OBITUARY

Josephine Giddo Carbone

May 1, 1932June 12, 2021
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Carbone, Josephine Giddo (age 89).

On Saturday June 12, 2021 Josephine Giddo Carbone passed away peacefully at home in Silver Spring, MD.

She was the beloved wife of 48 years to Donald J. Carbone; loving mother of Karen Carbone; sweet grandmother and "Baba Jo" to Dallan Josephine and Kace Alexander; dear sister of Madeline Giddo Okano and twin sister of Rita Giddo Acker. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, extended family, many friends and friends whom she considered family.

Jo was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA and moved to DC to work for the Department of the Navy after she graduated from high school. She later worked for the FDA until her retirement. She loved to travel, garden, sing in her church choir and had a passion for animals. She was a sparkling smile, laughing eyes, welcoming arms and a comforting hug. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 18, 2021 from 10 :30AM until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30AM at St.John the Baptist Catholic Church, 12319 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD. Interment to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flower arrangements, please consider a plant/flower/growing thing to be included in a memorial garden at her home which she so lovingly shared for almost 50 years with her husband, family and many friends, or a potted plant that her grandchildren can nurture for years to come as she lovingly nurtured them.

Contributions may be made in her name to The Humane Rescue Alliance of DC by visiting www.humanerescuealliance.org.

Services

  • Visitation at Church

    Friday, June 18, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, June 18, 2021

  • Committal Prayers and Interment

    Friday, June 18, 2021

Memories

Josephine Giddo Carbone

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Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

“Our baby’s arrival was all the more exhilarating because our first child was stillborn. The loss of this son was probably one of my most devastating experiences and the feelings seem to have grown rather than lessened over time.“

This son, my brother, was laid to rest in the same cemetery where my father is and will be soon joined by his mother. Although I mourn the physical loss of the mother I was so blessed to have, I rejoice in imagining the exuberant joy of the heavenly reunion my dad, my mom and their first born child are enjoying.

On this day, June 18th, 55 years ago, a double wedding was held. Jo married Don and her twin sister Rita married Bob. Happiness abounded. There was music, dancing, rejoicing. Smiles, laughter, hugs, kisses. Lives joining together in love for all eternity. Til death do they part. Today 55 years later, there will again be happiness. Rejoicing. Smiles, hugs and laughter. The souls of two people are being joined once again. Through death they are parted no longer. So let any tears be happy tears, for Jo is now where she belongs, in the loving arms of God, of her husband and holding her son in her arms.

She was Sunshine. She was Light. And she should be celebrated with both. Shine on Mom…you will remain a bright beacon of Light, Life and Love to us all.

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

Although in her later years she fell into the harsh grasps of advancing dementia and needed the assistance of caregivers, my mom never lost her kind, sweet demeanor. If she ever felt frustrated or confused by something her caregivers were doing and she’d let a few four letter words slip out in anger she’d then quickly apologize to them and say she was sorry.

She would call each one of them “Honey” because she confided to me once with a wink and whisper “I can’t remember their names”. She would repeatedly tell them how beautiful their hairdos were and ask them “How long did it take you to braid your hair?” She would tell them time and time again about her and her sister’s adventures at “Fat Camp” - when the government made the most waif like kids from the school attend a summer camp in an attempt to put some meat on their bones. Another favorite topic was the story of how her father, when she and her twin sister Rita were born, looked into the crib, almost fainted and said “ TWO of them???”

Babies…. my mom loved babies. Once, shell collecting with me on the beach in North Carolina, she told me, “You know, I’m tired of waiting for a son-in-law, you can just give me grandkids”. So I did. And Mama Jo became Baba Jo. She loved her grandkids, Dallan and Kace, with such a full heart and they loved her right to the moon and back. I am grateful and blessed that she lived to feel their little new born fingers wrap around her own, see their bright wide eyes look at her with adoration and hear their little voices call her “Baba”.

In an essay she wrote for a women’s study group Jo shared, “One of my happiest events would have to be meeting and marrying my husband. Perhaps happier — certainly more elemental and basic in terms of being one with God and nature— was the birth of our daughter. Creating and bearing a child has to be one of woman’s most exciting, humbling, extravagant moments (one which I think no mere male can even imagine).”

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

of the cutest, most playful fox kits you’d ever seen.

