Charles Caruana, 93, pioneer builder of Great Neck Road

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Charles Caruana
Charles Caruana

Charles Caruana, 93, passed away peacefully Monday, March 27, 2017, surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his three brothers, Al, Lou and Angelo; and his wife of over 50 years, Olga, whom he always called his “darling.”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he enlisted and became a gunner’s mate on the USS Cabot. Involved in most of the major naval battles in the Pacific, he survived multiple kamikaze attacks, a terrible typhoon, and constant danger during 1944 to 1945. As a proud World War II veteran, he returned to Brooklyn, opened a grocery store with his brother Angelo, married, and started a family.

In the 1950s, he brought his family to Virginia Beach where his high-quality, family-friendly homes and innovative marketing such as “Build-A-Rama” earned him a reputation as “the pioneer builder of Great Neck Road.” Even while successfully managing as many as three job sites at once, he was a devoted and loving parent who always made it a point to come home for dinner with the family. Ever an entrepreneur, he was involved with other ventures in Virginia and Florida, mentored many who started businesses, and even in recent months, he was developing a new venture idea.

Throughout his life, he enriched the lives of others with his friendly manner, caring advice and focus on the positive aspects of life, whatever the circumstances.

Survivors include his daughters, Lorraine Albertson and Carol Montagnino; son, Gary Caruana; two sons-in-law, Robert and Gene; daughter-in-law;grandchildren and spouses Charlene (Eric), Michelle (Paul), Josh, Marni, Jason (Jessica), Angie (Richard) and Regina (Rob); and 16 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Great Neck Chapel. A graveside service with military honors will be held in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date for immediate family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choosing.

Condolences may be offered at hollomon-brown.com.