History & Profiles

100 years of clear memories

Norma is an amazing example of determination and the will to do good for others.

Hollister resident Norma Martinetti turned 100 years old this December. She was born Norma Trebino on Dec. 21, 1921. Throughout her birthday week, she was visited by friends stopping in (with masks and distance), dropping off cards and gifts. Norma can hold a lively conversation, tell colorful stories and remembers dates better than most of us. Her family, the Trebinos, lived on a farm with open fields and wandering cows in Hollister. It is now what we know of as the Sunnyslope neighborhood.

Norma went to Sacred Heart Parish School and then San Benito High School. She walked all the way to and from school and then did her chores when she got home. She also went to San Benito Junior College, which had been established in 1919 in Hollister. In World War II, Norma found her life-long interest and learned under pressure how to be a nurse.

After marrying, Norma lived in Pittsburg, Ca. She was involved in the community, helping to develop and make the Small World Park a reality. She served as a corporate bank director for over 10 years.

In 1982, following her husband’s death, Norma returned to Hollister. Since then, she has been generous with her time as a volunteer at Hazel Hawkins for 22 years and helped set up a nursing scholarship that has assisted over 30 students.

Norma is a savvy businesswoman and a go-getter who knows how to make things happen. She has a no-nonsense approach and has consistently put out effort to make a better life for others. These days, Norma Martinetti enjoys a great conversation and a chance to show off her astounding memory. At 100, she still enjoys good food, beautiful music and life in general.


Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.