Carmelo Tasca

What do you say about a man who built his entire life around you? A man who has lovingly cared for you since before the world knew you.

A man who put himself second after his family. A man who would lay his life down in a moments notice for the greater good of those he loved. A man who believed in second chances, and that anything is possible with hard work and sacrifice. 

That man, Carmelo Tasca, a husband, father, nonno, brother, son, zio, and a dearly beloved friend of many, sadly departed from planet earth on Nov. 3, 2019. 

A dark day indeed, leaving us only the consoling gift that he no longer needed to suffer. He was free — onward to a better world but leaving our world dimmer because of his fading light.

There are no words to convey the loss of his passing. No accolades, accomplishments or deeds that can add any more value to his memory than the truth that he was simply a good soul, with a heart of gold.

Carmelo lived by the phrase “Be proud but never prideful.”

A simple man with a single focus, to make the world a safe, secure and better place for those he loved.

When you asked him his life’s greatest accomplishment, he always responded with, “my family.” His adoration of his wife, children, and grandchildren was incontestable. His eyes would light up at the mere mention of any of his kids or grandkids’ names.

A loving, caring husband to his wife Antonia (Tudisca), who he met and married in his hometown of Tusa, Sicily (Italy) in July of 1960.

Upon his marriage, Carmelo immigrated to New London, CT, for the second time. The first was at the age of 15 years old when he came over through Ellis Island with his mom, dad and two brothers.

Proud to be an American and for the opportunities the New Land would afford him, he began working, attending high school, soon dropping out and enrolled in barber school. It was as a barber he found his passion for serving and creating meaningful relationships with his clients and coworkers.

He worked hard and diligently to help the family and to work to pay for his older brother to attend college. He always said college was not for him, although he was wiser than many, he preferred to live by experience.

His parents eventually returned to Sicily. Still, he chose to stay behind with his brother Antonio because he said America was now his home and a place where he wanted to lay his roots and raise a family. Bringing his new bride to the USA and starting a family, his baby girl arrived in the winter of 1962.

Although the family had endearing deep friendships that were like “family” in New London, due to his intolerance of inclement weather, the family headed west for sunny California. They landed in Santa Barbara, where he lived for his entire lifetime.

It is in Santa Barbara, where, together with his wife,  a stable family life was created and nurtured. His son was born in 1969, and their joy was complete.

He continued to work as a barber, opening his first shop in Isla Vista, CA. Over the years, he built a solid business and made many friends. He always had time to lend his hand and advice to anyone who asked.

Carmelo is survived by his wife Antonia; his daughter Angela; his son Joey; his daughter-in-law Jenni; and son-in-law Walter; and his beloved grandchildren Claudio and Analiza Zungri, and Giulia, Sofia and Antonia Tasca.

He also left behind his brother Antonio Tasca, his many nieces, nephew, and cousins in Sicily.

His grandchildren Alesa and Gianluca, his brother Angelo Tasca, and his parents Giuseppe and Angela Tasca preceded him in death.

What greater achievement in this world is there than of having led a life where you are remembered and honored for the goodness, generosity and love you have given.

Salute to a life well lived and an eternity of glory.   

In celebration of his life, funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Serra Chapel, St. Barbara Old Mission Church, followed by graveside blessing at Calvary Cemetery in Santa Barbara. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to St, Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization fiercely admired by Carmelo Tasca.