Mary Jo Campanello
April 3, 1957 – November 14, 2021
Mary Jo Campanello passed away on Sunday, November 14th, 2021. She was 64 years old.
The fourth of John and Lena Orlando’s five children, she spent her summers working the till at her family’s grocery store and her after-school hours designing sets and props for school musicals like Oklahoma and comedies like A Gap in Generations. Mary Jo was not one to waste time. After graduating high school in 1975, she went on to Sam Houston State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in interior decorating. It was during these college years that she met the love of her life, Larry Campanello, at the Feast of Saint John in Galveston. Even though their life together would take her all over the world and far away from the Margaret Long Wisdom high school theatre, she never stopped making places for people to sing, dance, and laugh.
Interior design was her lifelong passion, and it developed into a philosophy that saw houses not as simple living spaces but spaces where life really happened. She had a special gift for creating beauty and warmth in any living space, even with sparse resources. There is, perhaps, no better example of this than the home she made with Larry: tastefully decorated and delightfully vibrant, everything in the Campanello house had its place, except celebration. That happened everywhere. There was a song for every occasion and a dance for every room, especially the kitchen where cooking was often a secondary activity. Guests would marvel at her designs so often that she wasn’t a stranger to being asked if she could liven up their own home.
When she wasn’t redesigning her home and asking her many children to swap furniture around to see where it looked best, Mary Jo loved to paint landscapes and scenery. She not only loved to paint it, but also to be out in it herself. Gardening, bike riding, and walks during cool autumn evenings were among the activities she enjoyed the most, especially if they were with her family.
Mary Jo believed that her kids could do anything and supported them unconditionally in all of their endeavors. She even took it upon herself to homeschool every single one of them, while also making sure they never missed a dance, gymnastics, or acting class after school. She was a selfless person that worked tirelessly to give her children a beautiful life and home, and few things brought her the joy that simply being with her family did. Birthdays and holidays were all events she loved to celebrate because it meant all of her children being together, and she would never fail to make Christmas extra special for everyone by turning the house into her own winter wonderland.
As a devout Christian, Mary Jo loved Jesus with all her heart and spent her whole life doing her best to show God’s love to those around her. The genuine love that she showed people and the infectious positivity she spread continue to be felt by those she knew and in the spaces she created, something she would attribute all to her Savior. A homemaker in every sense of the word; she did not simply wish the world a better place. She made it one.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 41 years, Lorenzo "Larry" Campanello, children Nina Elizabeth Lewkowski (Kevin), Nicole Michelle Campanello, Josiah Matthew Campanello, Joy Christine Love (Stephen), Sam Michael Campanello, and Annabelle Stephanie Gebauer (David), her mother Lena Orlando, sister Ann Pacini, brothers Vincent Orlando, Sam Orlando, and Mark Orlando. A memorial service will be held at Cashner Funeral Home, in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday, November 20th, 2021, at 10:00 A.M. Graveside services and burial will follow in Garden Park Cemetery
- Josiah Campanello
- John Stubbs
- William Marullo Jr.
- John Marullo
- Paul Orlando
- Buster Fichera
- Kevin Lewkowski
- Stephen Love
Celebration of Life
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Mary Jo Campanello
MIchael & Jill Dimiceli
November 22, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. Many beautiful things were said about Mary Jo at the service. Whenever we saw her she was always cheerful. I know this is a very difficult time for everyone but just trust in the Lord and keep your faith as difficult as it might be during these trying times.
Thinking and praying for all of y'all.
Mike and Jill Dimiceli
November 22, 2021
MaryJo was an amazing lady, so vibrant and full of life. I never realised just how unique she was until reading and hearing the many tributes to her full and wonderful life.
Thank you for sending the Zoom link allowing Andrew and I to join the funeral service.
MaryJo has inspired me to enjoy every day to the full giving thanks in everything.
Her beautiful life is a legacy that will remain forever not only in the hearts of Larry and the children but in ours too.
Our love and prayers at this challenging time.
Andrew & Grace x
November 21, 2021
I was able to have an amazing, long conversation with Mary Jo at my best friend Annabelles wedding. We talked about life, got to know each other more and I told her that all of her family is so amazing and I value them. I told her that Annabelle is truly my sister and I thank God for her friendship. She smiled at me, grabbed my hands and pulled me in for a big hug. She said "that truly makes me so happy, I'm so glad you have each other, and that God brought you two back together after so long."
That was one of the last things she said to me.
She was such a light, so happy with tears of joy all that day. She will live on forever in everyone's hearts and memories.
November 20, 2021
To Larry and all their children,
I will always remember Mary Jo as a vivacious, kind, loving, caring and sweet person. She did indeed bring joy and kindness to each situation. I remember her creativity and specifically the indoor water fountain she used to create a relaxing atmosphere in the farmhouse in Doncaster.
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very sad time.
Praying that the Lord Jesus will carry you and His grace surround you in this very difficult time.
November 19, 2021
I remember Mary Jo's kind nature, sweet, generous spirit, and warming smile from when Larry and she were missionaries in England. She was the perfect complement to Larry's bold and strong determination to serve God and love others.
In the last few weeks as we have prayed for her, we have been struck by the beauty and depth of God's work in her heart to prepare her to see Jesus face to face.
It is so good to know that, just like Jesus said, "Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet will he live; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die."
We are so grateful to know Larry and Mary Jo, and to know that this life is just the opening chapter of an eternal story, and the only chapter where the pain plays a part.
Our deepest condolences to Larry and his family. Keep looking up. Our prayers are with you.
November 19, 2021
Thinking of you all at this time.
Mary Jo was a beautiful and caring person. Our thoughts will be with you tomorrow. May God give you peace and comfort.
Sending lots of love.
Nigel & Karen.
Stephen &Kieran. Xx
November 18, 2021
Although we did not keep in touch as adults...
The memories of the fun we had from our childhood to the teenage years will never be forgotten.
I will miss you Cuz❣
You weren't just my cousin you were my best friend.
November 17, 2021
I am so very sorry for the loss of Mary Jo. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. She fought so hard but God wanted another angel in heaven. Love and prayers.