In Memoriam – Louise E. Trower Carlucci McCreight – April 5, 1928 – January 10, 2017

Louise Trower Carlucci McCreight on the day she married her third husband, Capt. Major Israel (Mike) McCreight in 1989.

Louise Trower Carlucci McCreight on the day she married her third husband, Capt. Major Israel (Mike) McCreight in 1989.

A purple ribbon is tied to the Whatley Park “wishing tree” that Louise Trower Carlucci McCreight’s sons planted in her honor last April. Below, near the base of a bronze plaque commemorating their mother is a small yellow Solo cup filled with purple daisies – a simple heartfelt memorial to the woman who lived nearby on Avoca Place for 67 years.

McCreight died “as a candle would go out with a snuff, very peacefully,” said her son Matt Carlucci Sr. of San Marco. With her death, she leaves behind a close, blended family comprised of her sons, Michael Trower Carlucci, and Matt Carlucci, Sr., as well as Matt’s wife Karen; her grandsons, Matt Carlucci Jr. and his wife, Lauren, and Joe Carlucci and his wife, Victoria; and her great-grandchildren Matt Carlucci III and his sister Lillyana Kate Carlucci.

“What I feel, besides sadness, is most of all gratefulness,” said Matt Carlucci Sr. as he gave her eulogy during her funeral at South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church Jan. 13. “Gratefulness that the Lord allowed my brother and me to have such a warm, devoted, wise and unconditionally loving mother.”

McCreight, who married three times, graduated from Andrew Jackson High School and worked at Florida National Bank, American Bank, and Graybar Electric. She lived in Lakewood after her marriage to Michael’s father, Milton Trower, who was unexpectedly killed when the Navy plane he was a passenger in crashed in a cow pasture on Fleming Island. Married only four years, McCreight then moved with her three-year-old son, Michael, to Avoca Place, purchasing the house with money from the life insurance policy Trower insisted they purchase “just in case.”

A few years later, “with her son Michael’s permission,” McCreight married her second husband, Joseph Carlucci, and helped him establish his State Farm agency in San Marco. Carlucci was later elected to the first consolidated Jacksonville City Council and eventually the Florida Senate. McCreight was widowed again when Carlucci suffered a massive heart attack in 1986.

After her second husband’s death, she was appointed as the statewide chairperson of fundraising for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and raised more than $100,000 for the cause. Four years later, she met and married retired Navy Capt. Major Israel (Mike) McCreight III, who predeceased her after 10 years of marriage.

McCreight’s greatest legacy was leading her family into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, said her younger son, Matt Carlucci Sr. An early adherent of the charismatic Christian Movement in Jacksonville, McCreight took it upon herself to counsel “hundreds” of young people, many of whom were “mixed up teenagers” toward accepting Jesus as their personal savior at Jacksonville’s first Christian coffee house, “The House of Maranatha” in the 1970s. “Leading people to Christ really lit her up in those years,” recalled Matt Carlucci Sr.

McCreight also helped organize the city’s first March for Jesus, which attracted more than 1,000 participants. As a longtime member of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, she was recognized with the annual Presbyterian Women’s Achievement Award.

It was McCreight’s last wish that, at her funeral, her son would read a letter she had left behind expressing of her love for Jesus and the depth of her faith. “I learned that He loved me enough to die for me and was concerned about everything, big and small, that concerned me,” McCreight wrote, and at the end of her missive, she signed off with these words, “The Father raised him up from the dead and now He lives everywhere and in everyone who asks him. Yes, He loved you enough to die for you… Who else do you know loves you enough to die for you? I pray you will ask Him in your heart today.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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