Skip to main content

Faithful Since '46: Melba Catania and Her Family

Melba Catania has quite literally been, "Faithful Since '46."

Catania, now 89-years-old, grew up near Kezar Stadium and attended San Francisco Polytechnic High School with a few former 49ers players, including defensive end Alyn Beals. Her love for the team has been passed down for generations, as her family has been season ticket holders since the franchise first began playing in the All-American Football Conference.

Catania's 49ers historic memorabilia includes game programs from the '46 season. The family also owns two framed pictures of the '46 team getting on a plane to go play Los Angeles. Her granddaughter, Tracy Bonaduce, wore 49ers high-heeled shoes at her wedding.

Here's a Q&A with this very special member of the 49ers Faithful.How have the 49ers impacted your family?

"I met my husband (95-years-old) in 1946, just before the 49ers played their first game. He had just been discharged from the Navy at the time. We started going to the 49ers games, which was convenient because we lived very close to Kezar Stadium. We enjoyed the games together, and we've been going ever since.

"We're a very close family. We all go to the game: my husband and I, my daughter, my two grandchildren and my niece and nephew. We all continue to be 49ers fans.

Melba has been a Faithful since the beginning and has passed down her love of the 49ers through generations of her family.

"This year, in 2016, we are fortunate to celebrate along with the 49ers in a 70th anniversary of our own. My husband and I were married in 1946, and we have not only been faithful to the 49ers, but faithful in our marriage for 70 years."Who is your favorite player of all time?

"Bob St. Clair, he also attended Polly High School the same time that I did. I followed him while he played for USF and when he became a 49er. We saw him play all those years."What is your favorite part of a 49ers gameday?

"It's something we look forward to all the time because it's a great get together for the family. The 49ers are like our family because we get so familiar with all the players.

"In fact, my children, Faye and Tom Dawdy, are photographers and have been hired to photograph nine of the alumni throughout the years, including favorite Guy McIntyre."Who is your favorite player on the current 49ers roster?

"Pierre Garçon, NaVorro Bowman and Joe Staley. They're the ones that I enjoy watching the most. They're All-Stars."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.