Kenneth Robert Campo, Sr., 75, joined his heavenly father in the eternal sportsman’s paradise on November 21, 2023. He has been the beloved husband of Velma “Belle” Nunez Campo for 55 years. Ken was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 22, 1948 and raised in Shell Beach. Until 2005, Ken was part owner and operator of Frank Campo’s Marina which he operated with his father, son, nephews and their families. Next to his love for his family was his love for fishing, and he became a renowned fisherman, often seen on the news and heard on the radio. He is the youngest son of the late Frank “Blackie” and Mabel Campo and is also preceded in death by his sister Mary Ellen Campo and grandson Logan Barringer. Ken is survived by Belle Campo, who became the love of his life at the age of 15; his brother Frank Jr. “FJ” (Rose), his son Kenny Jr. (Tracy) and daughter Christine Wattigney (Michael). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Falyn Gros (Trey), Emily Wattigney (William Collins), Colby Barrios (Pamela), Sidney Wattigney, Patrick Campo, Jesse Barringer, and six great grandchildren: Gabrielle, Gavin, Jacob, Joshua, Peyson, CJ, and a host of nieces and nephews. He will also be deeply missed by his brother from another mother, Dick Watson (Natalie) and lifelong friend Gary Eicke (Paula).
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ken's heart was forever anchored in the serene beauty of Shell Beach, where he spent the formative years of his life. His legacy is unforgettably linked to Frank Campo's Marina, where he poured his heart and soul into his work. From dawn till dusk, Ken tirelessly assisted fishermen and families, ensuring their boats set sail smoothly. His dedication and warmth transformed the marina into a thriving community hub where camaraderie and support flourished.
A passionate angler himself, Ken found solace and joy in fishing, often sharing memorable moments with the beloved Frank Davis, forming bonds that lasted a lifetime. However, amidst his devotion to the sea, Ken's greatest treasure was his family. He treasured every moment spent with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, creating lasting memories filled with love, laughter, and endless stories he loved to share. Ken was also known for his remarkable ability to find joy in everyone he met. His genuine kindness and infectious warmth touched the lives of all who crossed his path, leaving an enduring impression on the hearts of many.
Hurricane Katrina forced Ken to leave his beloved Shell Beach, but it never dimmed his love for the place he called home. Despite settling on the North Shore, his heart remained rooted in the sands and tides of Shell Beach, where his fondest memories were etched. Ken's passing leaves a void in the lives of those who knew him. His unwavering kindness, unwavering work ethic, and unwavering dedication to family and community will be fondly remembered by all who had the privilege of crossing paths with this remarkable man.
Rest in peace, Poppa. May the gentle waves of Shell Beach forever carry your spirit.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation to be held at ST. BERNARD MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 701 W. Virtue St., Chalmette, LA on Saturday, November 25th from 9:00AM – 1:00PM, followed by a Funeral Mass in Ken’s memory beginning at 1:00PM. All are asked to come wearing your favorite fishing shirt and bring your favorite fishing story. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Mary-Bird Perkins Cancer Center or St. Jude Hospital.