Joseph Carrus, a resident of the Chautauqua County Home, is 98 years old today. He was born to Florence Hayes and Joseph Carrus Sr. in 1913. He had three sisters: Loretta Fields, Geraldine Steger and Marjorie Rohr.
Carrus has been a steelworker, a researcher and a published author and poet. Two of his poems have been put to music and are a part of the America Album recorded by Hilltop Records of Hollywood, Calif. Most of his poems have been about God, love, devotion, family and friends. On Oct. 8, 1978, he wrote a very interesting article about his trip to Bran Castle, the fictional home of Dracula, that was published in the Buffalo Courier Express.
In 1931, while he was a student at Holy Cross Seminary, he wrote his first poem and he has not stopped writing since. He stayed at the Seminary and studied with the Passionate Fathers for nine years. Carrus studied Latin, philosophy and Catholicism. Philosophy was always his favorite subject. He said that philosophy was the "science of all things." This time of his life with the passionate fathers molded his character and made him the honest, truthful, compassionate person, and the lifelong learner that he is today.
Joseph Carrus with his sisters, Loretta Fields (the tallest), Geraldine Steger and Marjorie Rohr (the smallest).
Carrus was always interested in local politics and he wrote many letters to the editor protesting what he considered unfair or unjust practices of local politicians which were affecting the lives of the citizens of Dunkirk. He served on the Dunkirk Board of Education for five years in the 1970s. Carrus studied law and represented many of his friends and neighbors in small claims court.
On June 23, 1945, he married Cecilia Chrabasz and together they raised four very wonderful children. They are: Darlene, Joseph III, John and Richard. Carrus is very grateful for this very happy time of his life and he is thankful to God for the 49 years he got so spend with his beloved Cecilia before she died in 1994.
Carrus is still a very active, intelligent man who is on the go from morning to night. You will not find him in his room until it is time to go to bed. After breakfast he goes around to visit all of his friends. He never met a person that he did not consider a friend. He takes part in all of the activities and field trips offered at the home. His favorite activity is to go around and greet all of the new residents and ask them if they would like to have a rosary. If they do, he will make sure that they receive one and he will take the time to teach them the proper way to recite it.
Carrus took piano lessons when he was in his 90s and he quite often can be found entertaining the residents in the main room.
"Joseph Carrus is an extraordinary man and I am very thankful and proud to be able to claim him as my Uncle Joe," said niece Florence Green of North Carolina.