Eva Savateer: My Secret … For Living to 100

By Friends & Neighbors March 15, 2011 11:08

Eva Savateer, a new centenarian

Sonora native Eva Savateer’s parents, Angelo and Elena, emigrated from Italy separately near the turn of the century. They met at Giussi’s Boarding House, where Elena worked,

Eva as a young woman

and married at St. Patrick’s Church in Sonora in 1903. They homesteaded land in the Lyons-Bald Mountain Road area, where Angelo mined and raised vegetables and livestock, and lived there for the rest of their lives.

The Bonavias had 12 children, losing one at birth and the other in World War II. Eva was the fourth child, born Jan. 24, 1911 in the family home. She began working at a young age and in 1929 graduated from Sonora High School.

In the early 1940s she married Leland “Shirley” Savateer, who after military service worked for PG&E for many years. With her husband and nieces and nephews, she shared her love of the outdoors, hiking and camping in backcountry sites. For many years, Eva worked at Mundorf’s Hardware in downtown Sonora.

Despite health challenges, “I enjoy my life right now,” she said recently from her favorite chair, warmed by afternoon sun streaming through her living room window. “As long as I can get around on my two feet, I feel young yet.”

© 2011 Friends and Neighbors

By Friends & Neighbors March 15, 2011 11:08