Camille DeFina

Camille T. DeFina (DiSerio)

Sunday, April 10th, 1927 - Thursday, November 12th, 2020
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Camille Theresa DeFina, née DiSerio, passed away surrounded by family on November 12, 2020. She was 93 years old. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Joseph DeFina; her three adoring children, Louise and spouse Andy, Joseph and spouse Josephine, and Philip and fiancé Lynne, as well as by eight grandchildren: Andrew, Matthew, Lisa, Christine, Alexandra, Lauren, Jenna, and Samantha; five great-grandchildren; and a loving extended family. She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Antonio and Adele DiSerio, and her siblings, Pat Diserio and Emma Guidetti.

Camille was the daughter of Italian immigrants, both born in the Basilicata region. She would fondly reminisce how her father “jumped the fence” the day before he was due to graduate from the seminary in Italy and emigrated to America. After his arrival in New York, he met her mother, Adele. They fell in love and soon thereafter were united in matrimony.

Camille grew up in a tenement apartment in New York’s Lower East Side. Her experiences growing up through the Great Depression and World War II helped to mold her views of the world. Her devoted and loving parents impressed upon her the importance of education, and how to find goodness and something to appreciate in every person she met and every situation she was in. Her upbringing made her resilient, tough, and empathetic. At 17 years old, she was spending an evening with friends in Coney Island when she met and fell in love with Joseph DeFina. They would share their lives together for the next 76 years.

In 1958, Camille was hired as the third employee of the AARP, where she served an important role in the early development of the company. She was a mover and shaker with the company and they enjoyed her personality and loyalty. However, in 1960 Camille gave birth to her third child and decided it was more important to return to her role as a mother full-time. Once Camille’s children were older, she returned back to the workplace as a secretary and underwriter in Brooklyn for a local insurance firm.

Camille was also active in the political scene in Brooklyn where she was an executive member of the Bay Ridge Republican Club. She was also a member of the women’s auxiliary of the American Legion, where her husband served in many positions throughout the years. But if you asked Camille what her crowning achievement was, she would say it was her family. Camille had a special relationship with not only each of her three beloved children and their spouses, but with each of her grandchildren and their children.

Camille was a wine connoisseur and an amazing cook. She quickly became the life of any gathering she was a part of, no matter what the occasion. Her energy and happiness were infectious and she touched the lives of every single person she encountered. She loved to sing and dance, and she never passed up an opportunity to share her unique talent of “playing the spoons.” She is deeply missed by all who knew and loved her; the memories of love, unending encouragement, and laughs will be cherished by her family forever.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to a St. Jude’s Hospital fund in her memory, which can be found below:
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, November 16th, 2020 | 10:30am
    Monday, November 16th, 2020 10:30am
    St. Patrick's Church
    9511 4th Avenue
    BROOKLYN, NY 11209
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Holy Cross Burial Park
    840 Cranbury South River Road
    JAMESBURG, NJ 08831
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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