Madaline Almeida Diaso passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at the age of 97. A devoted mother and elementary school teacher, Madaline was proud that her life reflected the history of California.
The daughter of a fourth generation California mother and Portuguese immigrant father, Madaline was born October 11, 1910 on a dairy farm in Gustine, CA. Her educational journey began in a one room schoolhouse in Gustine. Madaline progressed through high school where she graduated with honors. She then attended San Francisco State College where she was the first Portuguese woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation, Madaline returned to the San Joaquin Valley to teach in Volta, where her duties were to drive the school bus, light the stove as well as teach. Her multi-grade classrooms were made up of the children of California migrant dustbowl evacuees and immigrants of Fresno. Madaline married Joseph Diaso and moved to Fresno where they started a family. As a mother, Madaline grew a victory garden while her husband worked in a defense plant.
As a youngster, she saw her family suffer and survive the flu epidemic of 1918. In 1953, Madaline watched her son suffer and survive the polio epidemic that swept the San Joaquin Valley.
Madaline always felt her two greatest accomplishments were to follow her ambition to finish college, in spite of the depression and to hold her family together through the devastation of the attack of Polio and instill in her children a deep love of learning and education.
Madaline was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Diaso and her Son, Bruce Diaso, both of Fresno.
Madaline is survived by her daughters: Judith Diaso and Mary Diaso Rudy; two grand children: Sarah Maria Rudy and Rebecca Alicia Rudy; three step-grand children: Allison Peck Levi; Juliet Peck and Jeremy Peck.
A visitation will be held Thursday, January 31, 2008 from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. A Rosary will be recited at 6:00 P.M., both at St. Paul Newman Center; 1572 East Barstow Avenue in Fresno, CA. A graveside service will be held Friday, February 1, 2008 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Peters Cemetery; 264 North Blythe Avenue in Fresno.
The family requests that donations be made in Madalines memory to the Bryce Diaso Law Scholarship Fund; University of San Francisco, Attention Ruby Wong; 2130 Fulton Street; San Francisco, CA 94117.