Carmelo "Carmen" Bucalo, 90, formerly of 20 Wescott Street, but more recently a resident of Chenango Valley Home, in Norwich, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City.
Carmen was born in Santa Teresa di Riva, Sicily, Italy, on July 1, 1928, and was one of six children. He migrated to the U.S. with his young family in 1958. Carmen was well-known as an artisan and master stone mason. While practicing his trade, Carmen also worked for nearly 40 years at what became Procter & Gamble. He retired from P&G as a maintenance manager in the late 1990s. As a skilled gardener, Carmen took great pride in working with the pharmacy's Community Garden in North Norwich near the P&G plant, which grew a variety of vegetables that were sold and all proceeds donated to charities. He was also a regular presence at the Norwich Farmer's Market where he sold produce he grew in his own garden. Carmen developed a breed of tomato plant called “Carmen's Tomatoes”, which can be purchased today from select seed mail order companies. His gardening legacy will live on at the Chenango Valley Home, where he was instrumental in the creation of gardening areas that not only produced plentiful varieties of vegetables for all the residents to enjoy, but also offered current and future residents an opportunity to get involved with the growing processes. He was also well known for his giant pumpkins weighing hundreds of pounds each. They have been a welcomed display at the Norwich Pumpkin Festivals over the years. Carmen is credited with having grown the largest giant pumpkin ever in Chenango County.
Carmen's care for nature also involved his breeding and selling canaries, which he started in Italy and carried over to the U.S. He was also fond of the outdoors and was a longtime outdoor sportsman. He enjoyed fishing and hunting wild game. Carmen was a communicant of the Church of St. Bartholomew.
On July 29, 1954, Carmen married his lifelong love, Teresa (Bucalo) Bucalo. Teresa died on July 5, 2013. Surviving Carmen are his sons, Paul (Sally) Bucalo, of Norwich, Rick Bucalo, of Poughkeepsie, NY, and Carmine Bucalo, of Mooresville, NC; granddaughters Christie (Allan) Gordon, of Fairport, NY, and Stephanie Bucalo, of Buffalo; and great-grandson Asher Gordon, of Fairport.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Carmen will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019, at the Church of St. Bartholomew where Rev. Ralph A. Bove, pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Paul's Cemetery. Friends are invited to call at the Wilson Funeral Home, in Norwich, on Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Contributions in Carmen's memory may be made to the St. Bartholomew's Capital Campaign Fund, 81 E. Main St., Norwich, NY 13815 or to the R.E.E.F. Fund, Chenango Valley Home, 24 Canasawacta St., Norwich, NY 13815. To leave the family a sympathy message, please visit: www.wilsonfh.com.