Carman was born in 1933 in Librizzi, Sicily. When he was small, his father came to the United States to make some money so his family could survive. Shortly after his father left Sicily World War II broke out, so Carman and his mother were separated from his father. Carman often hung out with the soldiers in their concrete constructed pill-box bomb shelters on the hillsides of north eastern Sicily during the war. In 1947 he and his mother came to the US; Carman was a shy 14-year-old and initially had a hard time in his new country. He went to greater Johnstown High School and graduated in 1956 and initially worked at Glosser Brothers and Victor Cadillac. Carman liked cars. That love led to meeting his wife and building a storied career. In 1957 he gave a young Anna Perri a ride home from a wedding. She was attracted to him and his 1956 Oldsmobile; this led to a whirlwind romance. Carman and Anna were married in 1958. Their romance lasted until his death. They were often caught holding hands, even into their older age.
In 1960 Carman started his own business selling gas. He soon discovered he was a true master salesman. Carman’s Wholesale grew from gas to selling automotive parts, to wheels and tires. Carman was always looking to make a deal and, for a while, Carmen’s Wholesale rivaled Walmart for a variety of things you could find and purchase there. He traveled throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio to find stuff to sell in his shop. This included everything from cowboy hats, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, perfume, and watches. Carman could always find a buyer and sold small sized men’s suits that were used by local funeral directors and very big shoes that were sold to the World-Wide Wrestling contestants that came through Johnstown (Carman was a fan). After the big box stores took away the joy and profitability of finding a deal, Carman turned his focus to produce. He and his friends enjoyed buying and selling fruits and vegetables, you could often find Carmen with 10 or 12 boxes of watermelon for sale in the back of his van. He was the “salad guy” at the Sons of Italy Sunday Spaghetti Dinners, and the “sausage sandwich guy” at the Oakland Firehall. As an immigrant, Carman was a diligent and persistent worker which helped build his business. He was also very generous with his time and helped many others whenever he saw someone that needed it.
In 2009 Carman’s Wholesale was destroyed by a fire that burned over 20,000 tires. He and his children, Sam and Maria, chose to build back better in the same location. He had a wonderful relationship with his suppliers who helped in making that possible. Even in his old age, Carman went to work every day; he was on his way to work when he had a clotting event. Even then, he instructed Maria to “take me to work.”
Carman never met a stranger; everyone was an old friend (he would even start card games on flights to Las Vegas). His family will always remember his giving spirit, and Sunday dinners that included fried dandelions from the yard, his homegrown vegetables from his garden, and a nice steak.
Carman is survived by his wife Anna, his oldest son Sam (Tammy), middle daughter Anna Scholes (Chris) of Twin Falls, ID, and youngest daughter Maria Wilson (Randy). He has four grandchildren: Annette (Michael) Washington DC, Elizabeth (Big Mike) Brooklyn, NY, and Camellia and Anthony Scholes. Has one great granddaughter, Violet Vincenzia, named after her maternal grandmothers. We are fortunate that they recently made the trip from New York, so he was able to meet his new great granddaughter.
For most of his life, Carman had a dog beside him. It is because of this love for dogs that we ask that you make a donation to the Humane Society of Cambria County, 743 Galleria Drive, Johnstown, PA 15904 or to the animal shelter that serves your community instead of sending flowers.
Carman was a lifelong member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish, formerly St. Anthony, where Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 10:00 AM, which will be presided over by Rev. George Gulash.
Friends will be received Friday, April 30, 2021 from 6:00-8:00 PM at Frank Duca Funeral Home, East Hills Chapel and Crematory, 404 Walters Avenue, Johnstown PA 15904. Carman will be entombed at St. Joseph Mausoleum.
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