Carlo Durante

Sep 20, 1943 - Apr 10, 2020

Obituary

Carlo’s story as recorded by granddaughter Eva Eberhardt:

My grandfather, or Nonno, Carlo Durante, was born on September 20, 1943 in Taurasi, Italy. WWII destroyed most of my Nonno’s country and jobs were hard to come by. He worked on car repairs from the age of nine. In 1956 at the age of 12, he got a job working with the Alfa Romeo Company as an apprentice mechanic. America opened its doors to immigrants, so Carlo and his father decided to come to America for a brighter future. His aunt, who had already immigrated to Seattle, sponsored my Nonno and his father. They were looking for more opportunity and a better economy in the USA.

In 1961, my Nonno and his father boarded an ocean liner in Napoli, headed for New York. The two left their country not knowing a word of English and without a penny in their pockets. They traveled for one week in 2nd class. Once they arrived in New York, they boarded a train to Seattle. My Nonno was scared because no one spoke Italian, and everyone around him was a different nationality, who spoke languages he’d never heard. The train ride lasted three days and three nights. Neither of them could read the menu, so they did not order food the whole time. It was hard to get directions or communicate in this new world.

My Nonno’s aunt had a farm where he and his father could stay. He had applied for a job right away, but had no luck getting one because he didn’t speak English. My Nonno wanted to go home, he was very depressed and the economy was not doing well in Seattle at the time. A family friend suggested he start watching The JP Patches Show on channel 9 so he could pick up some English.

His aunt also owned a parking lot near Boeing Field. If a customer’s car broke down in the parking lot, my Nonno’s aunt would call him to come and fix the car. He would show up with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver and fix the cars. When he earned his first five dollars, he bought a pair of blue jeans. He secretly hoped more cars would break down so he could fix them.

Since my Nonno was unable to get a job, he started attending a special school in the Broadway area. It was a school for foreign people to help them learn English and get jobs. All nationalities of people attended his class and there was no interpreter for anyone. It was very scary and confusing. He could not afford to ride the bus to the school, so he would walk, even in the freezing cold weather.

In three months he was finally called in for a job interview at a foreign car repair shop. He knew how to fix the cars, but had a really hard time explaining to the customers what was wrong with the cars. My Nonno’s uncle would come and pick him up in the evenings and translate to the shop manager how my Nonno had fixed the cars and what was wrong with them.

He had started hanging out with American friends, which helped him speak better English over time. He was able to get a better job at a bigger car dealership, British Motors. It was better pay too, at $1.49 an hour. He made this wage for two years.

My Nonno’s father did not want him to get his driver’s license, but one day my Nonno’s boss took him to go and get it. He bought his first car for $50, a 1949 Ford. The car would only make it into town, and it couldn’t make it back. His friends started towing him back home. He soon saved enough money to get the car fixed so he could drive himself home every day.

After working for three years, he had saved enough money to take him and his father back to Italy. The rest of their family (three brothers, a sister, and a mother) had stayed back in Italy, and were excited to see their father and brother come home. But once my Nonno arrived, he realized he wanted to come back to America. He missed his friends and the job opportunities he’d had.

After a while he decided to move back to the U.S.A for good. In 1967 he got involved in racing Formula One and Formula B cars. In 1969 he and his best friend won the National Championship in Daytona. It was his boyhood dreams come true, America was his home now. He married and started a family. He came to own his own Alfa Romero car dealership in Tacoma. He was a master mechanic of Italian and exotic cars. He had a great passion for racing and he loved his friends from the Ferrari and Alfa Club.

He is survived by his two brothers (Lino & Petrino), and sister (Claudina). His three children (Teresa, John Carlo, & Jason), his five grandchildren (Dominic, Eva, Margret, Odessa and Shila), and his wife (Fadime) He will be truly missed by all who loved him.

His Celebration of Life has been postponed due to Covid-19 and will be held at a later date

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Panfilo
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Panfilo

Sorry for your loss. RIP carlo

Beverly DeSimone
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Beverly DeSimone

You will be forever in our hearts my friend…I will always see you and Fonz working on Bill’s car for a race…my kids miss you but know that you are with their Dad. Have some espresso with Fonz now. Rest In Peace. We will always love you and miss you.

Jim Shehan
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Jim Shehan

So sorry for your loss. What a great story of perseverance. All my best.

Lisa Gudmundson
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Lisa Gudmundson

He always had a smile on his face. My dad was so happy to spend last September with him in Italy. All our love to you.

Kevin Ramsey
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Kevin Ramsey

Love to you and your extensive family.

Gina Corsi-Christopher
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Gina Corsi-Christopher

We are so sorry for your loss. Carlo was a wonderful man. Our love & prayers are with the entire family.

Gina Corsi-Christopher
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Gina Corsi-Christopher

Gina Christopher

Otto
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Otto

Deepest Condolences,will be missed,but always in our heart and memories.

Mary Buchanan
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Mary Buchanan

Wow, never knew your dad had such an incredible past. I am so sorry that this has come in a time where gathering with loved ones for comfort is not an option. Love to all of you, he was an amazing man.

