Italian-American Month

The Rinaldi and Sabetto families of Kissimmee

When the S.S. Berlin sailed on December 6, 1912, from Naples, Italy, passengers Giovonni (John) Battista Rinaldi, age 48, and his wife, Giocondina Perugini, listed their final destination as Lake Mary, Florida. By 1930, they had moved to Kissimmee, Florida, and had six children, ages 16 to 1 month.  

John engaged in truck farming with the help of his sons. Tony and Thomas served in the U.S. Army; Isaac was in the Air Force during World War II; Joseph served in the Korean War.  Daughters Mary and Victoria married sons of another Italian immigrant, Angelo Sabetto, who lived in Kissimmee. Tony was killed in action while serving in Tunisia in 1943.

John B. Rinaldi passed away in 1943 at the age of 80. Giocondina, a native of Marcone, Italy, died in 1955 at the age of 65.

Sabetto Family

The Sabetto family patriarch, Angelo; arrived in 1891 from Italy and appears in the 1900 census in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. In April 1898, Angelo enlisted as a private in Company G, 2ndWisconsin Infantry to fight during the Spanish American War. He was discharged one year later in April 1899.  

Angelo married an Irish lass, Catherine Gallagher, in 1899. By 1910, Angelo and Catherine were in Delta County, Michigan, with only four of the six children whom had been born to them. His chosen profession was fireman, one he kept when they moved to Toledo, Ohio.

The family’s final move was to Kissimmee in 1938. Angelo died on June 7, 1945, age 71. Five years later, tragedy struck when Catherine and son Joseph died in a fire at her filling station home at Shingle Creek in June 1950.

Angelo and Catherine’s son Peter had remained in Toledo, Ohio; Michael married Mary Rinaldi and James married Victoria Rinaldi, joining the two Kissimmee Italian families.

Sources:; “The Orlando Sentinel”, “Orlando Evening Star” and “Kissimmee Gazette” issues 1939 – 1987; family photos shared by family member