CANFIELD, Ohio – On Friday, August 18, 2018, John Michael Camuso, 68, passed away from a rare endocrine disorder.
John’s care and treatments at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation enabled him to have quality years of life, golfing, travelling and enjoying the things he loved, especially the love of his life, Stella.
John was born the son of the late John and Helen Kovalevich Camuso, in Youngstown, Ohio.
John was a graduate of The Ohio State University with a master’s degree in vocal performance and held a second master’s degree in educational administration from Youngstown State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Ohio University and did doctoral studies and earned superintendent certification at Kent State University. John served in many educational administrative roles in his 40 year career ranging from Science Curriculum Director, Science Department Head, Assistant Principal and Assistant Superintendent in districts ranging from Black River, Youngstown, Cuyahoga, Stark and Trumbull County.
He retired five years ago after a ten year project with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center designing Internet Science Curriculum.
John served on numerous committees and boards of directors in his career including the American Heart Association, The Tri County Strategic Planning Commission, School to Work Coalition Group, American Society of School Administrators and countless liturgical and music hiring committees at area churches.
Further educational accomplishments involved the writing of numerous grants and authoring of Student Conflict Resolution Programs, Peer Tutoring Projects, Ohio State Young Scholars Programs and extensive NASA Collaborations in nearly all the districts who had the privilege of an association with John Camuso.
While Johns educational career brought him many commendations and awards in all the districts he worked in, his greatest love was for his musical endeavors.
Musically, John performed extensively with his glorious tenor voice with Opera Columbus in many leading and supportive roles from 1978-1983. From 1999-2010 he performed with Cleveland Opera Circle debuting as Sir Bruno in I Puritani. He was the opera company’s featured tenor at the Cleveland Severance Hall premiere of Letters of Love, receiving favorable review by the Cleveland Plaindealer as a “most distinguished tenor”. He also performed as King Alexander in “il Re Pastore, The Sultan in Zaide, Pulio in Il Songodi Scipione. He also performed in several Mozart in May concerts, Cleveland Arts Council Concerts, throughout Cleveland’s Little Italy and at The Kent State Fashion Museum Concert Series. John also sang for numerous Butler Institute of American Art Concerts. One of the highlights of John’s musical life was being listed in the international publication Opera Live Magazine. John gained recognition locally for performing multiple concerts over a ten year span for Youngstown State University’s To Russia With Love Campus Ministry Series. These concerts raised considerable funds enabling the purchase of furnaces for Russian orphanages and medical supplies and prosthetic limbs for severely handicapped orphans. John also performed as a guest soloist with Cleveland’s Westshore Chorale and at various feast days in Cleveland’s Little Italy. He was also a featured performer at both the Warren Italian Fest and the Youngstown Italian Fest, opening for Anna Maria Alberghetti.
A member of St. Christine’s Church since birth, John cantored the first Mass in the new church at the age of 12. John cantored at St. Christine’s and was often a guest soloist at holidays when not away at college or working out of town. He returned to cantoring at St Christine’s from Summer 2016-January 2017.
John was also a cantor at St. Charles Catholic Church for ten years where he taught voice lessons to the other cantors and served on the liturgical music selection ministry. John immensely enjoyed cantoring for numerous weddings in the Youngstown and Cleveland area and being a part of young people’s wedding days.
John conducted the Poland United Methodist Choir for ten years and performed several world premiere concerts there incorporating symphonic and vocal ensembles into the productions.
John loved to travel with his wife, Stella Marie. They were privileged to travel to Europe and many New England and Southern states. They also took many OSU football trips with their dear friends, the Yankles and to Broadway and Toronto plays. John loved living in beautiful Canfield and so enjoyed his home. He was additionally the first President of the Canfield Villa Rosa Montereale Home Owners Association.
John and Stella loved music and spent 35 years attending not only great opera performances but chasing down all their favorite classic rock and blues guitarists and were proud to have seen all the greats; Clapton, Bonamassa, Vai, Buddy Guy, Mayer, Mike Campbell and so many more.
John loved golfing with Stella and he loved pistol target shooting with Stella and Sam and Scott.
John was an expert on opera, Formula One racing, the history of Mercedes Benz, Ferrari and Alpha Romeos. He was a 25 year active member of the Mercedes Benz Club of The Western Reserve, a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus, where he served as Past Treasurer for the Knights, a member of Phi Delta Kappa and a life member of both the Ohio State University Alumni Club and the YSU Alumni Club.
John leaves the absolute love of his life, Stella Marie (Ross) Camuso, who he met at St. Christine’s Church 35 years ago after being a guest cantor there for a special Mass. Stella and John were married at St. Christine’s 33 years ago. John said every day that his beautiful Stella was his whole world.
Besides his wife, John leaves a sister, Barbara Irwin (Richard), of Canfield and Stella’s wonderful family.
John said many times how proud he was that Stella’s family referred to him as “my grandson, my son, my brother, uncle, cousin, nephew”, they didn’t refer to him as an “in-law”.
John leaves Stella’s mother, Jane Ross; Stella’s brother, Nick Ross III and nieces and nephews, Melinda, Christopher, Lilia and Tyler Rappach, all of Canfield.
Stella’s father, Nicholas V. Ross and sister, Viola Marie Ross, both preceded John in death.
A decent and honorable man, John was frequently chosen to participate in the holy sacraments of his friend’s children. He was the proud cantor, Godparent or Confirmation Sponsor for the Rappachs, Yankles, DelCastros, Divitos, McClellans, Rhodes’, Bruces’, Incenzo’s, Morrells and Verdes.
The family will receive relatives, friends and neighbors for John on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, with calling hours at St. Christine’s Catholic Church from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. followed by mass at 4:30 p.m.
All arrangements will be held at St. Christine’s Catholic Church, South Schenley Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio.
Private entombment will take place the next morning at the Assumption Mausoleum in Resurrection Cemetery where John will be laid to rest with Stella’s father and sister.
Arrangements were handled by Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Streer, Boardman, Ohio. Family and friends may visit www.foxfuneralhome.org to send condolences.
A television tribute will air Monday, August 21 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.