Thomas Joseph DeCarlo
May 18, 2023
IRONWOOD, Mich. - Thomas Joseph DeCarlo, 97, of Ironwood, passed away on May 12, 2023, with his son, Tom, by his side.
Thomas was born March 24, 1926, to Nicholas and Francis DeCarlo in Hurley, Wisconsin.
He attended and graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in 1947.
A proud U.S. Navy veteran (July 19, 1944 - June 14, 1946), Tom would tell anyone who would listen about a proud moment in his life, watching from his ship U.S.S. Thesis Bay C.V.E. 90, the signing of the Japanese surrendering Aug. 15, 1945, just a football field's distance away.
He returned to Hurley to graduate from high school as he promised his parents.
Then met and married the love of his life, Louise Champagne, on July 16, 1947.
He built and worked at Tom's Sheet Metal until 1991 when Jerry DeCarlo took over. Although frequently over the years, he could still be found helping fix old heating units even up to six months before his passing.
Tom was a very active member of the American Legion and all of the other veterans organizations locally, in the U.P., as well as state level and nationally. He was a proud veteran and one of the few left from the Greatest Generation.
Tom was very proud of his parachuting jumps even at 96 years old, as well as his 28 polar plunges for hospice, including three times in one year. He even went against the doctor's order after knee surgery to do the scaredy cat so that he could say he did it.
He was a valued member of Marty's Goldenaires Drum and Bugle Corps for many years - from carrying the banner and honoring the U.S. Navy song and sailors, to dancing the polka to "Roll Out the Barrel" with some lucky lady from the crowd!
He was instrumental in many of Marty's successful endeavors for many years. He was also instrumental in the Ironwood Blue Knights and American Legion Corps in the 50s through the 80s. He will be greatly missed by all, as you may remember him walking around "Dago Days" in Hurley with his oversized hat declaring his proud Italian heritage.
Tom earned many awards over the years, including the Veteran of the Year in 2016 and the Good Guy Award in 2021.
If you were lucky enough to try his Dago Red or his potent Grappa, you could count yourself as his friend.
He was predeceased by: his parents, Nicholas and Francis (Casanova); his first wife, Louise (Champagne) DeCarlo; his second wife, Marilyn; his son, Gerald "Jerry" DeCarlo; his siblings, Anne (Knute) Hammer, Joseph (Charlotte) DeCarlo and Theresa (Floyd) Peterson; daughter-in-law, Carol (Heinske) DeCarlo; and grandson, Rick DeCarlo.
He is survived by his sons, Thomas A. DeCarlo of Ironwood, and John "Jack" (Kyong Hui) of Newport News, Virginia; daughter-in-law, Lori (Buccanero) DeCarlo of Ironwood; grandkids, Candee Wiemeri (Aaron Jashinsky), Louise and Gregory Umfleet of Newport News, Gina DeCarlo (Jay Edyvean), Frances DeCarlo (Tim Williams) of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Amanda DeCarlo (Andrew Smithson) of Ironwood, and Jerika and Austin Macholl; great-grandkids, Janel and (L.J.) Pann, Jacquelyn, Devin, Thomas, Katee, Jakob, Alexandria, Hailey, Damian, Whittaker and Ezzie; great-great-grandkids, Kinsley and Jameson; many nieces and nephews; and Marilyn's children and grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, May 19, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church at 11 a.m. with a visitation to take place prior from 9 to 11 a.m. Burial will take place Thursday, May 25, at the Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood, at 10 a.m.
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home to honor the memory of Thomas. If you wish to express condolences, feel free to go to their website at mckevittpatrick.com.