VFW Post Commander Tony Carnemolla dies


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.


Like this comment
Posted by Robert Sicks
a resident of Danville
on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Robert Sicks is a registered user.

Tony will be missed. He also did a lot to promote the downtown business district. Gopspeed Tony! Rest in Peace my friend.

Like this comment
Posted by Linda Schardt
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:42 am

Tony did everything in life with gusto. He always sang because his sole was happy - he truly loved life. He is honored by everyone I can think of, and loved by this entire Town, Valley and far beyond.
A great teacher of life - God Bless him, always. Linda

Like this comment
Posted by Doug Scott
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

I am sadden by Tony's passing. I worked with him putting on the car shows as a Town of Danville Maintenace Services employee. He will be missed.

Like this comment
Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 24, 2009 at 7:35 am

I, too, will miss Tony. I'm sure his wish was that we celebrate his life, as he did while living. We can be thankful he passed quickly, rather than slowly suffering.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark Curtis
a resident of Danville
on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:03 am

God Bless Tony. It was a real treat to get to to know him over the years. One of his greatest contributions was that so many children were involved in, or attended Veteran's events. That's important, because so often younger generations know little of the sacrifice that has been made to keep this nation free and strong. Tony, thank you for all you've done to educate the children and grandchildren of our communities about the critical role you and other Veterans played in the preservation of America. May you been in peace with God this Christmas.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve Mick
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:08 am

Tony was the heart of Danville and the lion of Alamo. He will indeed be missed.

Like this comment
Posted by Bobby Espinosa
a resident of Danville
on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:57 am

va con il dio il mio amico.

Like this comment
Posted by David Hartson
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:33 am

I have known the Carnemolla Family since 1977 when they moved from San Francisco to Danville to open Dad's Locksmith. Richard just called me to let me know about Tony's passing. I am dearly saddend. Tony was a person who liked people and stood up for the right and wrong things in life. As I have so much respect for Tony and the family, my best wishes to Tony to rest in piece and the best for the Carnemolla Family. I will miss him for the great person that he is.

David and Kumiko Hartson
Las Vegas, Nevada

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Posted by Gary Parsons
a resident of Danville
on Dec 24, 2009 at 11:22 am

Tony was one of the town leaders who lead by example. If he believed in something, he put all his energy into it. He will be deeply missed by all of his "extended family" in Danville and Alamo. Fortunately, Tony's legacy will live on through all of those he touched and influenced.

Is there any doubt that the new Veterans building in Danville shouldn't be named the "Tony Carnemolla Veterans Memorial" building??

Gary Parsons

Like this comment
Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Dear Dolores,

Tony lived just two doors down Lunada Lane from me and yet most contact had been a wave. Tony and I had some e-mail exchanges during 2008 incorporation campaigns and talked once about his opposition to any form of incorporation and my support for a well-defined, planned and budgeted incorporation proposal for voter consideration. Throughout the conversation, Tony was a gentleman listening to my position and its justifications. We shook hands at the end of our discussion and that was our first and last talk.

I sit here thinking of Tony as an example of how community works among people of opposing opinions. Certainly, Tony and I were little more than one moment’s acquaintance and quite different in our viewpoints. But there are moments in our lives where one good conversation lingers.

I wish Tony's family joyful memories.


Like this comment
Posted by John Reese
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Tony was "one of a kind" and extremely dedicated to the community and all veterans. In Danville... Tony was and is "Mr. V.F.W." and he made us all very proud with his very active involvement in everything he touched. He will be greatly missed personally and by the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary and family at this difficult time.

John Reese
Fellow Veteran

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Posted by Dylan Carnemolla
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:29 am

I am Tonys grandson and all these comments mean alot to the whole family. Tonys death was so sudden and unexpected and everyone is still in shock, i sit here just waiting to wake up from this nightmare but it is not happening. I love my grandpa so much and the best time i ever had with his was fishing up in alaska this past summer. There is nothing i would ever want more than just to get to talk with him one more time and tell him how much i love him. He is my hero and i will never forget everything he has taught me and his sence of humor. R.I.P. Poppie i love you

Like this comment
Posted by JWADS
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:10 am

Just when I thought 2009 could not get any worse than it had been,I get the phone call about Tony. I have known Tony since 1972 when I moved to Danville. We started together with our friend Dave Allen in 1995 The Danville Hot Summer Nights. Fished with Tony several years in Alaska. He will be forever in my heart and God bless Mary and the family. Jimmy Wads

Like this comment
Posted by Brenda Z
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:56 am

I will miss Tony's big, sincere smile every time I saw him! He was such an important force in Danville, and his many contributions still live on to remind us of how he made the world (especially Danville) a better place!
I'm guessing the coffee in heaven is just "THE BEST!"