She always had at least one cat in the house - quite often it was the neighbor’s cat who would just come through our pet door, hang out with my mom for a bit on the couch then return to his house across the street. Her last pair of kitties were rescued from St Thomas.

Recently, mom also had a few canine companions that brought out her animal whisperer side. A close friend of mine had been staying at my mom’s house for weeks, designing and heading up the remodel project to make it more accessible for mom. Although mom was always happy and pleasant she could never recall my friend’s name, but would greet her aging Bassett Hound with a “Good morning, Droopy!” Another friend came to do reiki on my mom. Mom didn’t say one word during the 40 minute session until my friend put her small therapy dog on the bed. My mom popped open her eyes and asked ”What’s this little cute one’s name?”. This past Memorial Day a friend and her rescue beagle came for the weekend. Murphy Dog curled up in bed with Mama Jo and slept all night with her, just as if that was his normal routine. The next morning my mom awoke with a new brightness in her eyes and greeted her caregiver with an alert, happy energy in her face. The power of puppies is real. Last Saturday, during her final moments, my mom’s cat was curled up with her, snuggled in with her sweetly and only got down to alert the caregiver that something was wrong. My mom certainly did have some kind of animal magnetism.

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

For her 75th birthday, my mom decided she was finally ready to take a huge step into the crazy progressive world and get a tattoo. One of her teenaged adopted grandchildren helped her design a smallish black cat for her ankle and off we road tripped to the tattoo convention in Philly where one of my close friends, a tattoo artist, had a booth. While roaming the noisy, rock concert -like convention center floor we witnessed dozens of people adding more ink to their already fully sleeved arms and legs and getting pierced in places on their bodies my mom was not aware that people could even get pierced. She sat down at my friend’s booth, propped up her leg and took a deep breath. “Are you scared about the pain?” my friend asked. “Nope” my mom said, “I’ve given birth”. “Are you sure you’re ready to do this? My mom was a bit nervous too” my friend reassured her. My mom looked around, gave my friend a polite, friendly smile and replied,” No, I just don’t think these people are my homies”. We retuned home - ink free.

She had a way with animals, and many a stray ended up in our home being nurtured by Mama Jo. She loved the menagerie of critters that passed through her backyard. She hand fed the squirrels, could name all the birds, left food for the deer and for a while had a raccoon that would knock on the back door and beg until she handed him a banana every night. She was our own version of Snow White, talking to the animals around her. One of her favorite stories was about a mama fox that she befriended. My mom could tell that the fox had recently had kits and she would toss peanuts and treats to her and make sure the backyard water bowls were clean and full. Mom would chitter-chat away with Mrs. Fox asking her where Mr. Fox was and if he was a good-for-nothing and had left her alone with the babies. One day she asked mama fox how her babies were and told her that she’d love to meet them. Sure enough, the fox went under our deck, and proudly came out followed by 5

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

See my father wasn’t the only one in the family with a proficiency for bad puns) And then there was the time she wore the Dolly Parton costume to the office Halloween party. I think she got a raise after that one.

Jo had a powerful sense of right and wrong and was very involved in social justice issues. In fact she and my dad met doing service work with their individual church groups. In 1963, while working for the Department of the Navy, Jo had a very southern Navy Captain for a boss. The March on Washington was happening the next day, the event at which Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and their offices would be closed. Fearing for her safety, her boss pulled her aside and told her, “Now tomorrow you stay at home, lock your apartment door and do not go out anywhere”. She straightened up her full 5’2” frame, looked him in the eye and said,” Sir, with all due respect I will be marching with Dr. King tomorrow.” And she did.

My parents both spent countless hours at home working on their large yard; pruning, weeding, planting and sprucing. One Saturday afternoon, a neighbor, also doing yard work shouted from across the street,” Hey Don, can I borrow some garden tools?” “Sure” my dad replied. “Thanks” said the neighbor “Where’s your hoe?” My mom started madly waving her arms and shouted, “Here I am!!” And you thought I got my interesting sense of humor from my dad!

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

Jo aimed to make people smile, make them feel special. She would leave me silly little notes in my school lunch box, hide handwritten jokes in my sleeping bag went I went to Girl Scout camp and leave Post-It love notes around the house for my father. Although the one I found that read “Don, please pay this overdue IRS bill…I don’t look good in orange!” may not count as a “love” note. She kept a calendar that was just for remembering the birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends and sent beautiful cards for all occasions. She hated to see anyone or anything sad or suffering and would try to share her inner joy with anyone who needed a lift She kept a box of granola bars in her car just to give to hungry panhandlers.

