Carolina Frances Toffinelli Steffens, 91, passed away on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Carolina was born here in Pocatello to Italian immigrants Frank Toffinelli and Paulina Pardini on August 13, 1929. Carolina grew up in a small home somewhere around 10th street within walking distance of St. Anthony Church. She attended kindergarten through about fifth or sixth grade.
Her eldest child, Sharon Carolina Steffens DeVita, fondly remembers the large family get togethers, “big” Italian dinners, and her grandpa Frank’s homemade wine that he vinted in their basement. Mom always reminded me to “never have a cookie from Grandma’s cookie drawer in her bedroom. Grandma always bought them, never ate them, and they were all ‘weevilly.”
During 1945, the time of the great World War II, Carolina worked for the Union Pacific Railroad sweeping box cars at a sweet age of 16. During this time Carolina met her beloved Peter Steffens after his return from the war. They were joined in holy matrimony on April 20, 1947. Pete, like his wife, was the child of immigrants. Pete melded right into the big Italian family, as if he were made for it. He loved his drinking and was one of the only brave souls that would drink “Grandpa’s home brewed beer.”
Carolina is survived by her eldest child, Sharon Devita and her husband Randall DeVita; her son, Shannon and his wife Tina Steffens; and several grandchildren: Dino and his husband Kirby DeVita, Joshua Steffens, Ashley and her husband Chris Cristen, Nathan and his wife Alisa Steffens, Brandon and his wife Lexi Steffens, and 5 wonderful great-grandchildren.
Carolina is preceded in death by her beloved husband Peter Aaron Steffens: 1924-1995; her parents, Frank “Pepe” Toffinelli 1886-1979; Paulina S. Pardini: 1890-1970; and her five brothers and two sisters: Eugene Toffinelli, Ralph Toffinelli, Amelio “Milo” Toffinelli, Tony Toffinelli, Angelo Toffinelli, Bruna Toffinelli, and Paulina Winters.
Graveside services will be conducted by Father Henry Carmona at Mountain View Cemetery, 1520 S. 5th Ave. Pocatello, at 2 pm on Monday, February 1, 2021.
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