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Alessini named royalty

For The Madera Tribune

Carla and Bill Alessini.


When Maderans gather this weekend to celebrate Old Timers’ Day, the community will honor a local couple as its king and queen.

Bill and Carla, nee Oberti, Alessini will be honored with the coronation ceremony at a dinner dance on Friday, 6 to 11 p.m. at the Madera Elks Lodge, 112 W. Sixth Street. Tickets for the event are $50 and available by calling Gerry Desmond, 647-9552 or Karla Gran, 706-0862.

Grand Marshall for Saturday’s parade is Monte Pistoresi.

Queen Carla is the daughter of Frank and Marcella Oberti of the former Oberti Olive Company. King Bill is the son of Evelina Barsotti and Ezio Alessini.

Born and raised in Madera, Bill graduated from Madera Union High School in 1953 and Carla graduated in 1959.

“Bill was a cheerleader and I was a pep girl in high school,” Carla said.

Following graduation, Carla attended UCLA and Fresno State.

Bill began working in downtown Madera at the tender age of 7, sweeping up and doing general custodial work at the former Madera Drugs and at the family’s Barsotti Bakery. He also worked at Jennings Brothers Furniture store, delivering furniture as a teenager.

While still in high school Bill found he was spending all his money on clothes at Madera’s premiere haberdashery, Duncan and Shied, owned by Connie Sheid and Mel Duncan.

“Since I was spending all my money on clothes anyway, they offered me a job,” Bill said.

This was in 1951. By 1958 he had become a partner in the business, the forerunner of William Carol Fashions. At the height of his career, with his business partner Carol Wilkins, the William Carol chain consisted of 11 stores up and down the San Joaquin Valley. Some were called William Carol, others the Pant Factory and a clearing house for leftover merchandise called the Pant Emporium.

In the early 1970s, they changed the store’s name from Duncan Sheid to William Carol. He and Wilkins were also one of the original partners that built the five-story Madera Valley Inn.

The royal couple has been married for 62 years. While Bill developed the family businesses, Carla was blessed to be able to stay at home raising their two children, she said.

They have a son and daughter, Stephine Alessini and her brother Bryan.

Bryan and his wife Ashley Alessini are the parents of twins, daughter Lauren and son Harrison. They are seniors at San Joaquin Memorial High School.

“We have lived a big life,” Carla said.

They traveled extensively visiting Italy and connecting with family members there. They also enjoyed playing golf.

They are charter members of the Madera Golf and Country Club and members of Fort Washington Golf and Country Club in Fresno.

Being selected King and Queen of their hometown celebration is a great honor, said Carla.

Community service has always been a big part of the Alessini legacy.

As the owner of one of Madera’s oldest businesses, Bill served on many committees formed for the betterment of Madera.

He was on the board of directors of Regency Bank, on the committee that founded the Madera Redevelopment Agency, and president of the Madera Downtown Association numerous times. He has helped with fundraising projects for Madera Community Hospital, St. Joachim Church, Young Men’s Institute, 20-30 Club, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Elk’s Lodge, Exchange and Lions clubs.

They also very much enjoy spending time with their family at their home on Bass Lake.


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