​​​​Michele was born in Buffalo, NY on July 24th, 1956. She has 3 siblings; 2 older sisters and a younger brother. She also has 7 nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews.

The Buffalo neighborhood where she was born and raised was nicknamed “Iron Island” since it was surrounded by railroad tracks on all 4 sides. Also called “Lovejoy,” it was named after the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood, offering a fantastic sense of community and belonging.

Everyone knew everyone, and the houses were originally bought by the 1st generation immigrants from Italy. These same houses were typically passed down to future generations.               

Growing up very Italian Catholic and living only a few doors down from her grammar school and church, St. Francis of Assisi, Michele was actively involved in both, since the church and Italian neighborhood community were the center of her         childhood life. Rich in tradition, food, celebration, support and friendship, there was never a shortage of fun things to do and friends to play with.​

Michele excelled in Sports and played on many different teams throughout her childhood which included: Softball, Basketball, Racquetball, Tennis, Volleyball and Dodge Ball. Many of the wonderful people that were a big and important part of her childhood remain in her life.​

Always the rebellious renegade, Michele was constantly into mischief and trouble. Whereby her 2 older sisters were straight “A” students who followed the rules, Michele was quite the opposite and looked at school as an opportunity to showcase her whacky sense of humor and adventure. She gave the nuns a run for their money and approached school as providing an opportunity for the nuns to practice patience and exercise the values of St. Francis,the patron saint of their order!   

Music was very important to her parents so it became important to Michele as well. Her parents loved the sound of the Big Bands, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, etc. and passed this love of the classic standards down to their children. In addition to the fantastic sounds of the 30s and 40s, Michele also loves Motown, 60’s and 70’s folk (John Denver, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joni Mitchell, etc.) and any of the British invasion bands. She taught herself to play the guitar at age 10 and was part of the original folk group at St. Francis known as The Peacemakers. The Peacemakers still hold reunions as often as possible close to 50 years later. As a child, Michele learned to sing harmony, and to this day enjoys singing harmony at every opportunity with anyone who will join along. 

After graduating from Bishop McMahon High School, an all-girls parochial school, she attended nursing school but soon determined it wasn’t her calling. She transferred to the State University of NY @ Buffalo and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood. ​

She taught for a few years in Buffalo before joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps which brought her to California, spending a year teaching in the Mission Dolores neighborhood of San Francisco.

She fell in love with California (and the weather,) and decided to stay after her volunteer year was completed.  ​A quest for a cheaper cost of living brought her to Sacramento where she met Julie, her partner and wife. 

They bought a house and settled in Elk Grove, a suburb of Sacramento, with their many cat children. After 23 years together in California, Julie and Michele are beginning the next chapter of their lives with the adventure of a lifetime and relocation back to their roots.  

About Michele

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