In 1918, Irving Berlin composed the original draft to “God Bless America” and Woodrow Wilson was the U.S. President. 1918 also marked the year that Emma Kaliterna, a Santa Clara native, was born.
Dec. 26, 2018 was Kaliterna’s 100th birthday. Many friends called and visited her. When Kaliterna’s friends complimented her on how great she looked, Kaliterna responded with her usual spunk, “I should look great. I’m only 100.”
On Jan. 5, Kaliterna wore a sash that read “100 & Fabulous” and celebrated her birthday in style at Fiorillo’s Restaurant. About 100 friends attended the party. Appetizers and cake were served. Guests took pictures at a booth, watched a slide show featuring Kaliterna’s life and filled out memory cards sharing their fondest memories of Kaliterna.
Some of these memories might include the times Kaliterna styled their hair during her “social hour” at her beauty salon, Emma’s Coiffures, open on Franklin St. since 1939. Friends might remember putting money in Kaliterna’s tip jar, used to fundraise for various causes. Also remembered might be the fundraising parties Kaliterna hosted with her late husband Mickey — the money the couple raised was for local schools, the Santa Clara City Library, the Santa Clara Vanguard and other organizations. Kaliterna’s service to the City as a member of the Cultural Advisory Commission would also surely not be forgotten.
“Emma is someone who cares deeply about her community and wants the best for Santa Clara,” said Kaliterna’s daughter, Danielle. “She has always been an exciting mom. Never a dull moment. She has always been active in many civic organizations and all of my friends have always enjoyed her. I love her very much and I’m grateful for everything she has ever done for me. I feel so privileged to be her daughter.”