Rachele Carmen Agata Constellino née Gentile
5 March 1947
Rachele was born and raised in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy to a family that was not well off, but was well to-do enough that they always had plenty of good food, and had no trouble keeping clothes on their backs.
She was the second youngest of eight children, and the third — and youngest — daughter. She is rather well educated, her father adamant that a good wife should also have a good mind, so made certain she got to and did well in school and encouraging her to attend college when she was offered a scholarship to Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples. There she studied Letters (Literature) and earned a degree as well as meeting a young fisherman’s son who was working in a coffee house while studying history at, in his words, L’Università della Biblioteca Civica (The University of the Public Library). His name was Amadeo Constellino, a Corsican who’d come to the city to make his fortune.
Amadeo made a determined effort to win the affection and hand of the charming young Sicilian girl he’d met; and she was quite popular with the lads being both beautiful and an incomparable cook as well as, as her father had predicted, witty and intelligent … many a young man would try again harder to win her attentions after a sharp-tongued rebuke from her it making her that much more an alluring challenge.
Amadeo supplemented his pocketbook with busking in parks and on the street, being a remarkably good guitarist, even writing his own songs. Rather than stubborn determination (because Rachele had turned down his first request to take the pretty college girl to a movie) he took a subtler approach: not charging her for her orders at the little café, and by writing her a song which he convinced the owner of the shop (the eldest brother of one of Amadeo’s childhood friends) to let him perform the next time she came in. She finally agreed to the movie.
The couple was married a year and a half later and went on to have five children. She worked as a school teacher and he eventually found himself manager, then owner of the café.
Rachele has always been a strict and opinionated woman, sharp tongued and sharp witted she kept her family in line and got them all, even her carefree and religiously lackadaisical husband, to Mass regularly (and for both husband and children, frequent trips to the confessional — her children being a little much like Amadeo, at times).
When Amadeo died the couple had already been retired for a number of years, he having given the café over to a daughter-in-law, and she having earned her pension from the school. In 2008 Rachele was widowed by Amadeo’s weakening heart finally giving up.
She does not approve of Sally’s sexuality, because she does so deeply love her grandchildren and she is concerned for the young girl’s soul. She has long prayed that it was merely a childish phase that her granddaughter was going through and eventually would grow out of once she’d met a good man — after all, she loved and admired Amadeo, and is so very fond of so many of her uncles, her father, and her male cousins (Rachele having a vague notion that lesbians must, inherently, dislike men in general). It was a shock to her when Sally told her about Lauren, but still she loved her Salencia and became so much more determined to pray for the girl — a good child, really, but clearly corrupted from living in that Godless country her daughter-in-law had dragged her son and grandchild to (she loves Zoë like a daughter, but considers the woman to be quite insane at times — a sentiment that Zoë is wont to agree with).