The City of Revere is mourning the loss of one its most iconic public officials, Joseph C. “JC” DiCarlo, who passed away on Oct. 22 following a courageous battle against cancer. He was 84.
Mr. DiCarlo represented the City of Revere in the Mass. House of Representatives and the Massachusetts State Senate. He was a charismatic and popular figure beloved by residents throughout the district. He helped residents with issues and requests large and small. He wrote college recommendations for high school students. He sent congratulatory letters to residents for their personal achievements and supported local organizations with his dedicated participation and his presence at their events.
Mr. DiCarlo was known as a brilliant orator whose fiery speeches and campaign events often packed local facilities such as the Beachmont VFW Hall, the Italian American Club, and the Lodge of Elks. Current School Committee member and former school superintendent and teacher Carol Tye recalled Mr. DiCarlo’s academic excellence at the Immaculate Conception School and his unmatched skills as a debater. In a tribute to Mr. DiCarlo this week, Ms. Tye wrote, “Joe and I were on the debating team together at Immaculate Conception. Joe was a natural. He had unerring command of historical, philosophical topics and he presented with the confidence of a master. To the rest of us, he gave the encouragement that we needed to succeed. Joe went on to become the Archdiocese champion orator.”
Mr. DiCarlo shared 62 years of marriage with his wife, Joanne (Signore) DiCarlo. He was the proud father of three children, Steve DiCarlo, Attorney Denise DiCarlo, and Leanne DiCarlo Merullo.
His oldest child, Steven, is undeniably one of the greatest athletes to ever compete in a Revere uniform. From his earliest days in Revere Little League and Revere Youth Hockey, Steve DiCarlo’s abilities were highly regarded. McMackin Field was his stage and the pitcher’s mound was his first platform on the road to greatness. Steve was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics and after catching the eye of pro hockey scouts during his stellar career at prestigious Brown University, he was invited to the Boston Bruins tryout camp. Another key supporter in Steve’s rise to athletic prominence was his uncle, Peter DiCarlo, who coached him in local leagues.
“My father was at all my games in Little League, Youth Hockey, Revere High, everything,” said Steven, who works in the finance industry. “He was at my sisters’ dance recitals and plays at school. He was the best. He did everything for his family.”
Mr. DiCarlo’s daughter, Denise DiCarlo, is an attorney who is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School. Leanne Merullo is a homemaker.
Steve and Lynda DiCarlo’s children, Stephen DiCarlo Jr. and Lauran DiCarlo, and Leanne and Anthony Merullo’s children, Anthony Merullo III and John Merullo, carried on the DiCarlo family tradition of academic and athletic excellence with their individual successes in both high school and college. A Boston College graduate, Stephen Jr. also took his talents to the golf course, winning the Salem Country Club men’s championship at the age of 20.
Mr. DiCarlo was an exceptional athlete himself, competing in football at Immaculate Conception High School.
Mr. DiCarlo had a mix of magnetism and charisma that complemented his humble and gentlemanly manner.
“People were attracted to him – they loved him, they gravitated to them,” said Steve. “And he helped more people than any politician around. He helped the common-day person every single day.”
Mr. DiCarlo had a busy schedule on Beacon Hill, but he also worked at the family’s furniture store (DiCarlo Furniture started in 1921) with his father and brothers on Saturdays in the North End.
Mr. DiCarlo never missed a family get-together where his stories were always a big hit.
“We had family dinners at my grandparent’s house every Friday and Sunday and there were 18 of us,” recalled Steve.
Steve DiCarlo said the family was able to gather with their father in the final days of his life at his residence in Winthrop. “The family was around him,” said Steve.
Under regular circumstances, there would have been a massive city wide farewell to one of Revere’s greatest political figures and most revered residents. But due to COVID-19 guidelines, the DiCarlo family opted for a private Mass Monday at Immaculate Conception Church.
Mr. Joseph “JC” DiCarlo is in his final resting place at the Woodlawn Cemetery near his parents, Peter and Molly DiCarlo.
He will be remembered fondly by all.