Lena Flocchini, a resident of Oaks of Auburn, turned 100 years old on Jan. 18.
To commemorate her life and her milestone birthday, her 15 grandchildren, from as far away as Washington, Wyoming, Idaho and Italy, threw her a party at Ridge Country Club. 140 guests attended. Lena was “Queen for a Day.”
Magdalena Flocchini was born in 1913 in Superior, Wyo. to Virginia Dellavo and Guido Tevini, immigrants from a small farming village in northern Italy. When Lena was five years old, the family moved West, eventually settling in San Francisco, where Lena helped her mother run a boarding house in North Beach.
Lena was 16 when she met Armando Flocchini. After a two-year courtship, they were married at St. Francis Church in San Francisco in 1931.
Lena recalls that Armando had $53 in the bank at that time, but with a hard work ethic and a drive to succeed, he bought into a retail and wholesale meat company in San Francisco, eventually becoming its sole owner. Durham Meat Company continues its success to this day as the Flocchini family run and owned business, Sierra Meat Company.
Armando and Lena had three children: Armando “Bud” (of Reno), Virginia (of
Auburn) and Richard (of Reno).
Lena and Armando enjoyed world travel. Lena rode a camel in Egypt and an elephant in India. They enjoyed several around-the-world excursions and cruises but their favorite pastime was family gatherings that always involved large platters of Italian food and hours of card playing.
In 1966, Durham Meat Company acquired the Durham Bison Ranch in Wyoming, bringing
Lena full circle with her beginnings. Armando, the only love of Lena’s life, died in 1992.
Lena has 15 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, most of whom were at her birthday party.
When she was asked about her greatest accomplishment she said “I never thought I’d have as large a family as this. God really blessed me. When I see what Nono (Armando) and I created. I wish he was here with me to see this beautiful family.”