Westport native and longtime Westport firefighter Joseph Herbert Carusone died last week in his Walpole, Maine home. He was 88.
Herbie’s father owned the Mayfair Market grocery store, on the corner of Post Road West and Wilton Avenue. He worked there, and enjoyed fishing and crabbing in the nearby Saugatuck River.
Carusone graduated from Staples High School in 1951, though he missed the ceremony because he had already joined the Navy. His 4 years of service included deployment to the Mediterranean Sea on the USS Tidewater.
He sent some of his pay back home to help his parents, but kept enough money to buy US Savings Bonds.
After returning to Westport, Carusone joined his dad in the grocery store. He worked alongside his younger sister Pat, and his best friend Ray Bowne.
In 1964 he joined the Westport Fire Department. His grandfather had been a volunteer there too.
In his free time Carusone went fishing, clamming and lobstering in Long Island Sound. He also painted houses.
Carusone used his construction skills to build a house in Weston, acting as general contractor.
After retiring from the Westport Fire Department as a lieutenant in 1986, with 22 years of service, he sailed up the New England coast. Moving to Wiscasset, Maine, he became known by his first name, Joe.
In Maine he met Janis Breen Warsky. They were married in 1991.
Carusone frequented auctions to find diamonds in the rough, to refinish and sell in his shop, Wiscasset Cottage Antiques. Customers loved his workmanship, and he enjoyed sharing his treasures with them. He was in his shop through this past summer.
When he wasn’t there, Carusone caught stripers in the Sheepscot River, was an avid collector of antique household items, and renovated several houses.
Carusone particularly loved being with family and friends, having large family dinners, and chatting with his kids and grandkids. Recently he found joy in sitting on the patio with Jan, watching waves crash onto the rocks at Pemaquid Point.
Carusone was preceded in death by his sisters Naime Wakeman and Nona Aznar. He is survived by his wife, Janis Warsky-Carusone; his daughter Pamela and husband Garvin Gardner; sons Joseph (Maria) and Jeffrey; step-daughters Stephanie Smith (Nathan) and Kristen Warsky (partner Joshua); step-son Jordan Warsky (Kelly); sister Pat Stannard (Elmer); 9 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
His family thanks the many doctors and nurses who provided Carusone with exceptional care and love.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to MaineHealth Care at Home,15 Industrial Park Road, c/o Roy Garland, Saco, Maine 04072.
There will be a special days of remembrance in Connecticut and Maine this summer.