Heather Garvey-Cress
Guest
Heather Garvey-Cress

So very sorry for your families loss. Carlo was a great man and have some great memories.

Stan Harrison
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Stan Harrison

What an amazing obituary for an extraordinary man! You did a great job Eva to introduce me to your nonno. My thoughts and prayers are with Teresa, Joe, Dominic, Eva and the other family members as you transition to your life without him. I am sure that he was very proud of his legacy! His sweet memories will soon comfort you and fill the void. Love from your entire Big Picture School family!!

Pietro A
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Pietro A

He created a passion for cars in me since I was a little boy and that is a legacy the will be in me always, as I reflect on my time with Carlo.Our prayers and love are for all the family here and all over the world✝️. Carlo will truly be missed as he was always there for many people in heart and soul

Carmen Mazzarella
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Carmen Mazzarella

Carmen Mazzarella

Carmen Mazzarella
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Carmen Mazzarella

Carlo has amazing life story, he will be greatly missed

Michele Cordi
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Michele Cordi

You were a huge part of my
Life! I will miss you so much! Say hi
To dad! RIP

Francis G Mandarano
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Francis G Mandarano

Like my father and grand parents who also came from Italy in the turn of the century, Carlo’s story makes me proud to be Italian. In Carlo’s world he was a giant among men. Carlo was the “BEST” Italy has to offer. May he Rest In Peace.

Gary Reed
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Gary Reed

Our sincere condolences to Carlo’s family and friends. He was such a very kind and caring man with a great sense of humor. Will have so many wonderful memories of fun times spent with Carlo, which we cherish forever. We love you, Gary & Sue

Lisa Escobar
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Lisa Escobar

What a wonderful tribute to an obviously great man who was surrounded by love in his life and his passing. My heart goes out to Teresa, Joe, Dominic and Eva, along with the rest of his family.

Tim Ross
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Tim Ross

We are so sorry for your loss. Carlo was an exceptional man. He made a difference in my life. He will be missed and not forgotten. Our love & prayers are with your entire family during this time. Tim Ross

Daniel Ferraro
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Daniel Ferraro

Such a beautiful tribute and written so very well. I only had the pleasure of meeting him a handful of times but he was always such a pleasant man. I appreciated the information he provided me and his opinion on some Ferrari related projects. Rest in peace.

Fred Russell
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Fred Russell

Ever since the day I walked into Alfa of Tacoma in 1979, I could count on Carlo to tell me something interesting and make me happy. My passion, no sickness, for Alfa Romeo was reinforced by Carlo every time we spoke. His skills and passion for what he did was pure artistry. We have lost a great mechanic, wonderful story teller, and outstanding person.

Diane Schirmer
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Diane Schirmer

What an amazing life Carlo led! May he rest in peace. He was such a kind person and I have such fond memories of him.

Sue Emerson
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Sue Emerson

What a lovely tribute to Carlo, who had a long, happy and exciting life! He will be missed by so many whose lives he touched.

Will Diefenbach
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Will Diefenbach

We will miss you dearly, Carlo. I didn’t know the story of your arrival in the US and how hard you worked to achieve the success that you did. This adds to the huge respect I’ve always had for you as a person. Rest in peace.

Tony & Debi Schmid
Guest
Tony & Debi Schmid

We have known Carlo for 40 years, working closely with the Durante brothers on many special car projects. He introduced us to every Italian restaurant owned by a “cousin” or friend critiquing each recipe. Manga, manga forever our friend.

Leigh
Guest
Leigh

What a great story! Thank you for sharing, I’m so sorry for your loss tho – it’s rough. ❤️

Steve Sestrich
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Steve Sestrich

RIP Carlo. You were a distinguished member of our community, and a great and inspiring citizen of our country. You will be missed.

Morella
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Morella

Deepest condolences from Raffael e Sofia Morella

Brian Conlan
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Brian Conlan

Thank you Carlo for thanking such great care of my car over the years. You were a righteous mechanic on a level of your own. Every encounter with you was a joy that goes far beyond business. All the best to Lino and family.

Jeff Petty
Guest
Jeff Petty

Eva, you’ve written a beautiful tribute. I first knew ABOUT Carlo from the Alfa shop, as I have an old love of Italian cars and always wanted to own an Alfa. When in Tacoma I would ride by and sometimes walk in and ogle at the amazing cars there, but I never actually met Carlo or Lino. Then I got to know Carlo’s family through Teresa and Dominic and Eva and my work at Highline Big Picture, and a few years ago I got an old Alfetta coupe. Maybe a year and a half ago I drove it by the… Read more »

He will be missed and Rest In Peace.Condolances to
Guest
He will be missed and Rest In Peace.Condolances to

Tina and Jeff Vert

He will be missed and Rest In Peace.Condolances to
Guest
He will be missed and Rest In Peace.Condolances to

Jeff and Tina Vert

Mark Glenwood
Guest
Mark Glenwood

I did not have an opportunity to speak with Carlo often. The last 3-4 years I did find myself speaking to him much more. I will miss those phone calls. Great man, mentor, mechanic, father and Husband and friend. Carlo’s legacy will remain with those that called him friend, family or colleague.

