Rose Enea was born in Monterey, California, on November 14, 1929. Her mother Mary Balestrieri was born to Sicilian immigrants in Pittsburgh, California. Her father, Benny Enea was born in French Algiers and migrated to Monterey in 1914. Both of her parents relatives originally came from Isola della Femmine.
Rose was the second oldest of five siblings. She started to work at the age of 12 at the “old” Del Monte Hotel in Monterey. In order for her to able to work at 12, her mother told Social Security that Rose was born in 1928. Rose lived on Anthony Street and was able to walk to work. She and her older sister, Mary were able to help buy their parents a home on Ocean Avenue in Monterey with what they earned at the hotel.
Rose’s father, Benny was a fisherman in Monterey, and was a boat captain for a while. He fished for salmon for many seasons in Alaska. Despite him not being able to read or write, he managed to support his five children and wife. Rose worked at the Hovden Cannery canning albacore, and as well as other canneries located on Cannery Row.
Rose always talked about those days being so much fun. She was young then, working with friends, and loving it. Rose married Salvatore Ventimiglia whose father owned the California Frozen Fish Cannery where the San Carlos Park sits now on Cannery Row. Rose and Salvatore had three children, they divorced after twenty years of marriage.
Rose fought a gastrointestinal disease for years which left her very ill, and physically debilitated for twelve years, until her surgery, which was successful. She was finally able to live a healthy and happy life. Her passion was volunteering for the various organizations for which she belonged including, the Italian Catholic Federation, Festa Italia, and The Catholic Daughters of The Americas. Her past organizations were the Sons of Italy and the Altar Society.
Rose loved playing and teaching others how to play bocce ball. She taught bocce ball at The Carmel Valley Racquet Club. She played in many local tournaments. She was a people person. Rose was a giving and loving mother with an incredible zest for life. As those who knew her will attest, she lived a rich, and fulfilled life while giving joy to all those around her. She will be forever missed by her family.
Rose helped many who needed support in various ways. She grew up in a very modest home, with little money. I always felt that may have been the reason she helped so many around her. Rose absolutely loved her hometown of Monterey more than anyone I’ve ever known. It was more than home to her. It was a very spiritual place for her.
Rose Enea Ventimiglia, 88, died Thursday, March 22, 2018. She was surrounded by her loving family at Stanford University Hospital following a brief illness.