OBITUARY

Assunta "Sunny" Carballeira

August 23, 1925January 20, 2019
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Beloved wife of the late Manuel. Loving mother Catherine Carballeira, Joseph (Katie) Carballeira, Andrew (Margaret) Carballeira and Lita Carballeira. Cherished grandmother of Andrew, James, Brooke, Christopher, Matthew, Rose, William, Joseph and Caroline. Adored great grandmother of Keelin, Nora, Eden and Harry. Dear sister of the late Ralph Rockicioli.

The family of Assunta will be receiving visitors at the Frederick Funeral Home, 192-15 Northern Blvd., Flushing NY 11358 on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 3:00pm to 8:00pm. Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated 10:45am St. Andrew Avellino RC Church, 35-60 158th Street, Flushing, NY 11358. Interment to follow Thursday, January 24, 2019 at Mt. St. Mary Cemetery, 172-00 Booth Memorial Avenue, Flushing, NY 11365.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.frederick-fh.com for the Carballeira family.

Assunta “Sunny Raye” Carballeira, Pianist who had First Daytime Television Show, dies at 93 Assunta “Sunny” Carballeira was born in Astoria to Italian parents on August 23, 1925. While Sunny was attending the High School of Music and Art, she sang in the Phil Spitalny Orchestra, the first “all girl traveling band.” She was a co-host of several radio shows on WOR and had the first daytime television show on CBS TV, which featured her interviewing artists and musicians and accompanying them on the piano. She graduated from Finch College at this time as well. Sunny could be heard frequently at the Café Pierre and the Hotel New Yorker, bringing “symphonic classical piano playing to bear on the greatest melodies of our time.” It was at the Café Pierre where she met her husband, a prominent Manhattan physician. They were married for 52 years, had four children, and shared a deep love of music and the arts. He was a house doctor at the Metropolitan Opera and personal physician to many musicians, singers and artists that Sunny befriended. She played piano and sang in her own TV series and was recorded on the Everest label and also on several CDs.

Sunny volunteered with Mayor Koch to create programs for children in the NYC public schools to develop awareness and pride in their Spanish heritage called the “sister cities” project together with the mayor of Madrid, holding many events in NYC and Spain.

She devoted herself to preserving piano music and old recordings by planning and promoting the International Piano Library’s benefit in NYC where 8 pianists, including Victor Borge, Guiomar Novaes, Claudio Arrau, Fernando Valenti and Alicia de Larrocha appeared on stage together playing Chopin’s Heroic Polonaise.

For her efforts, Sunny was awarded the prestigious “Lazo de Dama” medal by Queen Sofia of Spain for fostering Spanish culture.

Sunny was a member of the Board of Directors of the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, as well as a Board Member of the Amati at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a group which works to collect and preserve unique classical instruments. She also promoted Master Classes with Andres Segovia at the Met, bringing together prominent young guitarists with the maestro in a teaching format in a unique acoustical setting at the Met.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sunny's alma mater, the High School of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Please see below for details:

Alumni & Friends of LaGuardia 100 Amsterdam Avenue, Room 853 New York, NY 10023 Attn: Zoe Schneider

OR, Donate online at alumniandfriends.org

Please write "In Memory of Assunta Carballeira" in the memo line.

Services

  • Visiting Hours

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Thursday, January 24, 2019

  • Interment

    Thursday, January 24, 2019

Memories

Assunta "Sunny" Carballeira

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Sally Brown

January 28, 2019

To All of Sunny's family
Please know that Sunny had an admiring family far beyond her blood relatives. I write on behalf of a number of volunteers in the Musical Instruments Department at the Metropolitan Museum. Sunny understood and supported our efforts. In addition she became a personal friend of mine as she enthusiastically backed up my daughter's American-Spanish marriage. I was grateful whenever she was able to come to one of our meetings or just talk on the telephone. We will miss her greatly, but have her CD to remind us of her skill and loving heart. Fondly, Sally Brown

Jessica Harney (Clarke)

January 22, 2019

Dear Joe, Andy, Cathy, Lita, and family,
We are so sorry to hear about Sonny.
She was a true matriarch and her love of family, passion for living and artistry as a lifelong performer are so evident in all of these beautiful family photos.
She lived a full, exciting life and she will be greatly missed on this earth.
Much love and compassion to you all as you say your tearful goodbyes.
I have fond memories of childhood visits with my cousins at her home in Point Lookout.
With Sympathy,
Jessica (Clarke) and David Harney

Therese Guadagno

January 22, 2019

Sunny was such a loving, kind and generous person. I first met her through our dear Alicia and over the years came to know Manny and their beautiful family.
Sunny was a rare person who had a wonderful talent not only for bringing people together but for her music as well. I will always cherish her friendship and I send my heartfelt condolences to her
children and grandchildren and those who loved her.

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

Alicia Torra

January 22, 2019

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY