Sunday, June 26, 2011

Andrew W. Brown December 5, 1967 - December 6, 2010

Good afternoon – I am John DiCarlo with DiCarlo Precision Instrument and I was blessed to have Andrew as our first full time employee.

Do you know how in MS Word if you don't name a file it automatically grabs the first few words in the document uses that as default file name? Well the computer automatically named the Word Document I created for this talk “how to talk to dogs.docx” that was because when I began to think about this eulogy, the first thing that came to my mind and that I typed in an email to myself were the words “how to talk to dogs” because Andrew taught me how to talk to my dog. The first time he met my dog Pepper she ran right up to him and he held her by the face, stroked her and talked to her like you might talk to a little baby…”hi little girl, you’re a good little dog aren’t you, good girl, good girl”, and so on…

Another thing that Andrew tried to teach me was how men should treat their wives – I didn’t learn enough of that lesson to change the way I treated my wife, just enough to make me feel guilty. Andrew definitely knew how to treat Dixie…

Over the years, we had a lot of people think that Andrew was related to us since he was so important to the business and because he was with us almost from the beginning. Sometimes people would ask for Andrew DiCarlo but the best one I thought, was when he got mail addressed to Angelo DiCarlo!

When our family moved to Salisbury and started our business in 1988 God provided what we needed right from the start with our part time bookkeeper Heidi Gore first and then with Andrew.

When Andrew came to us, he was a very serious 22 year old that was eager to get a job that didn’t involve throwing pizza dough or working till closing on nights and weekends at Tony’s pizza. After his initial interview, I considered a while if he had, what it would take to handle all aspects of running the store for us when I had to be away. He was polite and showed a lot of interest in the job and he was after all Pat and Brownies son so I figured he would be a good investment.

Right away Andrew got off to a good start. He made me coffee each morning and delivered a large mug full always loaded with sugar right to my desk. I started training him on different products and he was very anxious to learn. When I was too busy to do training, he made himself busy by dusting the inventory on the shelves with a feather duster and running the vacuum and he seemed to enjoy it which is why Nancy nicknamed him Hazel; of course only those of us over age 50 would get that so I’m not sure if Andrew ever did.

Andrews’s dedication to our company, our family, and our customers was evident from the beginning. He exuded confidence and nothing was too much trouble or too hard for him to do. He had become after all his alternate persona “the mighty Drewman” Just as any super hero he would do whatever needed to be done. When he came in at 8:00, he would announce with his arms up in the air “no fear, the mighty Drewman has arrived” and so the days would begin.

I was going to hang an additional sign on our building on North Salisbury Blvd way back in the early 90's. I was debating what to put on the sign so I said to Andrew "Andrew, what would you like to see on that sign?" Without hesitation and with complete seriousness he replied "DiCarlo & Brown!" Great answer!

He called me “boss” all the time. He would say, Can I help you with that boss? Would you like me to do that boss? And after giving him an instruction, the famous “consider it done boss” with a vertical snap of the finger.

He learned early on that our goal was to help our customers solve problems and be more profitable any way we could…and he embodied that goal. No matter what kind of day he was having personally, he always displayed an upbeat, can-do attitude to the customer. He never hesitated to do anything that would help a customer get back to work sooner so they could make some money. I often said, “Andrew is going to make customers happy if takes every last nickel I have.” He understood the goal.

With Andrew, what you saw is what you got. He was a straight talker. He was a loyal person – and he appreciated loyalty. The more you trusted him the more he would do to please you. Like all of us, he didn’t mind making money but his satisfaction came from doing his job right and helping to make other people’s job easier. I’d like to clear up one myth, he wasn’t always right as he might have us believe, but he was right most of the time and he always, had our customer’s best interest and ours at heart.

Andrew hated to waste time – especially meetings. To him they were a complete waste of time, when he could be getting "real work" done to help the company by selling something. Even if I could convince him to come to a meeting he would get up after 10 minutes and say “you don’t need me anymore right?” as he exited the door. After all, Drew had "real work" to do.

On the phone, the moment he got what he needed or he gave us what we needed, he found no need for complicated traditional pleasantries like saying thanks or good-bye. He just hung up the phone and left me politely saying “thanks my man” or “good bye” to an empty phone line. Lately, I started to try to beat him to the punch by hanging up on him first when we got close to the end of a conversation. You would think that winning the hang-up-the-phone-first race would give me some well-deserved satisfaction but it really didn’t last very long when I realized that he liked it.

