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Ward chief made mark in city politics

| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
OBIT, obits, Obituary: August J. Carlino, of Bloomfield, the longest acting ward chairman in the city of Pittsburgh. Carlino served as the 8th Ward Democratic Chairman since 1973. He died Sunday, April 21, 2013.

Like most Americans who learned of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Augie Carlino wanted to do his part, so he rushed down to the Army recruiting office.

“He was 12,” said his son, August R. Carlino of the North Side. “They kept sending him home.”

August J. Carlino of Bloomfield died on Sunday, April 21, 2013. He was 84.

Mr. Carlino served in the Army's 5th Division during the Korean War, but not in the thick of things as he had hoped.

“He was in Alaska ... on ski patrol,” his son said.

Afterward, Mr. Carlino worked in the family's stone cutting business — working on the statue of Christopher Columbus in Schenley Park and on numerous Downtown buildings – before becoming a construction engineer in the Allegheny County Department of Public Works.

Mr. Carlino was a longtime Democratic ward chairman in Pittsburgh, serving as the 8th Ward chairman since the early 1970s. He was a powerful force in city politics, said Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Tom Flaherty, who knew Mr. Carlino for 40 years, from Flaherty's first Pittsburgh City Council run in 1973.

“If you had the endorsement of Augie Carlino, others would fall in line,” Flaherty said.

Mr. Carlino earned respect from both sides of the political aisle.

“Augie was a very good county employee and a tough politician. ... When he gave you his word, he kept it,” said Larry Dunn, a former Republican Allegheny County commissioner.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat, said Mr. Carlino was a “great guy, fun to be around.”

The two men “just sort of clicked,” Doyle said. “We both had a love of Italian food. ... It was natural that we'd spend a lot of time together.”

Mr. Carlino was a retired national officer of the Sons of Columbus, a social organization based in Carnegie.

In addition to his son, August, Mr. Carlino is survived by his wife of 57 years, Amelia; a daughter, Angela P. Vrabel of Beechview; two brothers, John and Samuel Carlino, both of Bloomfield; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Carlino.

Friends will be received from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Winter Funeral Home, 4730 Friendship Ave., Bloomfield. A final viewing will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Maria Goretti Parish's Friendship campus.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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