August 11, 2021
Schenectady Center 104-Year Old Planted a Century-Old Family Seed
Schenectady Center’s Louise Franchetti celebrated her 104th birthday at the end of June 2021. The five all-female family generations united at daughter MaryAnn Foley’s house in Schenectady. Great Great Granddaughter Hailey Squires is 100 years difference than Louise. (L-R: Granddaughter Pam Pouchak, Great Great Granddaughter Hailey Squires, Great Granddaughter Amanda Squires, Daughter MaryAnn Foley and Front and Sitting, Louise Franchetti)
Not many family members can say that they took their 104 year-old matriarch of their family back home temporarily to celebrate another great milestone birthday with the entire family. That’s what happened on June 20, 2021 with Schenectady native Louise Cammarota Franchetti as she turned 104. Amazingly attentive in her 11th decade, she knows what’s happening around her, what she wants, and equally, there’s so much love coming to her from all five generations of her family. It’s simply beautiful. She’s also blessed because she never got COVID-19 at Schenectady Center on Altamonte Avenue in Schenectady, a facility that followed state guidelines to a tee. She may be a modern day Wonder Woman but she says that love in her family has lead to her longevity. Who can deny that?
Born in Schenectady to Joseph and Rachel Cammarota on June 20, 1917, Louise was one of 13 children, the second oldest child. For most of her early years, she lived at 34 Cheltingham Avenue in Schenectady where she took much of the housework and caring for her young siblings, even though she was second oldest. Louise attended Calvary Cabernacle Church along with her mother and her siblings. In school, the furthest she got was 8th grade at Hamilton and McKinley Schools and then got cleaning jobs at various homes and offices of doctors, lawyers and other professional businesses. All to help out her parents, the family was very poor so her life’s work was being a domestic housekeeper. There are stories when Louise was a teenager, she would climb a cherry tree in the backyard to, not just to eat the cherries, but to get a break from doing the household chores. Sometimes Louise would be late for school because she needed to make the bed for her younger sisters and brothers.
In addition to her cleaning jobs, she helped out other in need like making curtains, slipcovers, children’s clothes. She was an avid seamstress but worked as a housekeeper well into her 80s, but she enjoyed it all. Louise also loved to bake and did so for so many birthdays within the family and every cake was delicious, according to her daughter MaryAnn.
In 1937, she met Americo Franchetti walking home from work and later married him, together they had three girls. Later Americo got sick where he was bed ridden for nearly ten years and Louise took care of him for all of those years until he passed away in 1981 was Louise was only 64. Louise called home on Bradford Street in the Mount Pleasant area of Schenectady until eleven years ago when she rotated her living arrangements amongst her three daughters, MaryAnn, Gloria Cappuccitti and Shirley Giaquinto. Her three daughters sincerely loved when it was their turn to be with mom. This went on for ten years until she moved into Schenectady Center on Altamont Avenue.
Today, in addition to having three daughters, Louise has ten grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren. She loves reading the Daily Word, other newspapers and various magazines. Louise loves eating zucchini, mushrooms, applesauce, beets, fish and asparagus. For snacks, graham crackers and Oreos are her favorites. On TV, she loves Wheel of Fortune, Dancing With the Stars and loves old movies, but it’s the love of her family that keeps it all going at 104. In October 2016, Louise received the Annual Senior Lifetime Award for Caregiving in Albany and it meant such a great deal to her. Eight months later, 175 people attended Louise’s milestone birthday party at Treviso by Mallozzi’s in Albany. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara presented Franchetti with a proclamation for her milestone age, and state Senator James Tedisco presented her with a citation.
In October, Franchetti received the Senior Lifetime Achievement Award at Beth Emeth, Albany, for her service of as a caregiver for her bedridden husband for a decade at their home.
She has her fondest memories of her family growing up and many of the people she worked for who were nice to her, sits happily in her memory.
Louise has six great great grandchildren currently and one more great great grandchild is expected this month. What a blessed life Louise leads.