Mario Carvalho Obituary
Mario around eight years old Parents, Maria Goncalves & Manuel Carvalho, married May 25, 1918

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In Memory of

Mario Carvalho

April 26, 1922 - June 26, 2014
Obituary
Biography

Mario Carvalho was a quiet man, observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to life and his relationships. He was a good listener and a true friend. One of his favorite sayings was "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason". His parents were Maria Goncalves and Manuel Carvalho married on May 25, 1918, immigrants from Portugal who settled first in New Bedford, MA. The Manuel Carvalho name is listed on the "American Immigrate Wall of Honor" by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Mario was the second oldest of six siblings and was born on April 26, 1922 in New Bedford, MA. His older sister Herminia and two younger brothers Antonio and Manuel Jr. were also born in New Bedford. MA. His two younger sisters Maria Helena and Maria Rosa were born in Portugal. Eventually the family moved from New Bedford, MA to New Rochelle, NY and ran a boarding house. In 1930, the family returned to Chaves, Portugal where they had property. Here the family grew vegetables, made their own wine, and cured their meat for winter. In the cellar there was a salt table about a 4x8 where the meat was separated and cured. Pai would smoke the meat in a big stone oven located in the yard where his mother would also bake bread. They also had a vegetable field. To irrigate the field they would harness a horse and walk him around the well to bring up the water. Mario recalls making his father angry when he would ride the...
Mario Carvalho was a quiet man, observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to life and his relationships. He was a good listener and a true friend. One of his favorite sayings was "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason".

His parents were Maria Goncalves and Manuel Carvalho married on May 25, 1918, immigrants from Portugal who settled first in New Bedford, MA. The Manuel Carvalho name is listed on the "American Immigrate Wall of Honor" by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Mario was the second oldest of six siblings and was born on April 26, 1922 in New Bedford, MA. His older sister Herminia and two younger brothers Antonio and Manuel Jr. were also born in New Bedford. MA. His two younger sisters Maria Helena and Maria Rosa were born in Portugal. Eventually the family moved from New Bedford, MA to New Rochelle, NY and ran a boarding house.

In 1930, the family returned to Chaves, Portugal where they had property. Here the family grew vegetables, made their own wine, and cured their meat for winter. In the cellar there was a salt table about a 4x8 where the meat was separated and cured. Pai would smoke the meat in a big stone oven located in the yard where his mother would also bake bread. They also had a vegetable field. To irrigate the field they would harness a horse and walk him around the well to bring up the water. Mario recalls making his father angry when he would ride the horse instead of walking him.

Mario learned a lot in his early years in Portugal. His stories are evidence of this. For instance; his father was partners in a vineyard. They would pick grapes and bring them home by horse and wagon and put them in a large 12x12 cement vat located beside the house near the water well. To crush the grapes they would stomp on them with their bare feet for several days. After fermentation, the top portion was filtered and put into large wooden barrels where the wine would age. The residue that was left would be removed from the vat and put in a large press and squeezed, The result was fine liquor called 'jeropiga'. They would put this in small wooden barrels for aging. The 'jeropiga' was served on special occasions. Once he recalls his father told him to go to the cellar for a pitcher of 'jeropiga'. The wine in the barrel was low and slow to come out so Mario tilted the barrel to help it along. When he returned with the 'jeropiga' it was full of sediment and not suitable to drink. His father was not happy and Mario learned a good lesson.

His father returned to America in 1932 for two years, but Mario stayed with the family in Portugal going to school and helping his family. When Mario was older he worked part time in a general store in Chaves.

During the winter months they would sit around the brazeiro after dinner to stay warm. The brazeiro was a wooden platform with a pan in the middle filled with hot coals. They would put their feet up on the foot wide platform to keep them warm. Sometimes their neighbors would visit, Sebastiano Goncalves and his wife and daughters Ida and Esmeralda. Sebastiano like to joke around and would throw chestnuts in the hot coals to make them explode. They would sit around and talk or read and the women would knit to pass the time. His maternal grandmother who lived with them spent most of the day sitting at the brazeiro and knitting. She had a secret (or so she thought). She would hide a preto cantaro filled with wine under her long skirt while she knitted.

