Camille Marie Grosso
September 28, 1938 – June 18, 2020
Camille Marie Grosso passed away on June 18, 2020 in Arlington, VA. She was born on September 28, 1938 to Frank and Mary Balistreri in Geneva, NY.
She was the daughter of Italian immigrants, Mary and Frank Balistreri, who came to the United States in the early 1900s and settled in upstate New York. Her mother, Mary, was the oldest of five children and never shared her actual birth date because she was older than her husband. Both her mother and her grandmother worked to take care of the family. Her mother was a hair dresser who had a small salon connected to her home. Her grandmother grew vegetables in her garden and would sell them at the corner of her street.
Camille thrived in school, was accomplished academically, and also involved in several high school intramural sports and clubs. In her high school yearbook, she wrote that she wanted to be a Nurse. Later in her life, she shared with me that in her day she really only had two options, Nursing and Teaching. Thankfully, Nursing was her calling. You will note below that her Ph.D thesis is the marriage of nursing expertise and the technology to create an expert nursing system. She earned her Nursing diploma from Willard State hospital in 1959 and took a position at the University Hospital of the Good Shepherd in Syracuse, New York.
Her landlord (aka the matchmaker) introduced Camille to a dashing Air Force Major, Jerry Grosso, who was stationed at Hancock Field. Jerry became the love of her life. Camille and Jerry were married in 1961 and moved to Saigon, Vietnam just two months after their wedding. This was the beginning of 55-years of marriage and a long and happy life together. Her first child, Jerry Jr., was born in Saigon. They spent just a year in Vietnam and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where they welcomed their second child, Gina. In 1967, Jerry was assigned to Bolling Air Force Base in Maryland so the family moved east and purchased a home in Annandale, Virginia where Camille and Jerry lived until Jerry’s passing in 2016.
Camille did a lot of volunteer work with the Red Cross and other community organizations when Gina and Jerry were young. She went back to work full time when Gina began middle school. She was also a life-long learner and went back to school in 1972 and completed a Baccalaureate of Science degree, a Masters in Nursing degree, and eventually a Ph.D in nursing. Early in her nursing career, she provided point of care nursing and then taught nursing at Catholic University and University of Maryland. She culminated her career in private practice providing psychotherapy with specializations in Family Therapy, Clinical Hypno-Therapy, Biofeeback and Chronic Pain Management. She and Jerry loved to travel and visited many countries throughout their life to include: China, India, Thailand, South America, Alaska, France, England, Ireland, Australia, Scandinavia, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and multiple visits to Italy. She also enjoyed playing bridge, reading, going to the ballet, spending time with her life-long friends, and trying new restaurants.
She was preceded in death by her spouse, Jerry Grosso; her parents, and her brother, Bernie Balistreri. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Rose Balistreri, her son, Jerry Grosso, her daughter Gina Grosso and her son-in-law Brian O’Connor; her niece Micki Grosso; her nephew Vinnie Grosso and his wife Cammie, her niece Susan Pisano and her husband Carmine; her niece Carol Rollero, and her husband Jim; her niece Rose Grosso and her husband Steve.
