In recent years, Mario Licciardello provided security services for some of the best-known Christian leaders, including Benny Hinn, Carlton Pearson and Licciardello's brother, the singer known as Carman. But on May 3, the 52-year-old succumbed to a heart attack in Tulsa, Okla., said Carman Ministries spokeswoman Penny Hollenbeck.
Licciardello had a long career in public law enforcement before entering private practice. He was an officer in Chino, Calif., and the first chief of police in Allentown, N.J. He also held the posts of police commissioner and chief in Mounds, Okla. In Allentown, Licciardello earned a Combat Cross for extreme heroism and a Medal of Honor in 1978.
Born in New Jersey on Jan. 1, 1948, Licciardello is survived by his mother, Nancy; sister, Nancy Ann; brother, Carman; wife, Sandra; and daughters, Danielle, Gina, Tiffany, Rosie and Loni. He lived on a 36-acre horse ranch in Mounds, Okla. Funeral services were held May 6 at Higher Dimensions Family Church in Tulsa.
"I personally led Mario to the Lord," said senior pastor Carlton Pearson. "I deeply miss my dear friend and precious brother, but rejoice in knowing he is resting from his labor and we'll see him again."
"He will be remembered for his animated sense of humor, his unique outlook on life and his passionate love for his family," Carman wrote in memory of his brother.
One of the most popular Christian entertainers today, Carman has recorded many albums including Passion for Praise and Mission 3:16. He lives in Studio City, Calif., and attends In His Presence Church.