Jim Fursman
Guest
Jim Fursman

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.

Marilyn Allen
Guest
Marilyn Allen

My heart goes out to you and your family. It sounds like you have wonderful memories to keep close to your heart. I now understand your pride in everything Italian and your heritage. What a wonderful story written by Eva! Take care. Marilyn Allen

Dan and Linda Jardine
Guest
Dan and Linda Jardine

Carlo is such a big part of our Alfa club memories. Ciao, my friend.

Anthony Cheng
Guest
Anthony Cheng

Dear Carlo, there are so much that I am going to miss about seeing and visiting you. It has been a true honor to be able to call you a friend for the past 30 years. Thank you for always being so kind to me and my family and I will always hold close to my heart of the weekend you visited me in New York City with Peter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durante family at this most difficult time. Rest In Peace, my dear friend.

Rita INGRAM
Guest
Rita INGRAM

Wes and Rita Ingram

Mel Terrana
Guest
Mel Terrana

Mel Terrrana

Albert Terrana
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Albert Terrana

Your family story bring back memories of Terrana’s first coming to USA. My introduction to Carlo was back in the 70’s hauling in my broken ’74 GTV to their Tacoma shop. Met some great people there. So helpful.

Bruce Patzmann
Guest
Bruce Patzmann

What a great story of his life. We will celebrate many times over how he touched our lives. Those many years of knowing a very kind and loving man have ended. The happy times when we solved the ills of the auto world drinking coffee. Oh, what fun. We will miss him and his family dearly.
We were very glad to have known him. RIP

Weiying "Sophie" Zhang
Guest
Weiying "Sophie" Zhang

Mourning Carlo,
With great sadness, I mourn our good friend Carlo, who is a very, very nice person. Since I came to Tacoma, Ted has introduced his best friend Carlo to me. We drink coffee together, have dinner together, he is so humorous and happy; his face is always full of smiles. The memories of the past and good memories are kept in my mind, and they appear in my tears. May Carlo be as happy in heaven!
Sophie

Gary and Patty Shaffer
Guest
Gary and Patty Shaffer

So sorry for your loss. We have great memories and he always had a solution for any car woes we had. He will be greatly missed.

Tim Vader
Guest
Tim Vader

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Carlo was truly a master mechanic, but more than that he was a really nice guy. Though he was always busy, he always seemed to have time to listen, or to tell a story, or to tell my kids about cars that happened to be in the shop when we came in. He was thoughtful, and gentle, and kind. I will forever miss his smile. May he rest in peace. My prayers are with him and all his family.

Stephen E Allison
Guest
Stephen E Allison

I got to know Carlo during the years I owned Alfa Romeo automobiles. Whenever I stopped by the shop with family and friends, Carlo would always give us a tour of the wonderful cars he was working on. After one such tour by Carlo, I remember one of my children remarking “what a nice man”. I think that about sums it up. He was a true gentleman and a superb mechanic, and always had a smile for everyone. I will miss him.

My deepest condolences to his family and many friends.

Cheri Causey
Guest
Cheri Causey

Forever in our hearts and family. We love you . Cheri and John Causey

Hal Patti and family
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Hal Patti and family

Sorry for your loss. He will be missed.

Tim Morris
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Tim Morris

Tim Morris
Will miss Carlo tremendously. He was a mentor to me in the work and in life and my time working at Alfa Tacoma a special memory.

Todd Lohse
Guest
Todd Lohse

Carlo was always such a great guy to talk to. He had so many great stories and a few jokes mixed in between. I always enjoyed chatting with him and swapping tales and asking questions. I think we were even, as he’d ask me as many questions about airplanes as I’d ask him about cars. He always made time to talk when I’d stop by the shop in Tacoma. He will be missed. He did a great job with his kids too.

Rest Well my friend.

Betty. Kelly
Guest
Betty. Kelly

I hope this gives the family comfort which is at John 5:28,29
Jesus promised the resurrection of everyone of life.

Bettykelly

Elizabeth Alvarez
Guest
Elizabeth Alvarez

Such a great & lovely man. I met Carlo when I moved to Tacoma in 1996 through my husband Joe, at the time. Carlo was a genuine, caring and gifted man. How I loved visiting him at his shop. We had many fun driving adventures with the Ferrari & Alfa clubs, my son J.J. practically grew up in Carlo’s shop & when our son was 1yr. old Carlo gave him a F1 Baby jumpsuit that he’d brought back from Italy. I will miss him, he was one of a kind. Carlo had a heart of gold, I never met a… Read more »

John
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John

I was so saddened to hear of Carlo’s passing. I met him years ago the same way many strangers did…by taking a car to his shop for some work. He was a genuine good guy and will be missed.

Betty. Kelly
Guest
Betty. Kelly

I give my condolences. to the family . I hope this give the family comfort, which is found at John 5:28,29 it speak of a resurrection , so we will see our love ones again.
Betty kelly