Born in Esch/Alzette on 14 October 1925, Adeline was the youngest child of Marguerite Gurschké and Pierre Pellegrino, a worker at Arbed-Mines. Her grandfather Michele Pellegrino, of Italian descent, had settled in Esch-sur-Alzette in 1879. Together with her sisters Anna and Lis, Adeline spent her childhood in the Rue des Mines in the Grenz district on the French border.
Despite her modest family background, Adeline Pellegrino managed to fulfil her ambition to become a teacher after three years of secondary school at the Fieldgen public school and four at the Ecole Normale d'Institutrices.
Getting a job in post-war times was not easy. Finally, after 27 applications, Adeline was hired at the children's home in Limpertsberg in 1945. Four years later, she taught at the Brill primary school in Esch/Alzette. After 15 years of teaching, Adeline went back to school to become a school inspector: first at the Cours Supérieurs Universitaires in Luxembourg, then in Germany in Munster and at the École supérieure in Fontenay-aux-Roses near Paris.
The first inspector of foreign origin, Adeline Pellegrino sought to promote new teaching methods, particularly for the children of immigrant workers. Determined and respected, she forged strong links with teachers, the labour office and professional chambers. With the help of the municipality of Esch, she succeeded in introducing so-called supplementary classes to facilitate access to the professional world for disadvantaged children. As an inspector, she also contributes with great enthusiasm to the training of future teachers at the Pedagogical Institute in Walferdange.
Her commitment is by no means limited to her professional activity. Adeline Pellegrino is involved in many causes, in particular within the Soroptimist International women's movement. She is a very active member of the Club d'Esch/Alzette and holds a large number of mandates within her club, the Union of Soroptimist Clubs of Luxembourg and the European Federation. With the support of the Luxembourg Soroptimist Fund as well as Luxembourg and African Soroptimists, she invested in development aid projects in Togo to create a school in Adabadjikope, then a training centre, a cereal bank in Nadoba, not forgetting the "Puits Adeline Pellegrino".
As a delegate of the Soroptimists to the National Council of Women in Luxembourg, she was president from 1983 to 1984, where she organised, among other things, the Women and Migration conference.
Very sociable and hospitable, Adeline Pellegrino made and nurtured many friendships. She is undoubtedly a woman with a strong personality, dynamic and committed, with a quick repartee and a sometimes feared outspokenness.
Retired since 1990 but still enterprising, Adeline Pellegrino died suddenly on 28 January 2011 in her home in Esch-Brouch where she had lived all her adult life, close to her family.
● Mr Pierre Ziesaire, nephew of Mrs Adeline Pellegrino.
● Speech by the president of the Soroptimist Club of Esch/Alzette at the inauguration of the Adeline Pellegrino square.
● Eng Hiehler Kandheet aus den Erinnerungen von Adeline Pellegrino [...] / François Besch in: 100 Joer Esch : 1906 - 2006 Luxembourg; 2005 pp. 16-25.