Carl J. Torsilieri, the father of former longtime NSA President Guy Torsilieri, the chairman of the Far Hill Races in New Jersey and the current NSA board chairman, died peacefully yesterday at the age of 93.
He had a remarkable life full of accomplishments, but none that he considered nearly as important as his family. Married to Lois (Mindnich) for 56 years, they were high school sweethearts at Bernards High where Carl was voted best dressed and “Lo” best dancer.
Together they had four children, Carla Parkinson (married to David), Guy (Beverly), Marc (Susan) and Dean (Christine). There are 13 grandchildren: Jacie, Bart, August, George, Geneva, Liza, Piper, Carl Phoebe, Holly, Willow and Remy. Carl was preceded in death by his son Marc in 2007 and his beloved Lois in 2009.
Carl started Torsilieri, Inc., a landscape contracting firm in 1968, a business that all three of his sons eventually helped him grow into a large multifaceted company. Torsilieri, Inc., located in Gladstone, N.J., is known for cutting, transporting, and setting up and taking down the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a very specialized job that they have done for 38 years. In recent years, the company has also gained a reputation for moving and erecting large fine art pieces in New York City and other locales.
Carl drove himself to the office each day until just before he turned 90 and enjoyed picking up lunch and sharing it with his sons.
After serving on the Board of Education and Town Council, Carl served as Mayor of the borough of Far Hills, N.J., for four terms, from 1995 until 2010. He was widely respected for his fairness and clear thinking. Carl was a resident of Far Hills for 62 years.
An avid horse racing enthusiast, Carl and his partner, Orlando DiRienzo (Dee), owned many winning thoroughbreds starting in the 1970s. Guy joined the partnership in the 1990s. Together, they raced under the stable name Coppertree Farm at many tracks including Belmont, Saratoga, and Keeneland, as well as at steeplechase meets up and down the East Coast. Among their many impressive wins was an especially sweet hometown Grade 1 in the Breeder’s Cup Steeplechase with Quel Senor at Far Hills in 2001.
Carl was also a loyal New York Yankees baseball fan and rarely missed a televised game.
Said Carl’s daughter-in law and Guy’s wife, Beverly, “There is much else one could say about my father-in-law and I’m sure tributes will be coming from far and wide. I feel very fortunate to have known him and happy that he met and was admired by my family and friends. He charmed everyone with his wry smile and quiet sense of humor. Carl will be missed by so many. Rest in peace Paw ( I called him Paw) until we see you again.”