Education: - Geneva High School, Geneva, New York, 1956 • National Honor Society, President, Leaders Club, President, Beta-Tri-Hi-Y • Personal Quote: “Talk happiness, the world is sad enough”
- Willard State Hospital, School of Nursing, Registered Nurse, Willard, New York, 1959 • Class Motto: “He who strives to do does more than he who has no power”
- Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Training Program in Family and Systems Theory and Family Psychotherapy, 1976 - George Mason University, Bachelor of Science, 1976 • Alpha Chi, National Honor Society, 1976 • George Mason University Honor Society of Nursing, 1976
- Catholic University, Master of Science in Nursing, 1978 • Sigma Theta Tau, National Honor Society of Nursing, 1978
- Case Western Reserve University, Doctor of Philosophy, 1995 • Thesis: Extraction and Structure of Domain Knowledge for Systems Development for Alcohol Addiction Nursing
Recognition: - University Service Award, George Mason University, 1976 - George Mason University Registered Nurses on Campus Certificate of Excellence in Recognition of Academic Achievement, Clinical Performance, Professional Attitude, and Responsible Leadership, May 1976 - The George Mason University School of Nursing Alumni Chapter, Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award, May 10, 1986 - Who’s Who of American Women, Eleventh Edition - Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Seventeenth Edition - Who’s Who of American Women, Twenty-Third Edition
Certification: - Fellow, The American Orthopsychiatric Association - Fellow, International Biographical Association - Clinical Nurse Specialist - Clinical Member, The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy - Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing - Second Degree in the Reiki Method of Natural Healing
The visitation will be held at Murphy Funeral Home Arlington on Friday, June 26, 2020 from 5:30-8:30pm. The funeral service will be held at The Cathedral of St Thomas More on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 10 AM. Interment will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Camille Marie Grosso
June 28, 2020
My deepest expression of sympathy on the loss of your beloved Mother. My Mother, Camille Sabatini was not only your Mother's namesake but was also her God Mother. My Mother and your grandfather were extremely close as cousins.
It was so wonderful to go through all the pictures and see your grandparents, your Uncle Bernie and so many long lost relatives.
I pray that all the Sabatini's and Bouslacks and Balistreri's have a joyous reunion in Heaven.
Sherry Lewis Gabak
Barbara (Williams) Miller
June 27, 2020
Although growing up I didn't get to know Camille as she had already started her exciting career and was gone but the few times I do remember her being home and at a gathering she was always so nice. Your grandfather Frank was my mom (Jay's) favorite cousin. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Barbara (Williams) Miller
Kathy (Spina) Main
June 26, 2020
Gina, Jerry and family - Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. What a beautiful video tribute to her! You will always have wonderful memories and her beautiful smile shining on you. All our love.
June 26, 2020
I will miss my beloved friend.
Camille was an embodiment of scholarship, curiosity, intelligence, warmth, adventure, love...so much more...
Her leadership was authoritative, inclusive and wise. She was the calm in the storm.
In all things, she was a perennial student.
She never tired of new ideas, opportunities, discoveries or growth. She was a student of the world. She especially loved her Italian heritage.
She was a forerunner of advanced practice nurses. She bore witness, and ministered to those suffering from some of the most intractable conditions: chronic pain, addictions and family dysfunction. She was a bearer of hope. Camille was brave, doggedly determined and the pursuer of excellence.
Camille was creative; loving the arts, jewelry, cuisine, problem solving, music, nature. I can see her front window with her African Violets in full bloom. She was fun. She was quick with a smile and laughter. Her humor was never at the expense of others. She had class.
I felt cherished by her. She lived fully, without prejudice from age, ethnicity, or other differences which can separate others. She was a kind and comfortable woman.
Her memory will fill my heart and soul until I die.
I am comforted in the knowledge that she participated in the banquet of this life, lived fully and died surrounded by the comfort of home and her beloved family.
I will close with a saying from FDR "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort". Well done, my dear friend.
June 23, 2020
Camille and I met 37 years ago when we were both faculty members at The Catholic University of America. We traveled together, shared each other's lives, and continued to have monthly lunches until her health issues made that impossible. She was so smart, articulate, warm and caring that are friendship was a true gift to me. I know how grateful she was for the love and kindness she received from Gina, Brian and Jerry. She was a loving soul.
Chaplain Linda Cirillo
June 23, 2020
Dear Gina, Brian, and Jerry. Rest assured that my thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of your Beloved Mother Camille. When I lived in Arlington, I attended mass at St Thomas More Cathedral frequently . Love and prayers, Linda from Indiana
June 23, 2020
Gina and Oak...Mary and I feel so lucky to have met BOTH of your parents! True stalwart Americans who we truly enjoyed having the honor to meet, commiserate with and enjoy some of the joyous times life has to offer. May your beautiful mom Camille Rest In Peace.