Obituary: Carmen A. Catania, 85

Carmen A. Catania passed away peacefully at home on February 29, (Leap Day) 2024. During his short time in hospice care, he was visited by many neighbors and friends.

Carmen was born in Milwaukee, WI, on February 19, 1939, the first child of Jacob J. and Hazel A. Catania. He is predeceased by his sister, Marianna Heinz, and is survived by his brothers, John (Beth) and Joseph (Peggy) Catania; his beloved sons, Mario (wife, Amy and son, Dylan) and Anthony (wife, Terri and children, Joshua, Niki, and Samuel). He also leaves behind his devoted wife Mary Lou, and stepdaughter, Melissa Joseph.

Carmen graduated from Whitewater City High School (1957), UW – Whitewater (1965 – BS), and VanderCook College (1967 – MMEd).

Carmen began his musical career as a US Navy musician trumpeter in 1957. After four years, he began his teaching profession in Germantown, Slinger and Onalaska, WI; La Crescent, MN, and UW Wausau, WI. Other activities included conducting several bands in the La Crosse area. His trumpet experience included classical performances (La Crosse Symphony), accompanying Motown groups and several community bands.

Carmen moved to Green Valley, Arizona in 2003, where he was extremely active in the musical community including two jazz bands, Green Valley Concert Band, Bavarian Band, and many small jazz ensembles for almost 15 years. As the former GV Concert Band Manager, he orchestrated the relocation of the band concerts to Sahuarita Auditorium. He loved conducting the Bavarian Band and was proud to serve as a docent at the San Xavier Mission.

He was an avid fisherman, golfer, jazz aficionado, and loved attending mass at Our Lady of the Valley. Carmen married his wife, Mary Lou, at Madera Canyon on December 3, 2006, and enjoyed visiting the desert landscapes and loved spending time in his home overlooking the golf course in Green Valley. His stroke several years ago robbed him of his high energy and enthusiasm for outdoor activities; however, he never lost his love for fine food and his love for all things Wisconsin including his Italian family, his Packers football team, and of course, delicious cheese.

No services have yet been scheduled as of this announcement.

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