Obituary for Anthony Ciaravino
OWLS HEAD, MAINE – Anthony Ciaravino, 95, died Friday, October 6, 2017, surrounded by the care and love of his nieces and the staff at Quarry Hill in Camden.
Born in New York City, September 8, 1922, he was the youngest of four children of Vincenzo and Camilla Mione Ciaravino. His parents emigrated from the fishing village of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy, during the early part of the past century via Ellis Island. They settled in the lower East Side of Manhattan where they met, married and raised two sons and two daughters. They cherished their United States Citizenship and strived to raise the station of their children above their own. Fulfilling their dream when they were able to move out of the tenements to a home of their own in Brooklyn. Mr. Ciaravino’s father worked as a long shoreman on the docks of New York and his children worked hard to make him proud. While caring for her family, his mother worked as a seamstress in the Seventh Avenue sweatshops of the garment district.
Anthony developed an early passion for science and engineering which he pursued at the Brooklyn Technical High School and then the Georgia Institute of Technology. His engineering studies at Georgia Tech were interrupted by World War II.
He served honorably and with pride thru the five campaigns in the European Theatre of Operations. He experienced ‘D’ Day in Normandy, where his landing craft was sunk within sight of Omaha Beach and he was reported ‘missing in action’. He successfully returned to France several days later and participated in the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe and the Rineland. With the First Army, he raced across Northern France and into Belgium. They crossed into Germany in September of 1944, suffered thru the ‘Battle of the Bulge’, where he held the hand of a nineteen year old comrade while he died. Anthony saw the bridge at Remagen collapse, saw the horrors of the concentration camps at Liepzig and tore a swastika off the wall of a Munich Beer Hall.
Soon after returning home he gained employment with the Vitro Corporation of America, Architect / Engineers located in New York City, with whom he stayed thirty-four years. Vitro was involved in the design and construction of chemical processing plants, atomic reactors and ‘one of a kind’ facilities for research and development. After an apprenticeship in the drafting room, he was recruited for field work. His first assignment was at the Hanford Atomic Energy Works at Richland, Washington. He adapted well to construction and during his career held the positions of field engineer, project engineer, project coordinator, project manager and construction manager. His assignments lasting from 12 to 24 months caused him to relocate 14 times. He was involved in the construction of several chemical processing plants as well as an atomic reactor in Washington State, test facilities for a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft in Georgia, a test range for the Air Force Armament Test Center in Florida, installed diesel engines at the Navy’s Tropospheric Scatter Facilities in Keflavek, Iceland, and for the Air Force’s Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) System. He operated power plants in Washington State, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Maine. He also monitored the testing of the fire control system for the Gleet Ballistic Missile System aboard nuclear-powered submarines.
He was a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Being tired, he took early retirement and joined his brother in Owls Head, Maine where he had a small house built on South Shore Drive. His passion for weeding the garden diminished rapidly and he soon again joined the work force. This time as the Architect’s Representative, sometimes called the Clerk of the Works on local construction projects. He was involved in the building of nine schools, a water treatment plant and the prison at Warren, Maine. As he approached age 80 he was often asked if this was his last project. He always answered ‘one more after the next’.
From an early age he enjoyed fishing and rode the subway to fish from the pier at Canassie Park or the Steeple Chase pier at Coney Island. He later fished the lakes in the Catskills. His work which took him to various parts of the country expanded his opportunities to pursue this pleasure. While working in the State of Washington, he learned to ride horses, which he did regularly. He would pack into the mountains on horseback chasing the rainbow trout in the higher lakes. He had less luck with the steel heads in the Columbia River. He often fished for the sword fish off of Acapulco, the bonefish in the Bahamas, the bass in the Florida Lakes and the bluefish off the coast of Maine … it is estimated that his fish cost him $500 a pound. To this he would reply ‘fishing is a state of mind’.
As a youth he built model airplanes, collected stamps, took and developed his own pictures and tinkered with mechanical and electrical gadgets. One of his early successes was a fully operational crystal set. He always enjoyed reading. Reading mostly autobiographies and histories, especially of World War II. However, in later life a good bit of his reading was for pleasure and consisted mostly of detective stories. He enjoyed poetry especially the works of Kipling and Service and if you were foolish enough to ask, he would recite for you “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”.
In his later years he took to writing something he called “I Ran With the Best” which we, until now, were not permitted to see.
For a while he was involved in the Big Brother Organization. He enjoyed the visits of the “young” Elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to his home with whom he said he exchanged food for salvation.
He did no harm and much good.
It is an art knowing when to leave.
A graveside service with Military Honors, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the Evergreen Cemetery, Cemetery Road, off North Shore Drive, Owls Head.