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Alfonso Cariglino

Updated: May 14, 2023

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023 Alfonso Cariglino was reunited with his beloved parents who adored him as their first born son.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 16th at 10:30 am at the St Anthony Catholic Church (15 Indianola Rd, Des Moines) Visitation will be on Monday from 5 to 8 pm, with a Rosary to be recited at 7 pm and a Scripture service will begin at 7:30 pm, at Brooks Funeral Care (2135 SW 9th St., Des Moines) formerly the Tonini Funeral Home.


Alfonso was born in Cariati, Italy on January 20, 1938, to Raffaele and Mariangela Carlino. From a young age he took to a life serving the family as a provider and leader. Alfonso learned lifelong lessons that built his character from his father whom he was very loyal to and loved dearly. He spoke fondly of his childhood and simple upbringing in Italy. As times got hard he left his homeland for the first time to find work in Germany (Hagen, Stuttgart) post WWII alongside his father. Together they prospered working in a foundry forging iron and other laboring jobs. He took great pride knowing he was called upon to help support his mother and siblings back home in Cariati.


Years passed until the day a telegram arrived and sponsorship from a family member in the U.S had been granted. While getting his affairs in order Alfonso was informed that due to his age, he was required by Italian Law to serve the mandatory military service requirement before he could leave the country to join his family. Alfonso served his time in the Italian Army working as a prison guard at a military base in Orvieto, Italy before immigrating to the U.S where he joined his family on July 8, 1964, in Des Moines, Iowa where they had settled on the Southside of Des Moines along with many other Italian families from Calabria.

A few years later while employed at Broadlawns hospital he met the girl he would take as his wife Donis Cariglino (VanSickle). This led him to pursue an opportunity with the Des Moines Vocational training school and learn skills to become a tailor. He was very proud that this program paid him while he learned and soon began a career that he would enjoy and allow him to support and raise his own family.


Alfonso married the love of his life Donis Cariglino on July 3, 1967. Together they raised a family starting first with Angela and Christina followed by Raffaele and Michael. Just short of 56 years thereafter he kept things simple. They lived together in the same home on Pleasantview Drive for rest of his life. Work and family were very important to him. It was his pleasure to help people when they needed anything.


As a tailor he worked for several men’s clothing stores. Most notably and with the most respect for Bill Reichardt where he gained a reputation for not only being one of the best in town but certainly one with the most character. He valued the business relationship he had built with G&L clothing that would allow him to continue with work for many years to come at his tailor shop in his basement of the family home.


His passions were soccer, gardening and mushroom hunting in the fall. As a founding member of Des Moines’ first semi pro soccer team he traveled throughout the Midwest playing alongside his friends and teammates who shared his love of the game. He enjoyed spending time at his home watching Italian television programs via satellite and making phone calls to his beloved sister Francesca back in Italy weekly. If a soccer game was on TV he was watching it. If the weather was nice he was outside in the garden.


He loved all the family and the many friends he had made over the years, both old and new. His grand children were his “Joia Mia” he loved to feed them pastina and taralli and anything else he could so they would know of their Italian heritage. If you knew Alfonso you had a friend for life. With a glass of wine you would get a story….


Alfonso is survived by his wife Donis and their four children; Angela (Jeff)DeMarco, Christina(Joe)Velie, Raffaele(Ashley), and Michael. He also leaves behind his grandchildren; Thomas (Victoria), Ryan(Amanda), Zachary(Kelsey), Anthony, Caitlynn, Joseph, Caden, Giana, Siena, Julianna, and Matthew, along with 3 great grandchildren; Natasha, Chase and Lucas and one on the way, as well as his beloved nieces and nephews here in the States and back home in Italy and Germany.


Alfonso is also survived by 4 sisters; Francesca (Cataldo) Cosentino of Cariati, Italy, Roseangela (George) Houston, Josephine Fenu, and Carmela Rollins and brother Pasquale (Jody) Carlino. Alfonso was preceded in death by his parents, Raffaele and Mariangela (Russo) twin siblings lost in infancy Cataldo and Roseangela and toddler siblings Giuseppe and Cataldo. Brother-in -law, Guido Fenu. Although he made his home in Des Moines, his heart had always remained in Cariati, Italy. He loved to tell stories from his homeland.

Mass will be streamed live, and a recording will be available after the fact. Please go here to view: https://player.vimeo.com/video/826329233










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