Willow Glen Funeral Home

1039 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA


Irene Erminia Carbonaro

June 15, 1930October 26, 2019

On Saturday, October 26, 2019, Irene Erminia (Campi) Carbonaro, age 89, entered eternal rest in her Willow Glen home.

Irene’s passing was preceded by her parents Anselmo and Adelaide Campi, brothers Cam, Frank, and Jim, and sister Mary. Irene is survived by Joseph, her devoted husband of 67 years, and her children Daina, Mark, Judy (Tom), and Jane, her sister Virginia, grandson Erik, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A native San Josean (born in the family home on Bird Ave), Irene Campi first met Joe Carbonaro (from Palm St) at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High. At a time when “everyone knew everyone” in San Jose, they traveled in different circles; Irene found a home in the library, while Joe was tearing up the diamond en route to a professional baseball career. Their courtship began after both graduated from San Jose High School.

Irene became an RN whose career spanned four-decades, from her alma mater, O’Connor hospital to Valley Medical Center. She made an early decision to focus on the “emerging” field of neonatal care - for that very reason. It was new, challenging, and the focus of innovative research. Over her career, thousands of infants benefited from her knowledge and care. At the other end of life’s spectrum, along +161,000 other women, Irene was an early participant in the Women’s Health Initiative (www.whi.org).

Firmly grounded in her faith, Irene was a six-decade member of Saint Christopher’s parish from its inception, when services were in the “small hall,” (prior to the church’s physical construction). She volunteered as a nursing professional at the parish elementary school.

Irene was a voracious reader, who cultivated her children’s love of reading with forays to the Willow Glen library, (and by surrounding the family TV with encyclopedias). In mid-life, Irene developed such a passion for the tennis court, that as she aged, she headed to the gym to “pump iron,” in order to remain a competitive force at Willow St’s Bramhall Park and West Valley college.

Irene’s last six years were spent fighting dementia’s unforgiving, inexorable assault on her mind, body, and spirit. She was attended to, in her home, by her family, and a cadre of professional caregivers (who exemplified the best of their profession).

Visitation will be Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 5 to 8 pm at Willow Glen Funeral Home, 1039 Lincoln Ave, San Jose (enter at Lester Ave). Visitation will commence at 5pm, Rosary at 6pm, Shared Remembrances at 6:30 pm.

A funeral mass will be Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 10am at Saint Christopher’s Church, 2278 Booksin Ave, San Jose (at Curtner Ave). Committal will immediately follow at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St , Santa Clara (off Winchester Blvd, at Bellomy St).

The family would appreciate donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Sacred Heart Community Service, Second Harvest Food Bank.


  • Visitation Wednesday, November 13, 2019
  • Rosary Service Wednesday, November 13, 2019
  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Committal Service Thursday, November 14, 2019


Irene Erminia Carbonaro

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Nicole Moreno

November 11, 2019

My sincere condolences to the family.
I had the pleasure of working with Irene both at O'Connor Hospital and at Valley Med, She had been trained by my mother, the late Dorothy Sulli Moreno,(O'Connor School of Nursing, class of 1941).
She was pleasure to work with, funny and extremely well-organized. She will be missed by the nurses who had the pleasure of working with her.
Sincerely, Nicole Moreno

Mary Danze

November 10, 2019

Daina and family,
So very sad to hear of the loss of your Momma. Losing a parent is really tough, at any age, and fortunately you siblings will continue to support and love each other through this tough time.
Daina, I see the resemblance of you in your Momma and obviously her love for the library and education definitely had a strong impact on the incredible strength and mother she was as she provided unconditional parental awesomeness on to all her kids.
While this leaves a heartache no one can heal, your unconditional love and support leaves a memory no one can steal.
Love, love and hugs. Mary Danze & Family