Carlo Albert Belella, 89, consummate family man and patriarch, passed away quietly on Tuesday July 13, 2021. He was surrounded by family. Carlo was known by all as a kind-hearted soul, especially when it came to his wife and family. Carlo was born in Montefiascone, Italy in 1932. He lived there with his late parents, Lorenzo and Gilda Belella, and his late sister, Clara Winkler of Lake Fairfax, VA. Carlo emigrated to the U.S. with his father in 1946 following WWII. His mother and sister joined them later. Learning English and school subjects at the same time, he excelled in school and graduated from high school in Mahaffey, PA in 1950. Carlo was a man of deep Christian faith, a proud service member and a fierce patriot. Among his proudest moments were when he, his parents and his sister became U.S. Citizens. Carlo enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and served 23 years. He missed it every day since he retired at the rank of Major in 1973. As an enlisted service member Carlo was stationed in Panama, Texas, Mississippi, Germany and Libya. Carlo returned to the U.S. in 1954 and was stationed at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA where he met and fell in love with his dream girl, Annette. Carlo and Annette were married in 1956 and shared countless adventures for the next 65 years. Together they provided a loving home for their children, Chris Fornwalt (and late husband Gary) of Hagerstown, MD, Larry Belella (and wife Joyce) of Waynesboro, PA, Rose Powell (and husband Jim) of Waynesboro, PA, Paul Belella (and wife Stephanie) of Hagerstown, MD, Carla Lemons (and husband Bill) of Frederick, MD and Angela Black (and husband Chad) of Waynesboro, PA. Carlo attended Officer’s Candidate School where he was a Distinguished Candidate and became a commissioned officer in the Air Force in 1958. He then was stationed—sometimes with family and sometimes alone—in Georgia, Labrador, Massachusetts and Naples, Italy. After returning to Mississippi for more schooling Carlo was stationed at the Alternate National Military Command Center, otherwise known as “Site R.” Carlo retired from Ft. Ritchie in Cascade, MD in 1973 and moved his family to Hagerstown. Carlo served in various roles at Pangborn Corporation until he retired as Manager of Customer Service and Quality Assurance in 1996. Carlo was an avid learner. He continued his education at University of Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and at Frostburg University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Carlo was a dedicated servant and volunteer, especially during his retirement. As the Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Improvement Commission in Smithsburg, MD he was instrumental in developing Veteran’s Park and upgrading Lions’ Club Park. Carlo was a HAM Radio enthusiast and worked as a volunteer with Washington County Emergency Services as a radio officer during events such as 9/11 and severe weather events. He also supported various events such as the JFK Ultramarathon and Bike races in the area. Carlo served as the Secretary of the of the Ravenwood/Robinwood Cottagers Association Board of Directors, and as a volunteer with the American Red Cross and with youth bowling leagues at Turner Lanes in Hagerstown. Carlo was an avid golfer in his younger years, and particularly enjoyed playing with his sons, sons-in-law, his late brother-in-law Jim Winkler and his gang of buddies in Hagerstown. His stories were legendary, and he always said for $5 he would listen to you tell him about your whole round! Carlo had a vast library of jokes and enjoyed making people laugh. He also had a way of making people feel instantly comfortable – unless you were dating one of his daughters! He was generous with both his time and his resources and supported various charities. Carlo was a longtime member of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Hagerstown. Carlo, or more appropriately “Non,” was a rock, a hero and an icon to his entire family. He is survived by Annette Belella, his wife of 65 years, his six children, 12 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and his faithful pooch Guido. Carlo also has treasured uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews in both the U.S. and in Italy. He was well and truly loved and will be greatly missed by all. A visitation will be held for family and friends from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 18th at J.L. Davis Funeral Home in Smithsburg, MD. Interment is planned for Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Carlo’s memory to Operation Heal Our Patriots-Samaritan’s Purse, or the Gary Sinise Foundation. Online condolences may be offered at www.jldavisfh.com.
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