Hello tavolini-ga, and thank you for the opportunity to answer your
most challenging question...it?s a bit daunting to try and answer the
question: ?Who is...? for anyone, much less someone unknown to me who
has been gone for more than fifty years.
Nevertheless, I was able to unearth a considerable amount of
information about Dr. Volini. I trust it will meet your needs, but if
you find anything here in need of elaboration, just let me know, and I
will do my best to assist you further.
The New York Times ran an obituary on Dr. Volini on June 25th, 1950 on page 70:
DR. I.F.VOLINI DEAD; A HEART SPECIALIST
Chief of the Medical Department at Loyola University in Chicago
I cannot reproduce the article here for copyright reasons, but I have
summarized the key points below. At the end of my answer, I have
provided links where you can retrieve additional information
(including the original NY Times article) yourself, if you are so
The information in the obituary for Dr. Volini included:
Dr. Italo Frederick Volini died of a heart attack on June 24, 1950, at
the age of 57 while attending a convention of the American Medical
Association in San Francisco.
He was born in Chicago [in 1892 or 1893 - see Census data below] and
began his medical practice in 1917, after attending school at the
University of Chicago and Rush Medical College. He served as an
attending physician at Cook County Hospital and Mercy Hospital, and
consulted with other hospitals as well. He began his work at Loyola
University in 1920 as an instructor in physical diagnosis, and became
head of the medical department there in 1929.
Dr. Volini volunteered for the army at the outbreak of World War I and
was commissioned as a lieutenant in the medical corps.
In 1929, Dr. Volini received the Crown of Italy and was named a
chevalier by the King for his work among the Italians in the Chicago
area. He was also appointed as member of the Chicago Board of
Education in 1946, but resigned a year later due to personal health
He was survived by his wife, Marcella, and ten children: Marcella,
Gloria, Italo Frederick Jr., Virginia, Yolanda, Dolores, Camillo,
Francis, Patricia, and Thomas.
Several genealogical records also contained bits and pieces of
information about Dr. Volini.
According to the 1930 Census, Dr. Volini lived in Chicago, listed his
occupation as Physician, and indicated his father was born in Italy
and his mother in Illinois. The Census gave his birthdate as 1892,
and also indicated that Italo F. Jr was born in 1928, and that a
sister born in 1927 was named Italo G. Volini -- presumably this is
The 1920 Census gives Dr. Volini's birthdate as 1893. The Census
indicates that the place of residence was Cook County Hospital, and
Volini?s occupation is written in script that appears to say "Hospital
Intern" (the image isn't clear enough to be 100% sure of this,
The California Death Index includes the following information:
Name: VOLINI, ITALO FREDERICK
Birth Date: 24 May 1893
Death Date: 24 Jun 1950
Death Place: SAN FRANCISCO
Mother's Maiden Name: BOTTO
Father's Surname: VOLINI
A search of the internet for ?volini? and for ?Crown of Italy?
unearthed some additional information that might be of interest.
According to this Angelfire site devoted to Italian-Americans in
Italo Volini?s father appears to have been one Camillo Volini, himself a doctor:
Chicago Italians in the 1926 Who's Who
Volini, Camillo - surgeon; b. Potenza, Italy, Oct. 16, 1863; s.
Federico and Cristina (Passarelli) Volini; student Royal College of
Potenza; M.D., University of Naples, Italy, 1885; m. Virginia Botto of
Chicago, 1891. Served as surgeon to Columbus Hosp., member consulting
staff Cook County Hosp. Organizer and first pres. of White Hand
Society of Chicago. h. 417 Barry
[Note that the listing appeared in the Chicago Who?s Who for 1926.
These volumes are not available on line, but are likely accessible at
local libraries in Chicago for numerous years -- later volumes may
well include listings for Italo Volini].
The same site also indicated that Camillo Volini also received the Crown of Italy:
Orders of Italy bestowed on Chicagoans in 1907
Dr. Camillo Volini - Crown of Italy, Chevalier
The site below discusses the nature of the Crown of Italy, and related
medals, in case this is of interest:
Orders of Italy
The kingdom of Italy had been formed in the mid 19th century out of
various states, some of which had Orders and awards of their own.
Those of House of Savoy took on a sort of national character but the
others were not discontinued. While the chivalric orders listed below
had little exposure during World War I, we include them here since
they do show up in formal photographs of war-era prominent people
(both Italian and non-Italians).
Lastly, a New York Times obituary dated June 23, 1948 (pg. 27) reports
on the death of Camillo Volini, at the age of 40. Camillo was Camillo
Sr.?s son, and Italo?s brother, and was also survived by his wife,
Virginia, three sisters, two sons (Camillo and Virginia), and two
daughters (Pauline and Patricia). Camillo, also a doctor, was the
Superintendent of Clinics at the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in
I hope this is sufficient information to give you some insight into
the life, accomplishments and legacy of Dr. Volini. Should you want
to examine any of the information yourself, you can access many
primary sources at the following sites:
Archives of The New York Times are available on-line at:
A search on: [ Italo AND Volini ] will retrieve the two articles cited
above on Italo and Camillo (there is a small fee for viewing the full
Genealogical records such as the 1920 and 1930 Census forms and the
California Death Index can be retrieved from Ancestry.com at which I
prefer to access through this site:
Note at the bottom of the screen there is an offer for a 14-day free
trial, in case you want to check out their offerings.
Once again, please don?t hesitate to let me know if anything here is
unclear, or needs further elaboration. Just post a Request for Answer
Clarification, and I?ll be happy to assist you however I can.
Clarification of Answer by
06 Dec 2003 04:56 PST
Hello again. After I posted my answer, I remembered an additional
source that I thought might be useful, and it turned out to have some
good additional information on Dr. Volini.
The source is:
Schiavo, Giovanni Ermenegildo
The Italians in Chicago : a study in Americanization
Chicago, Ill.: Italian American Pub. Co., 1928, 230 pgs
Dr. Volini is mentioned numerous times in the book, including:
pg 70: ?An Italian education center in the city is the "Circolo
Italiano" of Loyola Univeristy. It meets once a month. At each
meeting, usually, a lecture is delivered on some phases of Italian
life or culture. Dr. Italo Volini is its president and Dr. Vincent
Carofiglio is secretary.?
pg 159: In a list of Italian-American physicians in Chicago, Dr.
Volini's ofice address is given as 31 North State Street.
pg 193: Has a brief biography of Dr. Volini and a photograph of him as
well. I'm sorry that I cannot reproduce it here, but it wouldn?t do
much good, anyway...as reproduced on the web, the photo is quite
murky. You may want to attempt to obtain a library copy of "The
Italians in Chicago" if you are interested in seeing the original.
The biography adds some details of his activities:
--consulting physician, Columbus Hospital
--President, Loyola Historical Society
--President, Italian Club at Loyola University
--Member, AMA, Cook County and Chicago Medical Association, Illinois
State medical Society, Italy-America Society, Lake Shore Athletic
Club, Middle West Athletic Club, Phi Beta Pi, Alpha, Omega Alpha.
The book itself can be accessed through the Heritage Quest site at:
This site is available through many libraries, but is not available to
All the best....