Obituary of Carlos Joseph Astesana
June 27, 2018
Carlos Joseph Astesana passed away peacefully on June 20, 2018 in Grass Valley, CA. He had been battling Lewy Body Dementia for the last 2 ½ years while in residence at Spring Hill Manor.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church at 11:30 on Saturday, June 30, 2018 with a Scripture Rosary beginning at 11:00 a.m. Immediately following the Mass will be a reception in the adjoining hall. A Graveside Service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.
Carlos was born in Grass Valley, CA on September 10, 1935 to James and Alice Astesana. He was the youngest of three siblings. He attended Mount Saint Mary's Academy from kindergarten through high school, graduating in May 1953. After graduation he joined the Marine Corps in October of that same year serving for three years stationed at Camp Pendleton and Korea. In the fall of 1956, he returned to Grass Valley and to working in the grocery store that his father built, The Oaks Supermarket. While in the service, he reconnected with "the girl he fell in love with in her white May Queen dress", Bernadine Suchodolski, and rekindled their friendship. He would drive home along Highway 1 from San Diego to Grass Valley so they could take day trips to San Francisco. On one of these dates, at a picturesque bridge in the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park, he proposed. On February 24, 1957, they married and continued to work and eventually take on The Oaks full time with Carlos as butcher/owner.
In 1962, they eagerly awaited the birth of their son, David John, who was born and tragically died of health complications on April 20th. After such a devastating loss, they looked into adoption and were blessed with a phone call a week before Christmas, that there were three natural brothers, Gregory (20 mos), Dale (3 yrs), and James (4 ½ years), available. They quickly purchased beds, toys, and necessities and anxiously took the boys home. Two years later,
feeling the family was not quite complete, they returned to adopt a baby girl, Susan (6 weeks).
Carlos had always been dedicated to his Catholic faith and returned to school to participate in the first Diaconate program in the Sacramento Diocese, ordained after three years of study in 1980. During this time he had suffered heart health issues requiring a heart valve replacement, forcing him to sell the family business. In 1987, the procedure needed to be performed a second time. Selling the store allowed him to dedicate himself to the church and his ministry.
Family and church were always very important to Carlos, and he spent much of the next 40 years ministering which included baptisms, weddings and funerals. He also enjoyed taking care of his grandchildren and traveling with his beloved wife. He helped start the Interfaith Food Ministry, was a Knight of Columbus, and provided communion services every Sunday alternating between the North San Juan and Downieville Catholic Churches.
In 2014 he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a debilitating disease, which required full-time, around-the-clock care. In September 2015, he was moved to Spring Hill Manor where several of the staff were still there and remembered him fondly as "The Deac" from his frequent visits to see patients and his own mother years earlier. He received excellent and loving care from all of the staff members.
Carlos is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bernadine, daughter Susan (Jon) Carcerano, sons Greg Astesana, and Dale (Linda) Astesana, 15 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Alice, his sister Anna Rose Davy, his brother James Astesana II, and his sons David and James.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Interfaith Food Ministry or Mount Saint Mary's Academy.
Arrangement are under the direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.
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