Andrew was all about the fastest most efficient way to do things in his work and in his personal life. At work, he was a pen and paper sort of guy since it was quicker than typing on a keyboard. He made a paper note to do something and moment it was done the paper went into the trash can – no record that it ever even happened but it was done and this system worked for him. I had to plead with him to stop deleting every email I sent him but he figured he read it so what was the point of saving it? Speed and efficiency in his personal life was just as important. One day he told me that he shaves in the shower with cream rinse instead of shaving cream while he is waiting the compulsory 2 minutes before he can rinse it out of his hair. Why waste the time?

Andrew liked genuinely, honest people and he definitely had no idea of what Dale Carnegie Classes are all about. He was particularly hard on certain sales reps saying, “I don’t need any salesmen coming in here all Dale Carnegied up wasting my time.” You see the “Drew man” wondered why anyone would need special training to just come in his office and tell him the truth, so anyone who appeared to be a little showy was a suspected Dale Carnegie Grad until they could prove they were genuine. Oh, did I mention I graduated from Dale Carnegie and he knew it?

This gift from God we called Andrew, Andy, Drew all these years was a simple man. There was no confusing his speech. His word meant something, he did what he said he would do and that’s what scores of men and women expressed to me over this past week and the reason that last night men and women drove here from as far away as Philadelphia, Cumberland, and Fairfax to pay their respects and then got in their cars and drove back home. We all lost Andrew for now but he leaves us a legacy and a challenge of his straight talk, his friendly upbeat, can-do attitude, his loyalty, and his friendship.

He attempted to mentor the young men under him like Andrew, Stephen, and Vic as well as others along the way, he relished in tormenting Heidi, Nancy, Gladys, and the rest of us, as much as possible…, his presence will be sorely missed, and his friendship and dedication will never be forgotten.

I would like to thank you Dixie for allowing me to speak today and I offer my heartfelt condolences for your loss.
Thomas Keith Beckley
May 10, 1963 - February 26, 2005

There are special seasons in our lives that transform us to the point that we act differently.

I’ve know people who went on a mission trip to a third world country and their heart has been changed permanently regarding the deep needs of the poor and those without Christ.

In 1979 Nancy was pregnant with our first son Joey. Along with witnessing the most unusual craving for Watermelon I’ve ever heard of, I also got to watch my son doing what looked like somersaults in his mom’s belly. Everything changed after that. My whole outlook on life changed and I was a different person because of it.

Early in 2003 we contacted Dick Stephens of Del Tech to help us find a repair technician. Dick tried to get us someone that would be a good fit for our company. Finally, in strolled, a short, but confident man whom I had never seen before. After looking over his resume the thing that struck me most was not his very impressive, experience doing electronics repair while he served in the Navy. It wasn’t the fact that he was just completing a difficult, degree in electronics. No, all I could focus on was his address. You see he lived on Remington Way and after a little probing I confirmed my suspicion. This guy was my back door neighbor. No, not some neighbor hood neighbor. His property joins mine.

Thomas did graduate that May and started full time and quickly put us all in our place. He set up shop the way he needed it. He not only took his manager Andrew’s good hearted jabs but Andrew had finally found a technician that could jab back. A lot of good hearted humor filled that place as well as productivity and organization that in the past I could only dream about. We were a match made in heaven. Truly.

On December 11, 2003 Thomas gave me the word that all the medical tests he had been going through confirmed a form of cancer that I had never heard of. As the radiation started so did the prayers. And Cindy, well she became our line of communication through every step of the way. She updated us with phone calls and left me voice messages so I could pass information along to all Tom’s fellow workers. She stayed strong and brave like nothing I ever witnessed and I thank you Cindy for keeping us in the circle of your close friends it has been an honor.

When I went to visit Thomas I was often a little hesitant for fear of how he would look. I would always brace myself before walking into his room. As soon as he would see me he would say, “John, come on in here. How are you my friend?” I would always shake his hand and say “Thomas, hello my brother” and his comment would be, “your hands are still cold” to which I would then apologize and we would get on with our visit. So it went each time. He was always gracious and considerate of me, my family and my time. He would never ask for help to move about and he wouldn’t take it if you offered. He was fiercely independent.

