Carl Joseph Carrano passed away Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at Palomar Hospital in Poway,
California, at the age of 71. Even in his final illness, he turned to his Lord in prayer, surrounded
by his loving family.
Carl was born July 14, 1950 in Levittown, New York. He graduated from the University of
California at Santa Barbara and went on to earn his Doctorate in Chemistry from Texas A&M
University in 1976, where he met and married his wife Mary Watson. Carl’s career in academics
and research took the family to Berkeley (California), Burlington (Vermont), San Marcos
(Texas) and finally to the San Diego area. In 2003 he was named Chair of the Chemistry
Department at San Diego State University, where he continued as a professor even after he
retired as Chair, and worked tirelessly in his field up to his death.
Carl spent years researching and publishing prolifically in the field of inorganic biochemistry
and was a member of the American Chemical Society and an elected fellow of the Royal Society
of Chemistry. He was deeply passionate and committed to his work, and will be remembered as a
dedicated mentor by his many former students and colleagues.
As child in the 1950s, he was profoundly formed in an era of optimism and confidence in man’s
ability to improve his condition through science. He carried this deep enthusiasm for the natural
world, grounded in faith, throughout his life. He was unshakeable in his convictions, and quietly
dedicated to an understanding of the fundamental harmony between faith and reason.
Carl loved Europe and spent many months working and researching with friends and colleagues
in Germany, Italy and Scotland. He loved the ocean and sea travel and volunteered for a number
of years with the San Diego Maritime Museum, where he was a member of the sailing crew,
annually working past physical limitations to requalify for this privilege. Carl had a deep
compassion for the most vulnerable, including the unborn and animals, and many charities were
the beneficiaries of his quiet but abundant generosity. He was a member of the Knights of
Columbus and an active and faithful member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in
He was preceded in death in 1953 by his mother, Eleanor Rohr Carrano. He also was preceded in
death by his father LTC Con N. Carrano and his mother Lucille Marmon Carrano. He is survived
by his wife of forty-six years, Mary Carrano; his daughters Jessica Carrano Jansen, Julia
Carrano, and Eleanor Carrano; his grandchildren Gianmarco Alessandri and Emile, Xenia, and
Clothilde Jansen; and his younger siblings Michael J. Carrano, Eleanor Carrano Sweeney, and
John C. Carrano.
A funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Ramona,
California, on Monday, February 7 th . Interment will take place on February 12 at St. Mary’s
Catholic Cemetery in Fredericksburg, TX.
“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you
to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man,
may you have eternal rest.” (from the traditional liturgy of the Requiem Mass)
Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is assisting the family.
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