother Eppie born the year before and her younger brother Ernest born the year after her. She was the first girl, of course followed by all of the other siblings.
Aunt Della is seated on the chair in front.
By 1920, she was 8 and living with her parents and grandparents in Largo, New Mexico. She grew up very close to her cousins.
Here is part of the Jacques family, Aunt Jane, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Della, Tim, Tonita, Frank Angie and Celestino.
Aunt Della was much more like a Grandmother to me than an Aunt. She was 15 years old when my dad Timothy was born. She must have felt like he was her baby.
My dad was about 5 when Aunt Della got engaged to Joseph Serna. Uncle Joe proposed in the dining room of my grandparents’ home in Colorado. My dad was hiding under the kitchen table and as soon as Della said yes, Tim ran out from under the table yelling for his mother that Della was getting married.
She was married to Joseph Serna on December 23, 1933 in Montrose, Colorado.
This is a nice picture of them with Celestino and Tonita.
This shot includes her brother Eppie, his wife Nora, and family friends.
She was very close to her siblings and her cousins.
Here she is with her double first cousin, Flora, Joe Serna, and Rosemary and Donald.
By 1940, Uncle Joe was working in a gold mine in Jackson, CA.
Uncle Joe is in the middle row, third miner from the right (seated). Uncle Fred is sitting right next to Uncle Joe, fourth from the right in the same row.
He was 36 years old and Aunt Della was 27. Rosemary was 5 years old and Donald 4 years old. They had both been born in Colorado. Aunt Della raised her children and had a big hand in raising her two oldest grandchildren, Joey Telena and Toni Jean Telena Kelly.
Love this shot of Uncle Fred, Uncle Ernest, Aunt Nora, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Della, Aunt Jane, Dad, Grandpa Jacques, Aunt Angie and Grandma Jacques.
Aunt Della was such a wonderful, mothering person. She always made everyone feel at home and was an incredible cook. My personal favorite was her Jello salad. Her chili and beans were legendary. Aunt Della was jovial and sweet, always busy, and always had something to do.
They lived their married life together in San Jose, raising their children, Rosemary and Donald.
One year, my parents had a kick-ass Halloween party. This is in their living room on Shafer Drive. Aunt Della is on the right in the first picture. In the second shot, my mother is on the right.
Here is a picture from their 40th anniversary party. (Which I, at 8 years old, was not invited to. Not Bitter.)
On September 10, 1977, Uncle Joe passed away from cancer. I can still see him sitting in his bathrobe, looking gaunt and thin.
When I was little, Uncle Joe would give me coins when you walked into his house. He had a funny accent and liked to say “Son of a biscuit” as his cuss word. He had several brothers including Uncle Johnny and Uncle Fermin. His sister was Aunt Lucy, married to Della’s double first cousin Milton. I always assumed his relatives were our relatives too, as they attended all family functions.
After Uncle Joe passed away, Aunt Della moved to Manteca and lived in a small apartment with other senior citizens. She liked to go to the bingo games to help “the old people” as she called them. She was a devout Catholic and went to church often. If there was a party, wedding or funeral, my father would go get Aunt Della or send one of us after her.
This is Aunt Della and Jackie at my Aunt Jean’s funeral. As soon as I told Jackie that I was doing an Aunt Della post she said, “Oh, she used to keep a Kleenex in her sleeve.” Such a funny tidbit but she’s so right. As soon as she said that, I could picture it myself.
When my mother was recovering from surgery, Aunt Della came to stay with us. Ordinarily, my dad didn’t like anyone coming in when my mother was recovering because he felt between us kids and himself, we could handle it. However, he had great respect for Aunt Della and she really wanted to help, so she came to stay at our house. Now, because Momma was not in the best of health, we’d grown up doing our own laundry and helping clean the house. Not with Aunt Della there. Jackie and I were still in school and came home to find our laundry folded in a perfect pile on our beds. She made me homemade rice pudding just because she knew I loved it. My father complained privately that it wasn’t as good as my mother’s rice pudding but that’s only because he was biased; he always thought that my mother made the best of everything. One day, Jackie and I got up first thing in the morning to go to the bathroom (with every intention of going back to bed) and upon returning to our bedroom, found that she’d already made our bed. She was so funny. She had a particular way of calling me Cookie that I can still hear in my mind. My mother loved Aunt Della a lot and looked up to her with great respect.
I think Aunt Della was a nicer version of my Grandmother. Obviously, my grandmother raised her children well and Aunt Della wasn’t perfect, but she was such a loving person. When Paul and I would take her grocery shopping or to lunch, she really liked my husband. I think she thought he was good looking. He still is. But Aunt Della used to say, “He’s such a good looking guy but how can you stand to kiss him?” (Because he was a smoker). She used to say it would be like licking an ash tray.
She was so funny. Beneath her loving personality lurked a crazy woman when it came to Roller Derby. Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Roller Derby was a big deal and Aunt Della and Uncle Joe used to go watch the matches of the San Francisco Bay Bombers. They saw Charlie O’Connell, Joanie Weston and Ann Calvello. Aunt Della would turn into a raving lunatic when she watched them from the bleachers.
When we got married, I had no grandparents left, so I had Aunt Della treated as if she were my grandmother. She had a corsage and was seated with my parents. I so appreciated that I had Aunt Della. She and I were great friends.
For only having two children, she had a hell of a big family.
Aunt Della is buried with Uncle Joe in Santa Clara, CA at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. Aunt Della’s loving nature lives on in everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.
I also want to thank my cousin Joey Telena for generously sharing his photographs from his Ancestry.Com account. Some of these pictures are mine but I really appreciated the ones he had uploaded. I love that everyone will get a chance to see all of her pictures.