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Asheville - Carl Calabrese, 91, of Asheville, died Thursday, September 19, 2013 at the Charles George VA Medical Center.
Born June 10, 1922 in Reading, PA, he was the son of the late Francesco Antonio Calabrese and Maria Segario Calabrese, both of Auletta, Italy. Carl was also preceded in death by his wife, Gracelyn Ruth Cole Calabrese, as well as several brothers and sisters.
Carl served in the US Army's 11th Airborne Division, 511th Parachute Infantry. Seriously injured in a parachute jump, he came to Asheville on a medical troop rail car to Moore General Hospital in Swannanoa. He said when they carried his stretcher from the train, he looked up at the mountains surrounding him and vowed he was never leaving this beautiful place, and he didn't. While hospitalized here, he met his beloved "Ruthie", fell in love at first sight and married her in less than three weeks. They were married 63 years and he lovingly cared for her for 10 years while she was seriously ill, until her death in 2010. He was the former president of Biltmore Truck and Brake Company as well as a dealer for White Motor Company.
He is survived by two daughters, Carla C. Taylor and her husband, Larry, of Asheville and Kathy C. Rector and her husband, Ron, of Asheville; three grandchildren, Stephanie Taylor Harris and her husband, Tim, of Asheville, Tara Rector Bradley of Hickory and Heath Rector of Candler; three great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Tristan Harris and Caleb Bradley; one sister, Concetta Calabrese Hagenbuch of Essex, MD as well as a very special neighbor, Wylie Smith of Asheville.
At Carl's request, burial will be private, however, it was his desire that all his family and friends remember him by loving and cherishing their families.
In lieu of flowers, the family graciously asks that you consider a memorial contribution in Carl's memory to
, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38015 (www.stjude.org) or to a
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and a memorial register is available online at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sept. 22, 2013