Category: Characters in the Castle
We Are Grateful
From Our Castle to Yours, Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!
The Tovrea Carraro Society Team at Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights
In Memory of Leo Anthony Carraro
U.S. Flag is flying over the Castle this week in memory of Leo Anthony Carraro.
In Memory of Leo Anthony Carraro, who passed from this life peacefully August 16, 2021, the U.S. Flag is flying over the Castle.
Leo was born on June 8, 1939 in Phoenix AZ, the grandson of Alessio Carraro, visionary developer of Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights. Leo Anthony’s father, also Leo, was instrumental in helping his father, Alessio, build the Castle in 1928. The Castle was originally meant to be a Boutique Hotel in the Sonoran Desert – welcoming guests from around the world.
He attended St. Mary’s elementary school and high school and was active in the high school band, excelling on the trumpet. Leo also completed 2 years at the U of A in Tucson before joining the Army in November, 1961. He was trained as a Construction Machine Operator and was on the Army Rifle Team, having been awarded several medals. He was Honorably Discharged in 1965.
Upon his return to Phoenix, he opened one of the first Slot Car centers at 12th Street and Northern. He was filmed by Candid Camera as he had a cat that would chase the cars racing on the track and chase them around the track and then pounce on them. The program aired in 1966.
Cat Chasing a Slot Car_Phoenix_AZ-1966
Leo married late in life and he and his wife Sonia loved to go to Las Vegas to enjoy the nightlife, gambling and the wonderful food buffets. An avid hunter and fisherman, he enjoyed many backpacking trips in the Sierras with his sister, Marie Carraro Cunningham. He also spent many hours with his friends in a metal detector club searching for objects of interest.
Leo was generous to a fault and had a kind and compassionate soul. Loved by many, he is already greatly missed.
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.
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
Happy Birthday, Leo Carraro!
Olivo “Leo” Silvio Carraro ~ It’s Your 106th Birthday! Thanks for all you did to make Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights a dream come true! You were just a boy when you started building the Castle with your dad, but worked harder than the rest of the men. But, you didn’t stop at the Castle. You made our Community a better place! Thank you! Tovrea Carraro Society
Happy 137th Birthday, Alessio Carraro.
You inspire us with your vision, ingenuity and creativity. Without you Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights would not be! Tovrea Carraro Society loves you!