was fairly good for Pete and Anna Carrocci. Pete was still a practicing
Jehovah’s Witness and Anna was back at a catholic church. They had a
nice circle of Italian friends who came to visit and there were a number
of stores that were within walking distances.
The number of their grandchildren continued to
grow. Tami, the last of Julie and Virginia’s children, was born August
Toni Lynn was born to Shirley and me on January 3,
1961 and Vincent Peter was born February 12, 1963.
Peter Martin Carrocci was born to Larry and Jean on
August 20, 1963.
There’s an interest-ing story about the trees that you can see
in this picture in front of the house at 202 W. Vets Blvd. in Tucson.
They’re called Chinaberry trees. One day I got a
frantic call from mama. She wanted me to come over right away. She
sounded desperate. I was there in 15 minutes. She wanted me to call the
family attorney because she wanted to divorce papa. I asked why on earth
she wanted to do that and she took me by the hand and led me to the
It seems papa had spent the morning pruning the
chinaberry trees and they were cut back to the nubs. Mama was furious
with him and they had a big fight about. Papa was nowhere to be seen,
having gotten out of the line of fire.
It took me quite some time, but I finally got her
calmed down and convinced that the trees would grow back as beautiful as
Sometime during the early 60’s I made peace with
papa. We talked about the days when he tried to force his religion on me
and about my rebellion. I realized that he was only doing what he
thought was best. By this time I had come to see how strong a man he was
and how he was able to withstand some extremely trying times.
About the middle of 1962 Pete had to be taken to
the hospital because of a blockage in his bowels. It was diagnosed as
cancer of the colon. He had to have an operation to remove the blockage.
That posed a problem. Because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, he didn’t
believe in receiving a blood transfusion during the operation. I talked
with the doctors and with Theresa, who was working at a doctor’s
office. I told papa that without the blood he couldn’t have the
operation and without the operation the cancer would slowly eat him up
and he would die. He said that if that was God’s will then so be it.
The doctor’s put in a colostomy bag, closed him
up, and when he was strong enough, sent him home. Pete slowly began to
deteriorate as the weeks and months passed. He started taking heavier
and heavier doses of pain medication.
Shortly after the New Year in 1963 his condition
became so bad that mama could no longer care for him and we had to put
him into a hospice care facility. He was in constant pain, but he never
As the health care costs built up, the Carrocci
sons and daughters created a fund to pay expenses. Everyone contributed
the best they could and the bills were paid.
Finally, on June 7, 1963 Pietro Carrocci passed
away. His sons and daughters gathered for the funeral and he was buried
at South Lawn Cemetery on the south side of Tucson.
Mama lived in the house on Vets Blvd. alone. She
would stay with Theresa if she got lonely. I got over to see her quite
I remember one time when my children were about two
and four, we went to visit Grandma. The kids were in the house for two
minutes then went out into the yard to play. Mom and I were having a cup
of coffee and I asked her what she did that day. She said she went
Understand that she spoke with a heavy Italian
accent. She told me that she met a “poody lady” at the grocery store
and that she helped her shop. Mama shopped by looking at the pictures on
the labels of the cans. She said the woman was from Italy and spoke very
high class Italian. I had a suspicion and asked the name of the woman.
She said, “I don know, I think it was Sophie something.” The woman
turned out to be Sophia Loren, who was in Tucson making a movie. Mom had
no idea who “Sophie something” was.
Another time, Bob and Theresa took mama on a
driving trip to Reno, Nevada. On the way from Reno to Las Vegas they
went through Carson City, where at one time there were many silver
In December of 1963, I was laid off from Hughes
Aircraft where I had worked for nine years. I was let go on a Friday and
started work at a new job on Monday. The only problem was my income was
cut by a third and I needed a part-time job. I managed to get a job at a radio station as a staff announcer and
weekend disk jockey. I soon moved to the television station as a studio
camera operator. This allowed me to get a part-time job back in radio.
I was working for KTUC-AM in Tucson on January 1st,
1966 when I got a call from Theresa. Mama had spent the night with her
and had passed away. She had died in her sleep.
Once again her sons and daughters gathered for the
funeral and Annetta Siciliano Carrocci was buried next to her husband at
South Lawn Cemetery.
Marcia Rae Sgutt Aries and I were married on July 13, 1968. In
this picture taken that day is their whole family. In the front is
Vincent Peter, behind him on the left is Philip Lazarus Aries, then Toni
Lynn Carrocci, Jennifer Diane Aries, and Jonathan Mark Aries. In the
back are Marcia and me.
Julius Caesar died in Wintersville, Ohio December
22, 1968 of colon cancer.
Marcia and I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in
January of 1969.
Benjamin Raymond passed away in Weirton, West
Virginia September 26, 1980 of heart failure.
Marcia and I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas in
April of 1981. then to Salt Lake City in April of 1983.
Larry Martin died in Mansfield, Ohio January 18,
1984 of colon cancer.
Mary Basile Patron died November 2, 1986 in Canton,
Ohio after having suffered a stroke.
Marcia and I moved to Denver, Colorado in May of
1989 and then to Phoenix, Arizona in May of 1991.
Joseph Anthony passed in Steubenville, Ohio
September 15th, 1993 of stomach cancer.
Theresa Ann died in Tucson, Arizona November 2,
2000 of complications of leukemia.
And Dominic James passed away in Wintersville, Ohio
September 10, 2003 of lung cancer.
The story of Annetta and Pietro Carrocci is pretty
much the same as many other stories of Italian immigrants. They came to
America, made a better life for themselves, had some good times, had
some bad times, contributed to the fiber and fabric of their adopted
nation, and quietly passed away.
Such was the case for these two hard-headed, hard
working Calabrese. We all can be proud to have them as the trunk of our