Veteran valued work ethic, heritage, neighborhood
Carl Giampolo never missed a day during five decades of working construction, ushering at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium and caring for his wife in the last years of their 72-year marriage.
“His devotion to his children and my mother was incredible,” daughter Carol Giampolo Speck said. “He gave with all his heart and never looked back.”
Carl Giampolo, born in Oakland’s Panther Hollow neighborhood on Dec. 25, 1915, died peacefully Saturday, May 30, 2015. He was 99.
A decorated World War II veteran, Mr. Giampolo was a sergeant in the 3606th Quartermaster Truck Company of Gen. Mark Clark’s Fifth Army in Africa and in the liberation of Rome in June 1944.
When the war ended, Mr. Giampolo returned to Panther Hollow, where he worked for Dan DiNardo Construction Co. and then the City of Pittsburgh Public Works Department. Mr. Giampolo worked a second job for 55 years as an usher at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium.
Giampolo Speck said she doesn’t recall her father missing a day of work — or a single ball game — and he retired from the public works department with the maximum number of sick and vacation days unused.
“He carried that through to us,” she said. “My work ethic came from my father.”
As an usher stationed behind home plate at the ball parks, where the players’ families sat, Mr. Giampolo befriended them as well as some of the players, son Carlino Giampolo said.
“He was conscientious about his responsibilities,” Carlino Giampolo said.
Mr. Giampolo was interviewed for the Senator John Heinz History Center‘s Italian American Program, as well as for a PBS-TV special about Panther Hollow. Carlino Giampolo said his father helped him compile a history of the neighborhood, contributing hundreds of neighbors’ nicknames and women’s maiden names from his childhood. Mr. Giampolo’s keen memory was tied to his genuine attention to friends’ and neighbors’ lives, Carlino Giampolo said.
“He was interested in people,” he said. “He would always ask about you and remember what you had talked about before.”
Mr. Giampolo’s wife, Irma Scenna Giampolo, died in March 2014. Surviving are children Carlino Giampolo of Hawaii, Carol Giampolo Speck of Kennedy and Gary Giampolo of Oakland; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc. in Oakland. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Paul Cathedral.
Katherine Schaeffer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7832 or [email protected].