In an effort to be gracious while saying he did not agree with some ones opinion he once said thoughtfully, “peoples opinions are…well…theirs.”

During some of those visits when we weren’t talking about work, politics or the bible Thomas would share with me about his faith in Christ for his salvation. He told me how as a young man his youth pastor played chess and he spent time with Thomas doing just that and how that relationship was what gave Tom the opportunity to learn about and to accept Christ into his life. He also told me that he was looking so forward to being in the presence of his Father, his Lord, and his Savior. Some things I don’t know about Thomas and I guess I never will but I did learn this: That he loved Cindy, he loved his God and he loved his country.

After Cindy called me to tell me that Thomas had passed I walked over to their house to see her. After seeing Tom and talking to Cindy and Lois I was walking back to my house and that’s when if finally hit me. He always called me friend.

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

I had the privilege to be both friend and brother to Thomas.

Cindy, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here today.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


She jumped and played and she slept in our beds. She was family and we all loved her…especially Nina.

It’s with deep sadness that I tell you that we had to put Dogg to sleep last night April 6, 2009 and our hearts are broken. She was one of the family and she will be missed. So many of you ask about her when I see you that I thought that you might want to hear some of her story.

Dogg lived with Nina at her house. We got Dogg at a farm that was giving away pups 13 years ago. She was the runt of the litter but I wanted a short haired female and she was the only one left. She was the cutest puppy I ever saw.

Back then Nina was laid up for many months with a rib injury that eventually ended with surgery. We got her Dogg to keep her company while she was confined at home. She spent every moment laying next to Nina on the sofa we made up to be a bed. When Nina moved out a few years later Dogg went with her. One day a roommate let Dogg slip out the door and poof – she was gone. For almost two weeks we looked, handed out flyers and showed her picture around. On the 13th day she showed up on her own, back at Nina’s house a little beat up for the experience but healthy enough. We were all so happy she was back.

Dogg was a jumper. She jumped and jumped. She could not contain herself if she saw someone she knew and liked. She would jump so high that she could look in our kitchen window to see what we were doing inside. She loved to sit right next to you no matter if in the house or car. She loved people (at least most of them). She made herself at home wherever she was. She begged all the time at the dinner table and I nicknamed her Moochie, it seemed so appropriate. She climbed over furniture more like a cat than a dog and always found the most comfortable place to lay down. She would lay on the top of the back of the sofa and she especially liked to lay in any beam of light that might be shining into the house.

Nina took great care of her, especially the last few years, since her vertebras were degenerating causing a lot of pain and loss of the use of her back legs. She bought her medicine, fed her special food and even got her chiropractic treatments to help ease the pain.

Yesterday afternoon Nina gave her a bath since she really likes her bath and especially the drying off ritual. Last night we played with her an petted her for about an hour and a half before we left to go to the vet’s. Her eyes were as bright and she was as perky and happy to see us as ever. She even jumped twice while we were there which made us question the decision to let her go. She had good days and bad days but the good days had become fewer and farther between and we didn’t think it was fair to her since the vet said it was just going to get worse. She had lost control of her bowels and she could no longer squat down to pee. On the ride over Nina held her and she was as calm as I have ever seen her. She held her while the doctor administered the anesthetic. She never moved or made a sound. I was holding her head and she was looking me directly in the eyes and then just fell asleep.

Today I stayed home to bury her in the yard. Nina wanted her under the crape myrtle tree in the back yard since that is where we buried Pepper back in November 1994. I still miss her from time to time but Dogg made it easier. Now I miss them both.

They say "never say never" but as for right now – no more pets for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Don Skinner