While many parents may not be too thrilled to hear their college student exclaim, “Guess what mom, I’m going to major in theatre!” both my mom and dad were always tremendously supportive of my studies and career choices. They drove the 10 hours out to Notre Dame to surprise me to see the shows I was in, no matter how big or small the role. To my even greater surprise they even brought the family cat along with them once! When I started performing singing telegrams, my mom was happy to design and create any costume I needed- clown, cowgirl, flapper, even Dolly Parton. She joked that “when else would she get to go out and buy a EEE sized bra”. She was a whiz with creative costumes and loved Halloween. In elementary school I won a few costume contests with her brilliant renditions of R2-D2, Kermit the Frog, and the half man/half woman. During her days with the FDA, she organized the office Halloween parties and won a few costume contests herself. Black pants, red and white striped shirt, boater hat and sunglasses? A Venetian Blind. Oversized white T-shirt with little hotel breakfast sized boxes of Cheerios, Frosted Flakes and Special -K with plastic knives stuck in them?? A Cereal Killer.

Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

For a while she also kept a photo of herself and Regis Philbin on her desk - my father was a classmate of his and they met up with him at a reunion. Her co-workers would do a double take as they passed by her desk. Jo would smile reminiscently and casually say
“Oh yeah, that’s from when Reg and I were dating”. And they believed her.

Her love of travel took her way beyond the Nation’s Capital. In her single days she took trips to Europe and Egypt, she and my dad honeymooned in Puerto Rico, and they both backpacked with me through England, Ireland and Scotland when I was in college. They took several cruises with family and friends to Alaska, Mexico and Greece. She and my dad had a love of the National Parks and tried to fill up their park passports the best they could. Trips to Florida, Ocean City and the Outer Banks filled their calendars. She sparked my love to travel and explore and urged me to do so as often as possible.
She was an amazing, loving, caring and supportive mother. She and my dad wanted to fill their big house with lots of children - instead of quantity she got quality ;) She was a mother figure to so many. She was a “room mother” for many of my grades in elementary school and an honorary team mom coming to all my track meets and hockey games in high school. Our house was not just a house but a second home to cousins, neighbors, my friends in high school and college. If we were scheduled to celebrate a holiday dinner at a relative’s house and she found out I had friends with no place to go, she would plan an earlier meal at our house for the same day just so everyone could have a home-cooked celebration with people who loved them. Need a place to crash for a week or a few months? Come to the Carbone’s. Need to bring a special dish to an event? Ask Jo to make her famous meatballs. Need a shoulder to cry on or vent to? Call my mom!



Karen Carbone

June 21, 2021

Shine on, Mom … June 18th, 2021

I could start with the basics…I could say that Josephine Marie Giddo Carbone was the youngest of six children, raised in a working class family in Wilkes Barre, PA. I could say that she loved gardening, bowling, singing in the choir. Or that she volunteered her time doing the church alter linens, spent her Friday midnights at church for adoration, had the most exquisite handwriting and that her favorite color was blue. But my mom was so much more than the basics. She was Sunshine. She was Light. She was a happy smile and bright colors! She was one of the easiest people to get along with. Funny, intelligent, patient and sweet. She was Feenie to her father, Joey to her siblings, Mama Jo to me and Jo Mama to my friends. It’s difficult to encapsulate 89 years of someone’s life into a brief monologue, but by sharing a few individual moments and special stories of Jo’s time with us, I hope to share what an amazing, positive breath of Light, Life and Love my mom was, still is and and will continue to be.

After graduating high school, she along with her twin sister and another girlfriend were recruited to come to the Big City of Washington, DC and begin their long lived secretarial careers. Jo worked with the Department of the Navy until I was born, then chose to be a stay at home mom until I went to college. It was then that my dad retired and my mom decided to go back to work. Hmmm…Coincidence?? ;)

She returned to the government at a job within the FDA where she received multiple awards and recognitions. She was treasured by her bosses and finally retired only when they did. Up to recently she could still write in shorthand - and would write our Christmas present lists in. She was a cheerful presence in her office and deliberately kept “the good candy” ie, chocolate, on her desk to keep her co-workers smiling and make for a positive workplace environment.

Florah Mnkande

June 17, 2021

Miss you Baba jo. Will miss your smile❤💐

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