Castle Loses Favored Son, Frank Carraro

Tovrea Carraro Society is saddened to announce the passing of one of the entrepreneurial Carraro Family, builders of the Jewel in the Sonoran Desert, Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights. Frank Carraro was born on September 23rd, 1937 to Leo and Lily Carraro, passing away on July 13th, 2021.

He was extremely proud of the Wedding Cake Castle located on 50th St and Van Buren in Phoenix, built by his visionary grandfather, Alessio Carraro and his father, Leo.  Beginning in 1928, Alessio and Leo built the iconic Castle on 277 acres outside the city limits.  Their dream was to open a boutique hotel and sell homesites to guests who had fallen in love with the Sonoran Desert and wanted to make Phoenix their home. 

Many years later, Frank continued the Carraro legacy at the Castle, volunteering regularly after his retirement.  His work on the Castle and the surrounding grounds gave him great pleasure.

Frank with daughers, Kim and Christine.

Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Frank was the oldest of three siblings– brother, Leo, and sister, Marie. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School and answered the call to serve his country in the US Navy right after graduation.  He was honorably discharged in 1965.

Frank worked for Sperry Flight Systems for many years and eventually started his own computer repair company. Not staying idle after retirement from that company, he started a mini storage company in Munds Park.

His favorite activities included participating in Jeep Jamborees, square dancing, camping, hunting and fishing. He participated in mission trips to Quito Ecuador, Guatemala, Russia, and Africa to build homes for those in need, at his own expense.

Using his Pilot’s license, he was a volunteer Sheriff for many years in Munds Park. He was such an integral part of that community, that the Pinewood Property Owner’s Association recently awarded a citizenship award to Frank for his involvement in their community.

Frank had many things to be proud of in life, but he was most proud of his family. He married his wife, Nancy, in 1964 and they had three daughters – Kim White (Randy), Christine (Gene) Head, and Michelle (Neville) Smith. Together they have 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.   

Frank’s legacy will live on in the lives of those who knew and loved him and now each time you see Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights you, too, can remember Frank Carraro!

Frank speaking at the Phoenix Mayor’s Castle Restoration Kick Off Luncheon, April 30, 2005