Anna Maria Cizewski (nee Ennina Maria Lovetere)

May 11, 1922 to March 2, 2011
(Wife of Felix A. Cizewski. Daughter of Philip Lovetere and Angela(Giordano) Lovetere; granddaughter of Leonardo Giordano; mother of Philip Cizewski.)

Ennina Maria Lovetere was born on May 11, 1922, in Chicago.

When she started school at St. Joseph's at 38th Street and California in Chicago, the Roman Catholic teaching nuns, probably Irish- or German-Americans, said her that her name was too "foreign" and told her from now on she'd be known as Anne Marie.

Ennina was quite hurt as she liked her name.

Her parents probably did not resist as they were under very strong pressure to "assimilate" and become Americans.

Her father had honorably served as a front line combat soldier in World War I
. While that earned him his American citizenship it did not shield him or his family fro pressure to assimilate to others image of what were "real" Americans.

Her parents were devout Catholics and highly respected priests and nuns. They would not resist a recommendation made with the "authority" of nuns.
Birth Certificate
Ennina Maria Lovetere's 1922 Chicago birth certificate.
1921: After Ennina's parents were married they first lived in an apartment in the Italian neighborhood centered around Taylor Street, just southwest of downtown Chicago, now the site of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Someone was murdered on the front steps of their apartment building, possibly a Mafia killing.
Like most Italian-Americans, Ennina's parents were not actively anti-Mafia. They work normal jobs, and live a peaceful life, and have nothing to do with criminality. They decided to move.

Before Ennina was born, they found an apartment in the Brighton Park neighborhood. Brighton Park is further southwest of downtown Chicago, just west of Bridgeport. (Bridgeport is the home of White Sox Park and Daleys two of whom have been mayor of Chicago.)

The neighborhood was initially a French-Canadian neighborhood and had become a mix of many Europeans. The landlords were Lithuanian immigrants. The wife was worried that by renting to Sicilian immigrants, the Mafia would come to the neighborhood. The husband decided they'd just tell everyone that the Lovetere family was French. Lovetere is ambiguous and the family had more continental European rather than Mediterranean features. Family legend is that ancestors include the Normans who were among those who had occupied and ruled Sicily.

The Lithuanian landlady eventually warmed to the family and taught Ennina and her sister Grace how to speak a bit of Lithuanian.

The Mafia did attempt to recruit Ennina's father. Ennina's mother threw them out and told them to leave her husband alone and never to come back.They never did.
Ennina and Grace
Ennina on the left and her younger
sister Grace.Undated probably
from the late 1920s.
During WWII Ennina and her sister Grace continued to pass themselves as French to obtain employment. After the declaration of war on Italy, Italian-Americans faced job discrimination. Ennina said she also feared detention as was being done to native born Japanese-Americans on the West Coast.

Stephen Fox
reports the Italian-American community nationwide became fearful after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor when the U.S. threatened to detain all "enemy aliens" on the West Coast including native born Italian Americans.

UnCivil Liberties: Italian Americans Under Siege during World War II by Stephen Fox, Universal Publishers; Revised edition (February 15, 2000)
Red Cross
Ennina wore this head cover while
working as a volunteer wrapping
bandages with the Red Cross
in Chicago.

The head cover has been donated
to the Virginia Holocaust Museum in
August, 1945:
Ennina Maria at Silver Spur Ranch,
Gresham, Wisconsin.
In 1947, Ennina married Felix A. Cizewski

When Ennina and Felix were engaged, some members of Felix's Polish-American family objected at what they saw as a "racially mixed" marriage. They apparently did not think of Sicilians as Europeans.

Ennina's and Felix's "mixed" marriage survived over 50 years until my Felix's death.

One of my Felix's sisters' marriage to a Polish-American ended in divorce.

After the death of his other sister's first husband, she remarried a German-American. That marriage ended in a divorce.

Ethnicity of the spouse was not an issue in the divorces.

Felix's three brothers' marriages to Polish-American women lasted until the death of a spouse.

For more on Ennina and race see:

Love sees no color

Ennina's wedding photo from 1947.

Her seamstress mother, Angela, made
the dress by hand.
January 17, 2011 (Martin Luther King Day): Last photo.  Ennina's great-niece, Kyllian Lovetere, granddaughter of Ennina's brother Philip and daughter of his son John, visited and gave a private violin recital for her great-aunt. Ennina died about six weeks later
Ennina (Aunt Mary) & her great niece
Kyllan after the private violin recital,
January 17, 2011.

Photo by Ennina's nephew, John Lovetere

Mom kept this clipping under the glass on top of her desk in her bedroom.

Love sees no color >>

INDEX: Cizewski, Lovetere, Musbach, & Robinson Families History

© 2011 - 2012 Leonard H. Cizewski

Last Updated: May 18, 2012

Posted:May 11, 2011

Last Reviewed: 

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