My friend Don died last Friday morning suddenly and without warning. I'm still in disbelief even though the funeral and burial is over. He was smart, funny and he treated me and my wife Nancy like we were special. We were born only 9 days apart but only knew each other for about 12 years. He was a member of our church, Harvest Baptist Salisbury, MD. He loved Jesus and studied his Bible, he was our church clerk, a caring greeter and did anything he could to help. He was a talented, artistic, architect by profession. To say Don was an avid bicyclist would be a severe understatement. He rode his bike in cold and heat, rain and snow and when he could not ride because of a broken shoulder he got when he ran his bike into the side of an SUV he rode a stationary bike in his garage. That kind of upset his wife Bridget but she understood his passion and gave him a pass. Don ended his streak on February 26 since he died before he got out of his house on the February 27, 2009. He actually rode for 4,275 consecutive days and kept a meticulous cycling journal. There are a lot of memories that I have about Don but his death affected me in a way that no other has until now. He made me realize that I have left behind a lot of the dreams and ideas of my youth. I want to concentrate my efforts on living this life in a way that honors my wife and my God. Its time to settle down and stop letting my life lead me instead of the other way around. I have a tendency to just react to what life throws my way, instead of planning and acting to improve our everyday life and I really want that to change. Our business wears me out sometimes and we seriously need a vacation. I have allowed other demands on my life to keep me from doing the simplest of things to take care of myself and my wife. My friend has died but now looking back, his passion for life and riding encourages me to want to be a better person, to love with passion and to pursue life with a vengeance. Thanks Don, I'm going to miss you. Please say hi to Jim Dean, Miss Bobbie and Miss Molly for us and we will keep an eye on your bride Bridget for you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

John DiCarlo


Born in Norristown, PA
Graduated Bishop Kenrick High School

Steamfitter Apprentice School in 1976
Studies included Mechanical Drafting, Welding, Brazing, Soldering, Pipe Bending,
Trigonometry, and Physics, Hydronic Heating
and Cooling, Comfort Heating and Cooling as well as Boiler and
Chiller Operation and Steam Heating.
On the job training included working at Schmitt’s Brewery, Philadelphia, and the Limerick, PA Nuclear Power Plant for Bechtel Power Corp.

Graduated Journeyman Steamfitter and Licensed in PA in 1980
Construction Jobs included projects for– Atlantic Oil Refinery, Phila., Wyeth Laboratories, McNiel Laboratories, Smith-Kline and Beckman Laboratories, Limerick Nuclear Power Plant, foreman - pipe hanger crew supervised 6-8 two-man crews.

Water purification technician for Marcor in 1985
Work included Servicing hospitals and laboratories in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania installing and servicing and testing Reverse Osmosis Water Systems, Dionized Water Systems, Charcoal and Turbidity Filters as well as critical biological water filtration for Invitro-Fertilization and Oncology Units.

Temple University - 1986
Certificate in Microcomputers
Basic Programming, Spread Sheets, D-Base II and Word perfect and Word Star

Salesman for North American Survey Supply 1986
Duties included Delivery/Pick up, Outside and Inside Instrument Sales, Instrument Repair Inspection and Purchasing.


Opened DiCarlo Precision Instrument Company in Salisbury, MD 1988
Selling, repairing and renting Land Surveying and Construction Instruments.

Currently along with wife Nancy we own and operate DiCarlo Precision Instrument Incorporated serving the AEC industry - Selling, repairing and renting Land Surveying & Layout Instruments such as GPS, Robotics, Construction Lasers, and Large Format Plotters, Copiers and Scanners both LED and Ink Jet.

Operates DiCarlo Precision Imaging a reprographics company managed by Danny Lambert, that provides a plan and review room as well as online plan room. Construction document management through all phases of construction projects as well as construction printing services.

Operates DiCarlo Digital Copy Center a copy shop managed by Joey DiCarlo, specializing in plotting, copying and scanning large format color CAD and full color graphics for signs and presentations as well as color copies, custom greeting cards and invitations, brochures, graphic design, photography, videography and photo restoration.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hi - Thanks for stopping by. You are probably my first visitor. I will add stuff when I find time. Peace.

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About Me

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Born in '57, husband since '78, Dad since '79, pop-pop since '06, business owner since '88, Christian since '82, and blogger for 15 minutes. Member of Harvest Baptist Church, Salisbury, MD since 1997, Affiliate Member Delaware Association of Surveyors, Affiliate Member Maryland Society of Surveyors,Member ABC Chesapeake Chapter, member IRgA & RSA. I sometimes obsess about my weight but never do anything about it except maybe walk to the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream (you're no alone, even I think it's stange behavior). Conservative, Reagan Democrat (currently a Republican but I have a healthy distrust for both parties) Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Family, I believe that being an great American means that you give away more than you take away. I am repulsed when I hear people drop the "F-bomb" in public. When I am very tired I get irritable and/or resentful and it does not reflect the love of God that he has shown to me or the person I want to be. I know, too much information...