June 28, 1932 - November 24, 2021
Arnold Pasquale Carrese, husband, father, educator, counselor and U.S. Army veteran succumbed to natural causes recently at 89. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Kathleen Mooney Carrese, who passed five years ago shortly after marking their 60th wedding anniversary. He was born to Pasquale and Assunta Marotta Carrese in Schenectady a year after they arrived from Italy with his older siblings Lou and Anne. From his father he inherited strength of character and a fearless streak. From his mother, it was faith, family, food and a furrowed brow. An eager learner as a child, Arnold taught himself to swim, ski, and play tennis in the city’s public parks, foreshadowing a lifelong trait. Arnold and Kathleen’s enchanted evening came in the early 1950’s at a Siena College-St. Peter’s School of Nursing dance. Once he had found her, he never let her go. He was undeterred when Kathleen, who had been told by a specialist she could not have children, turned down several marriage proposals. She finally said yes, and eleven years later he started musing about sending a photo of their eight kids to the physician in question. They chose well. Her quiet shores of patience, grace and goodwill calmed his roiling seas, grounding and guiding him in his endless endeavors. While she often joked that his head was full of Italian marble, she knew his full heart was what defined him. Family life got off to a hectic start. In the late 1950’s with two small children and one on the way, Arnold – without previous experience -- began building what became the longtime family home in Ballston Lake while teaching full-time and taking graduate courses. The drive and audacity that led him to tackle amateur home construction also explains the many other ambitious projects he launched as his supply of free labor grew. As a father, he was all-in. He constantly engaged with his children through a swirl of recreational and educational activities, with plenty of chores in the mix. A summer weekend for his six boys and two girls might include helping him with yard work and gardening, cutting firewood, and fixing tractors or toasters. To top it off, he’d organize a family picnic at a state park. In winter, with unwavering determination but wavering patience, you’d find him driving a 1972 VW Bus brimming with skis, kids and chaos to North Creek Ski Bowl. No matter how noisy the event, his children could always hear his enthusiastic whistle at their many school concerts, sports matches, and assemblies. A bachelor’s and two master’s degrees provided the foundation for a 33-year career as a middle school teacher and guidance counselor in Schenectady. He was a caring, creative advocate for students and families: making parents more comfortable by meeting at their church instead of school; rewording standard test questions to make them more accessible; making early morning calls to troubled students to encourage attendance, and offering a ride if needed. His dedication to students and the teaching profession spurred his involvement in the Schenectady Teacher’s Association. As lead negotiator in the 1967 contract talks, he fought for a landmark agreement that lifted pay and respect for teachers and later served as a model for other districts in New York State. In 1975, he again played a leadership role in a difficult negotiation that included a strike. His community service included being a board member of the Schenectady Boys & Girls Club, helping at-risk children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and serving in several Catholic parishes with Kathleen to teach religious education or support the food pantry. He also served his country. Inspired by his father and brother Lou – both combat veterans - he achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant while a battery commander at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma during the Korean War. His was an engine that ran hot and powered a remarkably energetic life, perhaps best captured in snapshots: tending his 100 tomato plants and canning the harvest; making wine in the cellar; sailing on Sacandaga Lake; handcrafting cradles and high chairs for grandchildren; skiing in the woods with his dog Rhett; teaching a grandchild to make pasta; running the Boston Marathon. Kathleen’s Alzheimer’s disease was his life’s Heartbreak Hill. But that long struggle also provided the opportunity for him to pause and devote himself entirely to her in her final years. Sitting with her each day in memory care, he marveled at her character and accomplishments, and at his good fortune. He was a concentrated flavor, infusing all situations with inescapable intensity. He took life seriously, and acted with intention in his many roles. He was a faithful steward of the timeless values he treasured -- among them fairness, honesty and serving the greater good. It was hard to resist the magnetic field of his moral and intellectual strength, inexhaustible energy, spirited pursuit of knowledge, enthusiasm for human achievement and expressive humor. It didn’t hurt that he was also a gifted cook and storyteller. He wryly suggested the epitaph “I may have overdone it.” His family would agree, and will remember him fondly when overdoing it ourselves, but perhaps more keenly when doing our part, doing our best, cherishing family and helping others. His final wish was to see Kathleen again. If, as he believed, heaven brought them together in the first place, their reunion is almost certainly underway by now. Arnold is survived by his children and their spouses, James (Jackie), Joe (Michele Beaulieu), Katy (Tom Merrell), John (Nora Cody), Mary (Carey Lambert), Patrick (Debbie), Michael (Patricia Coates) and Paul (Susan) as well as twenty grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and sisters-in-law Helen Carrese and Noriko Mooney. In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by his brother Lou and sister Anne Bucci. The family offers heartfelt thanks to Dr. Eric Roccario and the many other providers who cared for Arnold at St. Peter’s Hospital, and the wonderful staff of The Community Hospice, especially Amanda, Julie and Suzanne. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place December 2, 2021 at 11am at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville, preceded by a viewing from 10-10:45am, also at the church. The family requests that attendees be vaccinated and masked. Immediately following the Mass, burial services will be held at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Niskayuna.
Arnold Pasquale Carrese, husband, father, educator, counselor and U.S. Army veteran succumbed to natural causes recently at 89. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Kathleen Mooney Carrese, who passed five years ago shortly after marking their... View Obituary & Service Information
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