Carl left us on November 6, 2013. He joins our mother, Sonja, in heaven to resume a love affair that flourished for sixty years. Our father had a real zest for life and a boundless curiosity. When he was eighty-two he said, "I wish I could live another fifty years just to see what innovations the future will bring." His children, Juliane, Thomas, and Deborah Cortino, and his son-in-law Lawrence Ross, will miss his upbeat personality and his unwavering love and support. Carl was originally from Tampa, Florida where a host of cousins mourn his loss. Likewise our cousins in Bavaria will miss him deeply. Like so many of his generation, Carl felt compelled to join the service during World War II. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in Austria and Germany. He met his wife while stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1947. They married in 1950 and traveled the world. Our father had a generous heart and a compassionate spirit. He volunteered with the American Red Cross. He participated in distributing food and supplies to victims of flooding in Louisiana and fires in Montana. For many years, he was a volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with Howard Smalley and the many ladies who loved it when he came to the San Rafael, CA campus and brought chocolate. He regularly contributed his time to both Elim and St. John's Lutheran churches in Petaluma, CA where he made his home. A third-generation Italian, our father could be both charming and irascible. He was a descendant of Carlos Avalos, a duke who rode with Giuseppe Garibaldi to unite Sicily with Italy in the early 1860s. Like his forefather, Carl was fiercely independent and a survivor. He believed in self reliance. Yet he was there for anyone who needed a hand up. We our heartbroken to have lost our Dad. May he share a blessed eternity with our mother and help prepare a banquet for his children at the table of Our Lord when we arrive. A service to commemorate his life will be held at Elim Lutheran Church on November 30, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. The address is 504 Baker Street, Petaluma, Calif., 707-762-4081.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19, 2013