Carlos Bernardo Carmona Carrasco was born October 4, 1930 in San Miguel de Tucuman, situated at the base of the Andes Mountains in Northern Argentina, South America. With his father, Miguel Jose Carmona and his mother, Josefa Carrasco, Carlos grew up one of four brothers alongside his sister, into an exceptional family.
As a youth, Carlos felt a deep intuitive connection to God and the natural world. Early on, being of service became an integral part of his life and led him into the field of medicine. Carlos trained at Cordoba University and became a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology. His practice was based in Buenos Aires, where he delivered many babies, on occasion saving lives. At the early age of 24, he gained prominence as a highly skilled and respected surgeon.
Carlos lived and practiced medicine in Argentina during a time of unrest and upheaval. Despite a deep commitment to his medical practice and a sense of responsibility, Carlos decided to leave Argentina. In February 1965, he and Alfredo Scalise, a naval engineer and friend, departed their country astride BMW motorcycles. Carlos carried with him his most prized possession, his medical bag of German and Swiss surgical tools. What followed was a remarkable 18,000-mile journey through 15 countries. A beautiful leather-bound log book documenting their border crossings, decorated with warm wishes and elegant signatures of countless officials and friends they made along the way, remains to this day. Their arrival in Miami, Florida six months later was catalogued in newspapers along their entire route.
Carlos eventually arrived in Western Washington where he worked as a Junior Physician at Northwest Hospital in Seattle. He also taught Spanish at Western Washington University.
A chance meeting with an island resident, who befriended him, introduced Carlos to Orcas Island. When he arrived in the 1960s, life was very different than it is today. Carlos was accepted and welcomed into this small island community, his values supported and shared. His medical knowledge was called upon, as was his dexterity as a surgeon, when he doctored injured animals. Among the many places he resided, Carlos spent time on Dr. Barbour’s farm, where he provided hospice care for Mrs. Barbour, staying on afterwards to help her husband. Over the years, he lovingly cared for many other elderly residents, addressing their needs, including hospice.
In 1976 he met Susan Shannon. The two were married in 1977. Susan shared his call to service and they often worked side by side helping others. Carlos was befriended by both island doctors, Jerry Eisner and Stan Williams, and he assisted in the maintenance of the clinic.
The Doty family had a longstanding relationship with Carlos. It began when Dick and Velma owned Doty’s A-1 Restaurant and continued when their son and his wife owned and operated the Homegrown Market. Throughout the years and when Carlos’ health declined, Rick and Jeannie stood by him as caring friends, providing him with much needed support.
A good many islanders were generous to Carlos. He made countless friends. He had a warm and caring heart and he especially loved children. He was a consummate storyteller and laughed heartily at his own jokes. He was an island character who had an eye for beauty. He was a collector who loved old things and generously gave them away. He embodied a duality and contrariness that could be frustrating, as well as endearing. He remained ever the passionate man, firm in his convictions, vocal in his opinions. In a word, Carlos Carmona was a man of service, dedicated to the care and nurturance of others. On a deep level, he was a mystic. His passing leaves a hole in the fabric of this island community.
In his final six months, Carlos’ life was touched by LuLu McNett. Indeed an angel, she gave most generously of her time, gently and lovingly guiding him through the complexities of state funded health and home care services. Her attention and caregiving enabled Carlos to make a graceful and peaceful departure from this life.
Carlos passed away April 5, 2011 in Island Hospital, Anacortes, WA. He is predeceased by both of his parents, as well as his brother, Arturo Luis and a favorite nephew, Leonardo who died in 2009. He is survived by two brothers, Miguel Angel of Rosario, Argentina and Fernando Jose of San Miguel de Tucuman, his sister Isabel Cavallini and her husband, Dr. Lionel Cavallini of Plant City, Florida, in addition to nieces, nephews and extended family living in both locations.
A Celebration of the Life of Carlos Carmona will be held Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall in Eastsound, WA. We invite all of Carlos’ friends to join his sister, Isabel, her daughter and two grandchildren as we come together to remember her brother, our dear island friend.
Submitted by friends and family of Carlos Carrasco.