Darrow R. De Carlo

Darrow R. De Carlo

August 18, 1928 - November 19, 2015

Darrow R. De Carlo

August 18, 1928 - November 19, 2015


Darrow R. De Carlo, 87, of San Juan Capistrano died on November 19, 2015. Darrow was born on August 18,1928 in Brooklyn, New York. He married Mary Margaret Dolson in 1951 and moved to California in 1958 to work for Metropolitan Insurance Company as a sales executive. He enjoyed a diverse career with various insurance companies, including Vice President at Balboa Insurance and Regional Manager for Travelers Insurance.

In the late 1970s Darrow started his own general contracting business utilizing his fine Italian woodworking skills. Darrow’s custom design finish carpentry and exquisite craftsmanship delighted his clients.

Restoring antique cars was Darrow’s primary hobby, and these included Ford Model A’s and Plymouths from the 1930s, and a 1955 Packard. His 1926 Chevy and elegant 1948 Lincoln won many awards in area car shows.

Darrow had a lifelong love of planes and became a pilot in the early 1980s. He often expressed his sentiments about feeling free and close to God when flying.

Darrow’s unique balance of strength and compassion, warmth and humor, charm and charisma, drew people to him. He lived life loving his family, and that love touched all those who knew him.
Darrow is survived by Mary Margaret, his wife of 64 years; sons Bob and Richard (Sharon); daughters Deborah (Dave) and Christine (Andy); and grandchildren Matthew, Joey, Olivia, Noah, Jameson, and Kelsey.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel on December 4 at 10:00 a.m., with a reception to follow in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Children’s Hospital Oakland by visiting www.chofoundation.org and selecting “Donate to Oakland,” or mail to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339 Attention: Children’s Hospital Oakland, or call (510) 428-3814.

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1 responses to Darrow R. De Carlo

  1. My dad has big, strong hands and a compassionate, kind heart. He likes to take my face into his hands, hold it still with a firm but soft grip, look at me, and smile. His eyes sparkle with a golden mix of joy, kindness, and love. When his open palms hold my face and infuse me with their warmth, I feel so cherished, so loved. During my dad’s 80th birthday celebration, he spontaneously gave me one of his trademark face hugs, and my husband snapped a picture at that exact moment. For the last 7 years, that framed photo has been on my dad’s desk next to his computer. Over the past 7 days, that picture has caught my eye each time I walk down the hall to my dad’s room. We are all taking turns sitting at his bedside. We always tease my dad about being like the Energizer Bunny. For 87 years, he has just kept going and going and going. Cancer did not change that, until the last 7 days. My dad is finally tired, weary and weak from this fight. It is time for rest. Evita, the hospice nurse, comes for her first visit. She tells my dad he needs to practice sleeping. He is not really wired for that, but his body needs to be still and quiet to accomplish all it has left to do. It is hard work for a body to shut down when it has spent a lifetime being fully powered up. My dad and Evita have a playful, yet deep, conversation. Even though he is sick, he is still my dad, so social and always so full of humor. He listens to her, and then he sleeps. Evita comes to look in on my dad a few days later, but he has taken a few steps closer to where he is going. He is not talking anymore. But it only took that one exchange and Evita knows my dad. She knows he is witty and charming, engaging and charismatic. She knows he is joyful, compassionate, and kind. She knows he is a loving man. Those things he still wears so well, even now. She knows how he has lived for each of these 87 years. That story is told there in his eyes. Evita comes to my sister and me and says it will not be long. My dad is on his way. Then Evita tells us we are exceptional. She says, “All I feel is love when I walk into your house. There is only love here. That is unusual. I see a lot of families, and there are only a few I can put up there,” and she gestures above her head. “You are one of those families. It is very rare.” I tell her that’s because of my dad. He is the exception. She tells us now is the time to ask for forgiveness, and to forgive. But then she catches herself and says, “But I can’t imagine what there could possibly be to forgive,” and she smiles. She knows. From one conversation with him, she knows there is nothing, nothing but love. She knows this is a man who has no unfinished business. There are no hurts to heal, no loose ends to tie up. There is no tension, no angst, no regret. There are no words to take back or words to be said. There is only love. That is how it has always been with my dad. Love, always. THAT is exceptional. I shared with a close friend that picture of my dad holding my face in his hands. She started to cry and said, “What a beautiful picture! What else could your dad feel right now but such ultimate contentment. Earthly job well done!” She could see in one snapshot all he was and all he had done. In one photo she saw his kind face, his joyful smile, his loving hands. She knew this man had done it well. In its simplest form, we are here to love God and to love one another, and that is what he did. He did it abundantly. He did it beautifully. He was all about love, always. He loved his wife, loved his children, loved his grandchildren. He was kind to his friends and compassionate to strangers. He gave us all joy. He was simply exceptional. Earthly job well done, Dad. I pray you are now celebrating with joy your heavenly reward. I will have to wait a while for my next face hug. But if I close my eyes I can remember how warm your hands felt on my cheeks and how kind your eyes were when you looked at me. There is still love, always.

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