Carl J. Calnero, Jr., 86, of Rome, died peacefully surrounded by his children on Sunday October 4, 2015. He was born on December 18, 1928 in Rome, New York a son of Carl and Theresa Marchesino Calnero. He lived on First Street, attended Rome schools and was a graduate of Rome Free Academy, class of 1948.
Carl was a tall, rangy boy who at an early age excelled at many different sports from basketball and stoop ball to swimming races in the Mohawk River. Even as a boy Carl was indefatigable, a quality that continued to amaze those around him up until his last moments.
At Rome Free Academy, Carl was a varsity letterman in football and basketball and participated in track and baseball. His outstanding achievement led to an athletic scholarship to the University of Florida, which for a time took him far away from Rome. Always considered one of the area’s great athletes, Carl was inducted into the Rome Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
The warmth of his loving family and the demands of his father’s growing general contracting business drew him back to Rome. Returning home became an even more attractive prospect when he fell deeply in love with Esther Cacciatori. Carl and Esther married on August 16, 1952 and their loving marriage thrived for 59 years until her death on March 28, 2012.
Carl successfully grew Calnero Construction, Inc. and many buildings remain as a testament to his contribution to the community of Rome. Carl served as Chairman of both the Mason’s Union and the Laborer’s Union of the Welfare-Pension Trust Fund. His other professional affiliations included Mohawk Valley Builder’s Exchange, Syracuse Builder’s Exchange, and Associated General Contractor’s of America.
As the loving father of five children, Carl began a legacy of finding joy and creating laughter. He nurtured relationships with his treasured grandchildren and great-grandchildren and took great pride in all of their endeavors. Carl had an infectious smile and made good friends of all ages in every area of his life. He especially enjoyed visiting Sacramento, where his son’s neighbors and friends eagerly awaited Carl and Esther’s next visit.
Carl loved golf and ardently studied the mechanics of the swing. He immensely enjoyed the camaraderie of his friends on the links of Teugega Country Club and Rome Country Club. His other passions included gardening, the New York Mets, history, and music, especially the Great American Songbook.
Carl is survived by his beloved family; his five children and their spouses, Lynn and Chester DiBari of Rome, Wendy and Thomas Wojdyla of Ava, Lori and George Edel of Rome, Carl and Carol Calnero of Sacramento, CA, and Shari Calnero and Matthew Jackson of Albany; his cherished grandchildren and their spouses and fiancés, Kara (Wojdyla) and Bo Pritchard, Andi (DiBari) and Philip Lodico, Elizabeth (Wojdyla) and Dean Domenico, Morgan Edel and her fiancé Will Erokan, Jacob and Lori (Trophia) DiBari, Chester and Emily (Buttrey) DiBari, Mallory (Edel) and Brent Berman, Lauren Calnero, Mackenzie Edel and her love Mark Paine, Thomas Wojdyla and his fiancé Cara Maracchion, Julie Calnero, Theresa Calnero, Anthony Joseph Calnero and Stellan Calnero-Jackson; six great-grandchildren, Joseph Domenico, Michael Domenico, Esther Lodico, Theodore Lodico, Chester DiBari IV and Tucker Lodico; brother-in-law and sister Vincent and Marie DeIorio of White Plains, his aunt Elizabeth (Marchesino) Bovi of Ithaca; sister-in-law Katherine Cacciatori of Rome and many nieces and nephews very dear to him. He was predeceased by a much loved sister Gloria Tardugno in 2013.
The Calnero family will be forever grateful to the entire staff at Bethany Gardens for their endless kindness and compassion. The family would also like to extend love and appreciation to those many great lifetime friends of Carl and Esther’s who were always there when it counted.
A celebration of Carl’s life will be held Saturday morning at 11:00 at St. John the Baptist Church for a Mass of Christian Burial with the Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio as celebrant. Interment will be in St. John's Cemetery.
Carl’s relatives and friends may call on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Bottini Funeral Home, 120 W. Embargo St.
Contributions may be made in Carl’s memory to Bethany Gardens Activity Fund, 800 W. Chestnut St., Rome, NY 13440 and the Incredible Teddy Foundation, P.O. Box 3122, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Online tributes may be made at: www.bottinifuneral home.com.