'Together Again'William John
age 97, of Canton passed away surrounded by his loving family and friends on Wednesday, May 1 following a courageous battle with lung cancer. Born in Canton on March 11, 1916, he was the son of Leonard and Angeline Orlando Campolieto. Because his mother died when he was 5, his grandparents came from Youngstown to help his Dad care for the children. During the last five years, he had been living with his daughter and son-in-law, John and Judy Vellucci. Bill graduated from McKinley High School and always rooted for the Bulldogs. He liked to play football too. Bill loved to watch the Cleveland Browns and the Ohio State football teams play. Bill was drafted into the US Army in 1940. Originally, he was part of the 37th Infantry division, commonly called the Buckeye Division. After tearing a ligament in his knee, he was transferred to a service unit in Alaska and Canada. He became a sergeant and was always so proud of serving his country in World War II. After the war, he returned to Canton where he worked a short time at Portecs and Republic Steel. In 1945 he joined his father in the shoe repair business at Leonard's Shoe Repair on 6th Street. In 1965 he opened his own shop on 27th and Cleveland Ave. called Bill's Cobbler Shop. Bill and his wife, Yolanda worked there together for over 25 years until they retired in 1991. Because of his trade, Bill was often called Willie Shoe, Shoemaker or Shoe by his friends. Bill was preceded in death in 2008 by his wife, Yolanda (Varn) Campolieto. They were happily married for 61 years. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his younger brother, Michael in 1944.
Bill is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Judy and John Vellucci of Canton and daughter, Debbie Campolieto of Green; his grandchildren, John and Cindy Vellucci of Kent, Katie Vellucci of Union City, N.J., Bill Vellucci and Jessica Felts and her daughter, Natalie Felts of Fairlawn and Kyle Sabolesky of Green; one sister, Jennie Popa; cousin, JoAnne Miller; many nieces and nephews and countless lifelong friends. Willie was very proud of his Italian heritage. He was an active member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church, and he loved to volunteer and work around the church. His favorite celebration was St. Anthony's Day where he rode his scooter in the parade proudly waving his American and Italian flags. He also volunteered for many years at the Italian-American Festival where he and his wife, Yolanda were honored to receive the Festival Dedication in 2000. Although he did many different jobs for the festival, his favorite one was organizing the Catholic Mass with his friend Bob Fortion. He also volunteered and held offices in other Italian clubs. He had been past president of St. Bartholomew Lodge and Holy Name Society of St. Anthony's. He was recently honored as the oldest living member of the Ben V. Marconi Sons of Italy Lodge #1628. Bill was a lifelong member of the Wednesday Men's Breakfast Club. He always looked forward to talking with his friends and solving the problems of the world with the guys. A special thank you to his friend, Carl Capestrain for always picking him up. Going to breakfast after mass, at Arcadia Grill to see their friend, Maria Byington was always a special treat for Bill and Yolanda. Bill's favorite pastime was working in the yard and garden. He loved cutting grass and would often cut his neighbor's Gail and Jo's yard too. Bill always played Solitaire at the kitchen table where he kept a running tab of his points earned and lost. The family would like to thank all the family and friends who came to visit him during his illness. He enjoyed your company, and you helped him pass the time on the long days. Another thank you goes to Crossroads Hospice of Green for the help and comfort you provided. A million thank yous to the Hospice Team of Crystal, Kyra, Mike and Chaplain Jim for their support. Thanks also to his aide, Amy Evey. We appreciate all they did during the difficult days. The family also wishes to thank Dr. James Johns, Dr. Jack Baker, Mark, and their staffs for years of dedicated medical care. Another special thanks to cousin, JoAnn Miller and friends, Walt and Sue Gawron for going above and beyond. Your friendship and love meant the world to him. Bill was also very grateful for the love and care his son-in-law, John showed him. He considered John his son and always loved talking shoe shop stories with him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Anthony/All Saints Catholic Parish (11th St. S.E.) on Saturday at 10 a.m. with Reverend Father Tom Bishop, celebrant. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Family and friends will be received on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rossi Funeral Home where the Ben V. Marconi Sons of Italy Lodge #1628 will hold services at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor may be made to St. Anthony/All Saints Church or Crossroads Hospice, 3743 Boettler Oaks Drive, Suite E., Green, OH 44685. Bill, Willie Shoe, was loved by so many people. His passing leaves a huge void on Earth, but he'll be welcomed home by God and the angels. Yolanda and his deceased friends will be happy he's in Heaven. Rest in peace Dad. We loved you very much, and we'll miss you.
Rossi Funeral Home Inc
730 30th Street NW Canton, OH 44709
Published in The Repository on May 2, 2013