Charles T. Alferes of Falmouth, founder of the Carpet Barn, died May 26. He was 86.
A business brief appearing in the March 10, 1972, issue of The Falmouth Enterprise reported that Mr. Alferes and his wife, Ethel (Plant) Alferes, had recently opened a carpet, wallpaper and paint store at 11 Chapel Park Avenue in the building formerly occupied by Wright Oil Company. The article said the couple had managed the Sherman Williams paint store until October. The store was providing carpet installation services, and Ms. Alferes was acting as a consultant on interior decorating.
By early 1979 the store had outgrown its space, and Mr. Alferes was in the process of renovating the former Falmouth Theatre on East Main Street into the store that remains to this day. The big auditorium was converted into a showroom and the warehouse was in the rear, where the stage was; the double doors on either side of the box office had been replaced by large picture windows flanking glass doors to enter the former lobby, some of which would now be used for show space.
Mr. Alferes eventually used the initial Chapel Park shop in Falmouth Heights for his Alco Distributors Inc. company, which offered plastic laminate for countertops.
Over the years, the Carpet Barn business Mr. Alferes established in 1971 became a family enterprise, with his four children working in the industry while they were growing up. The company expanded with stores in Mashpee and Hyannis and now, owned by his children, has gone on to employ extended family and most of his grandchildren.
Born in New Bedford, he was given the name Carlos Tavares Alferes by his parents, Dr. Electa Alferes and Dr. John Alferes. He was an only child and the first generation to be born in America.
His mother died shortly after his birth and when he was 10, his father remarried. His grandparents Eno Sencia Tavares and John Tavares of Acushnet helped raise him until he went to boarding school. He attended Mount Saint Charles, a Catholic boarding school in Rhode Island, during the year and spent summers on the Alferes Farm with his cousins.
He enlisted in the Coast Guard at age 18 and served during the Korean War. He was recognized in 2019 with the Collier Lee Honor Flight for his service as a Korean War veteran.
Mr. Alferes met Ethel Louise Plant at a dance in 1953 when he was stationed in Maine for the Coast Guard. He was 18 and she was 15. They fell in love and were married on Valentine’s Day 1955. They spent their honeymoon in the Squirrel Point Lighthouse in Phippsburg, Maine, that he manned for the Coast Guard. They went on to raise four children.
Possibly Mr. Alferes’s greatest passion was captaining his boat, My Valentine. He kept a detailed travel log listing all his ship’s voyages, destinations and many passengers, and boating became his family’s favorite pastime. Summer weekends found him spending time in his boat filled with family and friends.
He loved to travel by boat and was a member of Marathon Yacht Club in the community of Marathon Key, Florida, where he and his wife had their second home.
He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks, and the Portuguese American Association.
He leaves his wife of 66 years, Ethel L. Alferes of Falmouth and Marathon Key, Florida; their children, Bonita E. Alferes and her husband, Kevin Mulhall, of Falmouth, John C. Alferes of Florida, Steven M. Alferes and his wife, Mary Alferes, of Falmouth and Linda Alferes Martinho and her husband, Joseph Martinho, of Falmouth; 10 grandchildren, Christopher Lipp-Alferes, Carrie Alferes, Theresa Alferes, Kimberly Alferes, Dianna Wilson, Lisa Martinho, David Martinho, Crystal Alferes, Sally Alferes and Mark Martinho; 12 great-grandchildren; and extended family.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 19, at 10 AM at St. Anthony’s Church, 167 East Falmouth Highway.