Tony Carnemolla, 74, an Alamo resident who owned Dad's Locksmith in Danville and was Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 75, died today in Danville.
"He had coffee with his buddies from the VFW this morning and after returning to his office, he had a heart attack and died," reported Mayor Mike Doyle. "He will be missed. He's done a lot for the veterans in this area."
Mr. Carnemolla, a veteran of the Korean War, was given an Award of Merit by the Town of Danville at its Community Service Awards on Dec. 1 for his work with veterans groups.
Councilwoman Karen Stepper presented him the award.
"I'm just grateful we were able to thank him for the multitude of activities he does for veterans in this community," said Stepper. "He was my close friend. I'd see him every day. I miss already."
Mr. Carnemolla had formerly been the bugler at the Sept. 11 Remembrance at Oak Hill Park, said Stepper, but this year he laid the honorary wreathe for all the veterans.
Stepper said that Mr. Carnemolla was the one who spearheaded the move to provide the veterans with an updated venue, which led to the current renovations being undertaken with the Veterans Memorial Building in Danville. He was president of the Veterans Memorial Building Development Committee of San Ramon Valley.
Also she noted, he was trustee of the Veterans Hall for a long time, and he was the one who presented certificates to active members of the Armed Forces at the Town's Welcome Home ceremonies. He was also the one who solicited donations for the VFW crab feed and would act as auctioneer. He helped with the Pearl Harbor Survivors ceremony every Dec. 7, and organized the annual VFW for the police and fire departments.
Mr. Carnemolla lived in Alamo with his wife Mary. Their 50th wedding anniversary was to be Jan. 10. They had six children.
Stepper reported that Mary Carnemolla said this afternoon, "Tony was the noisiest person to live with. Every morning he'd wake up and go singing down the hall. He was always singing."
Clark and Betty Bernard, family friends of 45 years, said the people who will miss him the most are his family and his grandchildren, that family was very important to him.
Mr. Carnemolla also was one of the founders 15 years ago of Hot Summers Nights, the car shows that draw thousands of enthusiasts to downtown Danville in July and August.
"Today Mary lost her husband, the family lost their family, friends lost a friend, and the community lost a great leaders," said David Miller, who is also active with veterans groups and Hot Summer Nights.
Mr. Carnemolla also was actively involved in the anti-incorporation movement in Alamo last year.
A vigil and rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29, at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 440 La Gonda Way. A Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 30, also at St. Isidore.
Interment will be private.