Chapter Nine


    Life 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 22, 1960.

    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.

    Altogether, Pete and Anna had 19 grandchildren and they were proud of each one of them.

   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 front door.

    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 before.

    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 complained.

    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 often.

    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 shopping.

    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 mines. Bob was in the back seat snoozing, Theresa was driving and mama was in the front passenger seat. As they were driving along, Theresa saw an old, abandoned mine. She said,” Look, mama, that’s a mine.” Mama didn’t skip a beat and said, “Whatsa yours?”

    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.

    I was divorced from Shirley in February of 1968.

   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 family tree.

    This Pietro Carrocci Family History is a start for the grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of Pete and Anna. Someone in the family of each of the brothers and sisters should gather the information and the pictures of their individual group and continue the stories. I would suggest that someone at least talk to the surviving members of the generation of the children of Pete and Anna and make notes. One day they will be gone and the opportunity will be lost forever.