Like this comment
Posted by Vic Conti
a resident of Danville
on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

Danville will miss Tony! Tony and I had our share of disagreements years ago about community events, but we both grew to respect each other and ultimately became friends. My condolences to his family. I will remember him each time I pass Dad's Locksmith, pass the Veteran's Hall, attend the car show or see the veteran's float at the front of the Fourth of July parade. Tony has left a big footprint and Danville has lost a passionate leader! Rest in peace, my friend.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark Unterbach
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:25 pm

There goes a guy who always had a great attitude and the time to talk to you. One of few peopel that reminded me of the old neighborhood where I grew up in New York. He just gave me that kind of feeling. Cared a great deal about the neighborhood (and how many times to you hear people use that "N" word lately?)

My heart goes out to his family. TRULY, a Good Man.

Like this comment
Posted by Walt Huber
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I worked with Tony earlier this year posting signs on Danville Blvd concerning the incorporation. He definitely was concerned with our "Neighborhood". Hopefully there is someone in our neighborhood who will take up where he has left off, to be as concerned about it and work with the issues as he did.

May Tony's family look back at all the great things he has done.

Walt Huber

Like this comment
Posted by Mitch and Penny Kennedy
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

We moved into our first home in 1995 as a young couple. Soon we learned what wonderful next door neighbor's we were very fortunate to have: Rich and Vicky Carnemolla, Tony's son and daughter-in-law, along with their son Dylan. Over the next 12 years we got to know Tony as the very wonderful father and grandfather of our great neighbors. Tony was a great person and loved member of the community. From the tasty crab feed to the ever growing Hot Summer Nights, Tony was an enthusiastic and engaging leader. Thank you to Tony for all that he has done to make Danville and the Tri-Valley area such a special place. Thank you to Tony's family for being such great friends and neighbors. We share in your loss and revel in a host of good memories.

Like this comment
Posted by Rich Carnemolla
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Tony, was my father and also my best friend and my hero. He taught me right from wrong and raised me with morales. I was very fortunate and very lucky to be able to work with my Dad for the past 31 years on a daily basis and got along as well as we did. He may be gone from this world, but he will never leave my heart. I love you forever Dad!

Like this comment
Posted by Vicky Carnemolla
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Tony was my father-in-law, my second Dad! I have worked with him for the past 20 years, in the same office almost everyday. We would talk and share many things with each other. He was a character at times and always made you smile and laugh. We would joke around about moving each other out in the hall way, but both of us knew the office would be too lonely without each other. I could not have asked for a better Family to be married to. Rich and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in October, and Tony and Mary threw us a wonderful surprise party with our friends and some family. Rich and I are so very grateful for the wonderful memories. There are too many memories to list them all. Tony/Dad you are deeply missed and I will love you always.

Like this comment
Posted by Stranger
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

Although I am miles away, I would like to ask why there are so many objectionable content printed at the end of wonderful comments?
Tony is gone, why would there be need to write anything objectionable? I receive Danville Express items via e-mail.

Like this comment
Posted by Dolores Fox Ciardelli, editor
a resident of Danville
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Dear Stranger,
"Report objectionable comment" is a link posted automatically with every comment so our readers can directly inform us when something objectionable is written in our Town Forum. People showed respect in this thread, thank goodness, and stuck to the subject but they do not always.

Thanks for reading.

Like this comment
Posted by Susan and Mike Monson
a resident of Danville
on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Tony was the dearest man and friend to us and our father. We will never forget his great kindness and affection, we will miss him deeply. God bless him and his family always in all-ways.

Like this comment
Posted by Terry and Dee
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm

We were shocked to read an e-mail from a friend that Tony had died unexpectedly. How could that be? The last time I saw him he was at the Danville Country Waffles with his Vet friends and he looked just fine...kidding with his great big impish smile! The Town of Danville will never be the same without him! It was fun working the car show with him! We love our Veterans and Tony was among the best! Thanks,Tony,for being such a good friend during all the years of our magazine! Our prayers go out to his wonderful wife, Mary and son Rich and all the family during this very sad time. We will miss him!

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