Serafino John Carlevale of Westwood, formerly of Hyde Park, passed peacefully on August 11th at the age of 97. Devoted father of John V. Carlevale of Berea, Kentucky and Gregory C. Carlevale and his wilfe Maria of Dedham, MA. Cherished brother of the late Gilda A. Carlevale and Herman R. Carlevale. Visiting hours will be held Wednesday morning from 9-11AM at the Carroll-Thomas Funeral Home, 22 Oak Street, Hyde Park, MA followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Most Precious Blood Church, Hyde Park at 11. Interment at Westwood Cemetery. Serafino was a proud WWII Army Veteran. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your preferred charity.
Serafino John Carlevale—Sam to his friends—was the first in his immediate family born in the United States, his parents having emigrated from Italy. Despite his limited English and recent arrival, his father, a shoemaker by trade, served and fought abroad in the First World War for his newly adopted country.
In the Second World War, Sam served in 66th Infantry Division as a non-commissioned officer leading the 15 men of a heavy machine gun squad that saw action in northern France. Sailing on Christmas Eve 1944 to Cherbourg to join the Battle of the Bulge, he became close witness to the disastrous sinking of the troop ship SS Leopoldville, an anniversary which he quietly observed for the rest of his life.
After the war, on the strength of a diploma from Hyde Park High School, the experience of a returning veteran, and some personal charm, he was admitted to Harvard College, from which he graduated in three years as a member of Class of 1952, working the while to pay expenses not covered by the GI Bill.
In the years following, evening classes in contract and business law eventually led to a degree from Suffolk University School of Law and admission to the Massachusetts Bar in 1957.
During more than fifty years of independent private practice, he specialized in what he called “pick-and-shovel law,” advising many area families through the generations on their most important decisions. His clients could find him on evenings and on weekends, at his home office or around their kitchen tables, ready to answer their questions or to ease the concerns, in dialect Italian if necessary, of a family elder lacking the English to penetrate the legalese of a contract or trust.
A man for whom family was always primary, he was an unreasonably proud father of two sons for whom, among many other things, he did his best to pass on a scrupulous ethical sense which for him was innate, absolute, and unwavering.
Friend and colleague of Atty. Frank Colagiovanni with whom he traded many battle stories of a professional nature. Friend of David Menino who patiently listened to hours of political discourse spilled out over cups of coffee. With his lifelong friend Dominic Falco (also recently deceased at 98), he owned, bred, and raced dozens of thoroughbreds starting in the 1950s, always with a sportsman’s eye for the genuine, if unsung, contender.
Carroll-Thomas Funeral Home
Hyde Park 617-361-3216
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