George Miguel Carrari was born in Upland to two wonderful parents; Joe and Phyllis Carrari, on Oct. 20. 1957. George was named after his grandfathers, George and Miguel. It was the time of “Children should be seen and not heard,” but George never got that memo. It was a good thing too as George’s vocalization not only announced his ever rumbustious presence, but was the vessel for which he showed his dearest love. And an infinite supply of love did he give.
After the birth of his younger siblings; Ron, Linda, and Christina, the family lived in Alta Loma until 1963. The family then moved to Córdoba, the capital of Argentina. While living in Argentina, George learned to speak Spanish. After one year of trials and tribulations, the family moved back to the United States in 1964, where they landed in the beautiful and bountiful Napa Valley. George’s childhood was filled with the adventures and wisdom-teaching moments that young lads from stories encounter on their way to finding greatness. His grandfather and father taught him to live off of and appreciate the land for they had come from trying times and learned the munificent fruit that the combination of good soil and hard work could yield.
It was no surprise that when the family moved to Santa Maria in 1972 where George attended Righetti High School, that he found a home and comradery with the Righetti Future Farmers of America (FFA). In 1973 the family moved to Los Alamos. While other young men were working their summer jobs at ice cream stands and gas stations, George was getting his hands dirty raising hogs and showing them at the Santa Barbara County Fair. George discovered another corner in his heart working with livestock and youth that would grow into a magnitude that would rival the Grand Canyon.
An almost equal part to George’s love for others was his persistence and determination. Starting with his role as the mascot for the high school wrestling team in 1974 and 1975, he emulated the courage and stout vigilance of never missing a practice. His willingness to help and make his teammates better quickly qualified him as the “Rudy” of his era. George was voted Senior Class Associate Justice. He graduated in 1976. This hard work culminated in one of George’s proudest moments - his years in San Luis Obispo County Special Olympics. George competed and won medals in the bowling, softball throw and gymnastics.
George continued to move around during his life in Santa Barbara for several years before continuing to Atascadero and Paso Robles. George worked several honorable professions including the processing department at the recycling center and groundskeeper at Paso Robles Park. George even worked as a groundskeeper at the rest stop on Highway 101 north of Paso Robles, up toward San Miguel and on Highway 46 East Shandon (which many of you will surely know and may have happened to come upon once or twice). George also worked at Achievement House. In his early parts of life, many of George’s friends grew out of the infectious love he spread among those he worked with and people he came across. Those that he encountered will remember that he enjoyed his life and wanted to thank some of those that made this possible.
In June 2017 George returned to live in Los Alamos at Rancho Alamo with his father, Joe Carrari. As a dutiful and loving son, George wanted to help his father with the numerous and tiresome duties of running the ranch. George worked relentlessly to fix up the guest house on his father’s ranch, so he could move into his first home. As was George’s fashion and great gift, he made the work fun. The excitement and laughter as he glowed while driving the tractor would have made Ebenezer Scrooge weep with joy. His work gave him a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
George was so happy to finally be home. George loved spending time with is father and many friends. He enjoyed reminiscing about old times over a cup of coffee. George was eager to go to lunch at Collins Market in Los Alamos and visit with vendors and patrons alike. In many ways, he finally felt like he fulfilled his life’s journey and was returning to his roots. As his father had done for him, George was taking care of nurturing the fruits of the land and always with a full heart and smile. Whether he was looking after his dog Frankie or pulling weeds on the ranch, George was always smiling.
When George moved back to the ranch, he and his father were able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each other. They enjoyed going out to eat at good restaurants, while sharing stories from the past. One of George’s favorites places to eat was Patricio’s, in Old Orcutt. Pat Arnoldi, of Patricio’s, was very kind to George. He made George feel important and always took the time to listen and visit with him. One would often find George helping by bussing his table and helping the staff when Patricio’s was busy.
How big of a heart would someone have to help bus tables at a restaurant they were eating at because they wanted to help their local business? This concept is foreign to modern day norms in this self-absorbed society. It wasn’t like that in the old days of civilities and looking out for one’s neighbor. That was George – always looking out for his neighbor.
While living back at the ranch, George had been involved with various community projects such as working with the 4-H youth and the livestock projects at the Santa Barbara County Fair. This past summer during the Santa Barbara County Fair, the kids that George had been working with made it to the champion drive with their market hogs. He was so proud of the kids and the hard work they had put forth. George’s agricultural volunteerism continued, assisting with the Debbie Takiayama Jr. annual Pheasant Hunt and working with the Righetti High School (FFA).
In his “free time,” George was on the host committee for the California Governor’s Race Forum, held at Rancho Alamo. George beguiled the crowd with his presence by bartending at the event. He relished in this experience. It was a fulfilling summer that culminated in one of George’s highlights of 2017, which was being invited to join the Righetti (FFA) in the Los Alamos Old Day’s parade.
While home with his father, George flourished and participated in just about everything and anything he could. Joe encouraged George to be independent and active in the community. George enjoyed employment at VTC. He liked his supervisor and co-workers. He made many everlasting memories while on various outings in the community.
On Dec. 8 2017 VTC held its open house, to the public. George was excited to show off his place of work to his father. Joe was happy for George and proud of him and all of his accomplishments. George never wanted to miss a day of work. He always wanted to be on the go and was egger to help those in need.
George was most happy when he was executing the Golden Rule. He adapted his own outlook to life that in abstraction is easy, but in practice is terribly difficult. He adopted a motto of don’t look back, always look forward. This was how George lived his life and this is the gift that he leaves behind. In order to make this life great, we must serve others. To serve others with our greatest gifts we must reach our full potential. To reach our full potential, we must “not look back, always look forward.”
George passed away peacefully in his home in Los Alamos on Rancho Alamo. His gift to the world on that Christmas was to carry on his positive and loving spirit. Surviving is George’s father, Joe and his siblings Ron, Linda, Christina, his Aunt Marissa Lopez de Carrari, Aunt Charlotte Carrari, brother-in-law Peter Kopcrack Sr., numerous nieces, nephews and his loving dog and lifetime friend; Frankie.
The Rosary is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday Jan. 12, 2018 at Dudley Hoffman Mortuary in Santa Maria, California. The memorial service is a traditional Catholic mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13 at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Los Alamos, California followed by graveside services at the Los Alamo Cemetery District.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Righetti High School Future Farmers of America (FFA), VTC of Santa Maria, California or the Special Olympics.
George’s memory lives on and will never be forgotten.
To leave a condolence for the family visit www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com.