Jan Agosti and Tom Agosti

The Agosti Family History

Our grandfather, Serafino Agosti, was born in 1893 in the village of Scanna near Livo, Trentino in the Val di Non, where the family goes back at least 400 years and still has cousins. He was the last of seven children of Davide and Giuditta Agosti, both of that village.

Serafino Agosti

Serafino was a cheese maker and played the accordion in a band that travelled along Lago di Garda. He was drafted into the Austrian army in WWI and ended up in a Russian POW camp. After the camp was liberated, he had to walk and boat home which took 28 days with little food. When he arrived home to his fiancé, he was so skinny that he was unrecognizable. He married Ebe Pedroni and moved to her family’s area in Lombardy, just south of Brescia. Our father, Lino Agosti, was born in Acquafredda in 1920.

Serafino, Ebe and baby Lino immigrated to the US in 1921 where Serafino found work in the coal mines in Lafferty, Ohio, a common destination for Trentini. When Serafino began to ail from esophageal cancer, possibly exacerbated by the coal dust, they moved to Pittsburgh where he passed away in 1926, leaving Ebe with two children, Lino, now age 6, and Lydia, age 2. With the help of Serafino’s brother Daniel, Ebe took on running a boarding house on Mulberry Street in the Pittsburgh Strip to support her family. If you visit the Heinz History Museum in Pittsburgh, they lived on the alley just behind the museum.

Lino volunteered for military duty in WWII and served as a paratrooper in the Pacific theater, especially Occupied Japan. After returning to the US, he met our mother Dona Wolking and started a family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They moved the growing family of three girls to Alaska in 1959 where they were joined by four more children, all boys. Three of those boys still run Lino’s business. Most of Lino and Dona’s kids and 20 grandkids still live there. They have 5 grandkids (so far).