Romeo Cammisa, a member of the Greatest Generation, died June 16, 2017 after a brief stay at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, just a few weeks short of his 98th birthday. It is very difficult to summarize a life that long and well-lived.
Romeo was the youngest of eight children born to Italian immigrants Rosa and Vincenzo Cammisa on July 30, 1919 in Waterbury, Connecticut. He attended Crosby High School andin 1942 joined the Army where he served in the Pacific Rim in a medical unit. After the war he returned home to marry his sweetheart Elizabeth (Bette) G. Terilli in 1948.
As a new father, Romeo attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute where he received a degree in engineering. In 1954 he moved his young family from the city to fulfill the American dream in Massapequa Park, Long Island, where he and Bette raised their three daughters and lived until 2012. During this time he was an early contributor to the modern aviation industry, working at Republic Aviation Corporation and Grumman Aircraft Corporation. He worked on major projects including supersonic flight, sending a man to the moon, and the F-14 fighter planes.
Romeo was active throughout his life in his church (St. Rose of Lima) and in his community. He had an unending curiosity about everything, and after he retired traveling became his major hobby. He and Bette explored all seven continents, visiting many exotic and far away locations, filling their home with souvenirs and photo albums. Since July, 2012, Romeo and Bette were residents of Atria Delmar Place in Delmar, New York, where he remained after his beloved wife's death two years ago.
Romeo will be remembered by his community for serving as the neighborhood Santa Claus, being Mr. Fix-it, his beautiful peonies, his appreciation for good Italian food, and building a tandem bicycle for rides around town. He learned to tolerate and then love his family’s parade of rescued cats throughout the years. He had strong political convictions, and supported many charities. He was an avid photographer and videographer, finding endless photo opportunities. In his retirement, Romeo volunteered at a BOCES center and at the age of 90 learned to use a computer which sparked a passion for researching his family history.
Mostly though, Romeo will be remembered for his love and devotion to his family. Romeo is predeceased by his wife Elizabeth and is survived by his children Laura-Ann Cammisa (Jeffrey Schloss), Elaine Cammisa (Elliott Frost), Mary-Beth, and his grandchildren Evan and Olivia. He will be missed by many, including his sister-in-law, Mary Cammisa, numerous nieces and nephews, countless old friends, and members of the Atria Community.
Romeo’s family wishes to especially thank the staff of Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland, NY for their exceptional and compassionate care as well as their kind support to the family during his stay there.
For those wishing to make a contribution in Romeo’s name, the family requests contributions be sent to Community Hospice of Albany at 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205. Their support to the family during the last days of Romeo’s life was a great comfort.
Calling hours are July 16 from 11:30 - 1:00, followed by a memorial service at 1:00, at Riverview Funeral Home, 218 2nd Ave., Troy, NY 12180. Burial will be private at Saratoga National Cemetery at a later date.