IAFF LOCAL 249 Mourns the Loss of
President Emeritus Joe Carbenia
OAPFF Mourns the Loss of
Vice President Emeritus Joe Carbenia
Canton City Council
It is with deep regret and great sorrow that the OAPFF announces the death of Vice President Emeritus Joe Carbenia, who lost his battle with cancer on August 10, 2009.
“This is a very sad and profound loss for Brother Carbenia’s personal and OAPFF family. Joe was one of the best,” commented OAPFF President Mark Sanders. “We will do everything in our power to honor his service to our members, the labor community and the City of Canton. His passing is a loss for all active and retired Ohio Professional Fire Fighters.”
During his life, Carbenia held a variety of elected positions including both union and civil office. Carbenia began as a fire fighter in Canton. He was appointed OAPFF Trustee in 1982 where he served for 15 years until he took the position of Retiree VP, an office he held until 2006. Carbenia served as Local 249 President for 14 years and Secretary for 3 years. Throughout that time, he served 20 years as OAPFF work comp / pension representative, a position he held until his death.
“Joe was the consummate union man,” said OAPFF Third District VP Mike Taylor. “He was a leader by example, a pioneer through his deeds, a man deeply committed to his family, Ohio’s Professional Fire Fighters and his community. There was no one like him, he was my mentor and friend, it is difficult to imagine that anyone can replace him.”
Away from the OAPFF, Carbenia showed his dedication to his community by serving nearly 10 years as a Canton City Councilmember, being elected to 5 terms. He also served as the Vice President of the Canton AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. In recognition of his service and his position, Canton Mayor William Healy has ordered flags at all city buildings be flown at half staff.
Carbenia is survived by his wife of 47 years Clara and his family of 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and the immeasurable amount of fire fighters he helped and counseled throughout his years of service.
From Canton Repository
Committed family man. Strong supporter of unions. Devoted city councilman. And a tough guy with a big heart.
Friends and family say that sums up Joe Carbenia, the Ward 9 councilman who died late Monday night following a battle with prostate cancer. The former city firefighter was 70.
Carbenia narrowly won the Democratic primary in March, and despite health woes, was seeking re-election in November, said Auditor Richard A. Mallonn II, a close friend of Carbenia’s.
Carbenia had not attended a council meeting since June 8, and had been hospitalized for several weeks before he was moved to Aultman’s rehabilitation facility, said Gino Carbenia, one of the councilman’s children. Following prostate surgery, the elder Carbenia was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Carbenia’s health deteriorated and he was readmitted to Aultman Hospital, Gino Carbenia said.
Carbenia had served as the Ward 9 councilman since 2000. He was a city firefighter from September 1963 until January 1989. He made captain in 1979. He graduated from McKinley High School in 1956. Carbenia is survived by his wife of 47 years, Clara, and five children — Gino, Joey, Gary, Guy and Michele.
“He cared about Canton and the people who lived in this community,” Gary Carbenia said. “There’s a lot of people who gave up on Canton and moved out ... but he loved this city, he wanted to see it prosper, he wanted to see it rebuilt and back to where it was in its glory days.”