There will be a Mass of Christian Burial held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, Youngstown, with the Very Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Cariglio officiating, for Joseph “Pepper” Caruso who greeted his Lord and Savior on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Pepper spent his final days resting at his home peacefully surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren, sister and brother; as well as his nieces and nephews. 

Pepper was born October 10, 1936 in Youngstown, son of Joseph F. Caruso and Theresa (Rossi) Caruso. The name “Pepper” was given to him by his mother who listened to the popular daytime radio program series from the 30’s, “Pepper Young’s Family.”

He graduated from East High School in 1954 where he played sports and was involved in many extracurricular activities as he was a proud Golden Bear.

At the young age of 17 and eager to serve his country, Pepper enlisted into his beloved U.S. Marine Corps and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the following decorations for his service to our country; the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal before being honorably discharged. 

Pepper enjoyed a very successful career in the electrical sales industry, first working for Graybar, then Westinghouse and for more than 30 years with Pepco (Professional Electric Products Company) before retiring from Sacks Electric in 2005. Pepper enjoyed an outstanding relationship with all of his customers, many of whom became his best friends. Even after his retirement, he loved meeting with his lunch buddies in Akron.

Pepper was a lifelong member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica serving as a Eucharistic Minister, Usher and Member of the Vestibule Club.

He never missed the Memorial Day event at the Smoky Hollow Memorial where he performed the roll call of deceased men memorialized on the monument. Pepper was an active participant in the Marine Corp League Tri-State Detachment, in which he served as the Detachment Commandant and received the Distinguished Service Award. He faithfully participated annually in the Toys for Tots program, marched in many parades and participated in many funeral ceremonies of fellow Marines.

Pepper loved to exercise, working out daily nearly his entire life. He will be sadly missed by all of his morning workout friends from the Downtown YMCA, where we went faithfully each morning up until March of this year. Pepper loved the beach, sitting in the sun at home with his dog, Mushu, who never left his side. While he did not see his Browns win the Super Bowl, he knows they will someday.

Pepper will be remembered by his infectious smile and dedication to his family and friends.

Pepper leaves the love of his life, the former Barbara J. Santucci who he married on June 20, 1959 with whom he was preparing to celebrate 59 years of marriage. He also, leaves his daughter, Gia Taylor and her husband, Terence of Sellersburg, Indiana and his son, Joseph and wife, Rebecca, whom he and Barbara made their home with in Liberty Township; as well as, his seven adoring grandchildren, Kedron, Bryn, Lane, and T.J. Taylor, Adrianna, Elan and Isabella Caruso. Pepper also leaves his sister, Judy Daloise (Bill) Jenkins; brother, Ronnie Caruso; brothers-in-law, Don (Susan) Santucci and Ed Karabin, Jr. and his nephews, nieces, great-nieces and nephews from the Daloise, Caruso, Santucci and Karabin families.

Besides his parents, Pepper was preceded in death by his in-laws, Edward and Hilda Karabin and his brother-in-law, Frank Daloise who he deeply loved.

Family and friends may pay their respects on Friday, April 27, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman and again on Saturday morning, April 28 from 10:00 – 10:25 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, 343 Via Mt. Carmel, Youngstown prior to Mass.

Following the mass, there will be military honors performed by the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps League Tri-State Detachment in Pepper’s honor.

Christian burial will take place at Resurrection Cemetery, Austintown.

Family and friends may visit to sign the guest book and send condolences to the Caruso family

In lieu of flowers, material contributions may be made in Pepper’s name to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, 343 Via Mt. Carmel, Youngstown, OH 44505; Potential Development, 2405 Market Street, Youngstown, OH 44507 in honor of his grandson, T.J. Taylor or COMPASS Family and Community Services, 535 Marmion Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502, the not-for-profit organization where his son is President and CEO.

A television tribute will air Wednesday, April 25 at the following approximate times: 12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.