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Alice Mary (Garbarino) Vipiana
July 29, 1929 ~ February 4, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old
Alice was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 29, 1929 and died February 4, 2024. Al and Alice were married for 62 years until Al died 11/21/2019. Alice was the youngest of the five children born to Giovanni and Adelgisa Casazza, Garbarino. The first four children were born from 1913 to January 1920. Alice’s family was involved in construction, her father was highly respected for his supervision of underwater and underground tunnel construction including the Holand Tunnel. Two of her brothers-built homes, her father insisted that all five children helped with the building of the homes thus they all learned construction. She grew up in a home that had a bocce ball court so there always were a lot of visitors, and this her lifelong love of the sport. Her mother could quickly fix a meal for the visitors. Alice and her father loved to sing Old Italian songs.
Alice graduated from the clothing design program at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn. She was accepted to attend The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Prior to starting at FIT she was advised to work at a large clothing manufacturer to gain knowledge of clothing production. It was good advice. After five weeks on the job, she was promoted to be an assistant to the pattern maker. The combined knowledge of design, pattern making and production resulted in Alice, at age 22, supervising the design department at New York’s second largest manufacturer.
In 1956 while visiting relatives on the west coast she met Albert Vipiana of San Anselmo. They married in 1957 and honeymooned in Havana Cuba. In California Alice was a pattern maker at Korte of California. Once Al and Alice had children Alice returned to school to get a teaching credential so that she could have the same days off as the children. She taught pattern making and sample making at Berkley High School. She later returned to what she liked best, pattern making.
Al and Alice were always together, they loved to dance, play Bocce, entertain visitors and traveling with their children. Alice eventually got an insurance agent license and join Al in his insurance agency, DeWolf Ins. In the insurance business Alice was able to use her knowledge of construction doing, loss control building inspections and estimating the cost of building replacement. Al and Alice enjoyed working together including remodeling fixer upper properties and the homes that they lived in. For eight years they sang Italian songs with the North Bay Italian Cultural Center’s Coro Allegro.
Alice and her dear friend Geraldine “Geri” McDonough did undercover work for Pulitzer Prize investigative reporter Ed Montgomery. Alice and Geri were a part of the team that succeeded in have a pedophile put in jail. Alice was a competitive synchronized swimmer with the San Francisco Surfins. Active in civic activities, she aided Freda Klusman in saving the S. F. Cable Cars and the Palace of Fine Arts. In 2004 she was Marin Republican Women of the year. Alice and Al were founding members of Bridgemont High School, and they were founding members of Marin Bocce Federation.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband Al and grandson John Elliot Vipiana. She is survived by her daughter Mary (Peter) Cole, of Gilbert Az, son John (Ann) Vipiana of Bend OR., grandchildren David, Brian and Judson Cole, Julia Vipiana (Grant) Otter, Great Grandchildren Brooks and Lucy Otter and Everett Cole.