In 1937 his father decided to return to America again for a job opportunity and this time he took Mario who was fifteen with him. His father worked in highway construction on the Merritt Parkway from White Plains, NY to Bridgeport, CT. For a while Mario lived with a family in White Plains, NY and attended high school. This was difficult at first because he spoke little English but he learned quickly and even excelled in math. When his father's job moved from White Plains, NY to Bridgeport, CT, he traveled with him and worked in whatever boarding house they lived in along the way.

In 1939 his mother and two brothers and three sisters returned to America. For a short time the entire family lived together on Huntington Avenue in Newark, NJ. Then the family moved to a two family house on Ferry Street in Newark. The first floor was a store and his mother also ran a boarding house there. Mario would help with chores and worked at DuPont Plastics Co.

In 1942 Mario joined the U.S. Coast Guard. After completing boot camp in Brooklyn, NY he was sent to gunner's mate school in St Augustine, FL. In 1943 he was assigned to the USCGC Woodbine in Norfolk, VA. From there they traveled to Miami and then through the Panama Canal, up to San Diego and on to Pearl Harbor, the Marianas Islands, and Okinawa. Mario would jokingly say, "I joined the Coast Guards to guard the coast but they didn't tell me what coast I was going to guard and I wound up in Okinawa". Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was discharged in February 1946.

Mario married Elsie Ramos in December 1945. After he was discharged, he and Elsie lived in Newark, NJ and he worked in the family store on Ferry Street. He recalls how he would go to the farmer's market early in the morning to pick the best produce. He would return to the farmer's market in the evening to buy whatever was left at a reduced price. One time he purchased a large amount of watermelons at a reduced price. When he returned home his father reprimanded him for buying so many and his mother agreed. He found working with family was sometimes difficult. For the record, he sold all the watermelons and made a profit. His wife Elsie worked for Clark's Spool of Yarn in downtown Newark. She became dissatisfied with her employer and Mario wasn't that happy at the family store, so in 1947 they moved to Framingham, MA where they would spend most of their married life.

Mario went to work for General Motors in 1948. He and Elsie had two sons, David M. and Robert A. and a grandson, Robert J. Mario was a family man and a good provider. He knew that education was important to get ahead so while working for GM he would go to school at night to complete his education. He traveled to Boston three nights a week and earned his BA Degree from Northeastern University. He completed graduate school earning a Masters Degree in Business from Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He enjoyed working for General Motors. His motto was "There is no AM, or PM, only GM". He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail. He was in the pilot programs at General Motors and traveled to some extent. But it wasn't all work during those years. Mario joined a travel club and he and Elsie would take some nice trips during that time, i.e. Portugal, Spain and Brazil.

In 1986, Mario retired as Quality Control Supervisor for GM Framingham Division after 39 years of service. When retirement came, he was prepared. He had begun the process early and had his retirement all planned out. His new life included relocating to a new home he had built in Lecanto, FL. in 1990. In retirement he found new pleasures in golfing and friends. Life was good until his wife Elsie's health began to fail and in 2000 she passed away.

Mario remarried on September 29, 2002 to Linda Nalley. They were married at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Jacksonville, FL and lived in Lecanto, FL for a couple of years. In 2004 they relocated to Jacksonville and continued their love of marriage and family. They traveled and enjoyed life everyday. Short trips, long trips, it didn't matter, they loved them all, but the short trips to visit family and friends were the best. Their years together were filled with love and caring for each other. But in 2014 Mario's health declined and his heart condition worsened and he would not recover.

Mario passed away on June 26, 2014 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville, FL. from heart failure. He is survived by his wife, Linda, his sons, David M and Robert A, his grandson, Robert J, stepson, Scott, stepdaughter, Suzanne, step-granddaughter Jessica, two sisters, Lena and Rose and many beloved nieces and nephews and friends. A Funeral Mass was held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on July 7, 2014. Interment was in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Jacksonville, FL.

Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Mario Carvalho. His word was his bond. His pledge of loyalty to his family and friends was guaranteed. A man of faith who put others first, he was a true gentleman. At Mario's Funeral Mass his nephew John Carvalho gave the Words of Remembrance and included a quote from American poet Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". Mario always made you feel special and loved and part of a family. He will live forever in the hearts of those who knew him.

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