The Journey of Geneva R. Viora
Geneva R. Viora, a native San Diegan, was born Geneva Lucarelli on January 10, 1915 in a small house in downtown San Diego. She became the first born child to Virgil and Victoria Lucarelli who immigrated from Montecatini, Italy around the turn of the century. They soon moved to a small 2 bedroom house on 37th Street that was to become the gathering place of one of the finest families that anyone could ever ask for. In the years that followed, Geneva helped raise her siblings as they came along, Wilson, Gloria, and Virginia. As they in turn married, the home became a gathering point almost every Sunday to share a traditional Italian meal, including wine and animated conversations. This became a long time event as Virgil and Victoria went on to live to 98 and 103 years respectively. Soon after Geneva graduated from the first graduating class at Hoover High School in 1932, she met and married Armond Viora. Life together began in simple fashion-- marrying in Yuma, Arizona followed by an auto trip in the trusty Chevy around the United States, lasting for several weeks and costing about $128 including gasoline at 9 cents per gallon. In due course after having their first child, Margaret, they moved from Old Town and built their one and only house of two bedrooms in Talmadge Park. The house cost $4,500 including the lot. Shortly thereafter they had their second child, Robert. It was on Euclid Avenue that Geneva spent many happy hours in her kitchen entertaining family and friends and perfecting her father's and mother's cooking skills while sometimes talking on the phone.
During over 60 years of marriage Geneva worked diligently, raising her children and then the grandchildren that followed, constantly improving her role as "Grandma Gigi." Seeing new children come into the world became the "joy of her life" and gave her the greatest fulfillment of all. She would do anything for the kids and many a time would scrimp and save so that she could either provide an opportunity for them or get them something special. As the kids grew up, she started a successful career at the May Co. working in the women's department. This lasted some 20 years and moreover provided a shopping focus for many of the gals in the family and other friends taking advantage of all the sales and discount opportunities. Upon her retirement she developed another career as a pharmacy assistant at the Kensington Pharmacy. She caught on quickly and helped supply most of the pharmaceutical needs of the community and nursed many of her neighbors through periods of illness. - You might think that her story of devotion would end here but once again she was called to action. Along with her sister, Gloria, she served as caretaker for her parents and other family members as they began aging. Together they spent many long hours providing extensive care for the personal satisfaction and joy that it brought to both of them. Her legacy in life is her family and her children, Bob and Evelyn Viora and Margaret Bouton; her grandchildren Brian and Jennifer Viora, David Bouton, Lisa and Stuart Grant, Karen and Gary Milkis, and great grandchildren Jennifer, Katie, Amanda, Andie and Beau. "Count your age by family and friends not the years." A special thanks to Paul and Joyce Desrochers of Talmadge Park, who have 'religiously' helped Geneva continue her faith through all these years.