Thursday, April 12, 2007
IALA Co-Founder August Gene Carloni Dies at 79
By TINA BAY, Staff Writer
A memorial service is scheduled for April 22 in honor of Italian American Lawyers Association cofounder August Gene Carloni, who died Monday at the age of 79.
His wife of 56 years, Irene Carloni, told the MetNews he passed away at Little Company of Mary Hospital after two years of declining health due to a series of taxing surgeries.
“He died a beautiful death with dignity in my arms—I couldn’t ask for a better gift,” Irene Carloni said, remembering her husband as one who was “full of doing good for others” and “very unassuming.”
“He just worked hard to take care of everybody else,” she remarked. “He was well-liked by everyone who ever met him.”
Diana J. Carloni, an attorney who practices probate law in Victorville, said she was following in the footsteps of her father, who specialized in probate during his 46 years as an attorney in Los Angeles.
“This was a man of such dignity and grace and such a sense of justice that I can only aspire to be like him, and my greatest prayer is that he sits on my shoulder through every one of my cases and that I may do him justice for every one of my clients,” she said.
IALA President Michael R. Diliberto remarked that Carloni, who was himself a prominent past president, “will be missed by all.”
Another past president of IALA, Claire Ambrosio, who had shared office space with Carloni since 2003, agreed:
“He was the last of a breed. He was incredibly professional, dignified, knew more about the law than most people will ever know in their lifetime, and it was an honor and a pleasure everyday to work with him.”
As a founding member of IALA—along with the late criminal defense lawyer Paul Caruso, the late Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mario Clinco, and attorneys Michael Angelo Pontrelli, Eugene Damiano and Carl “Tony” Capozzola—Carloni was “instrumental” in forming and sustaining the organization’s relationship with other bar associations and Italian organizations, Ambrosio remarked.
Recalling his warmth, she said that to commemorate the quincentenniary of Christopher Columbus’ new world discovery in 1992, Carloni for a period of time read snippets about the adventures of Columbus at every IALA meeting.
“That was just the kind of person he was,” she said, noting he was key in bringing IALA to its current home, Casa Italiana in Chinatown.
Born Nov. 9, 1927 in Cleveland Ohio, Carloni graduated from Kent State University before earning his law degree from Cleveland State University and joining the Ohio State Bar.
In 1957, he moved to California with his family and was admitted to this state’s bar in 1961. In addition to co-founding IAIA in 1977, Carloni is a past president of Federated Italo Americans and a past president and district governor for Unico National.
He is also a past member of National Italian American Federation and chaired the 500th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering America.
Carloni’s secretary since 1965, Bobbi Butler, said she could not imagine not working for her longtime boss.
“He was a wonderful man,” she said. “He was always doing for others, never wanted commendation for it. He was very good to me, like a second father at times. We worked together more than I worked for him.”
The April 22 “Celebration of Life” service will be held 2:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, located at 1039 N. Broadway in Los Angeles. A reception is scheduled to take place at Casa Italiana following the memorial.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be sent to Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation.
In addition to his wife and Diana Carloni, he is survived by daughter Laura Carloni of Buellton, son Michael Carloni of Ohio, and sister Anne McFadden of Ohio.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company