Ann T. Campanella of Red Bank, NJ, passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, December 25th at the age of 95. She was born on August 25, 1927, in New York City where she resided during her early childhood. In the 1930s she ventured to her mother Catherine Halvey’s hometown and lived in County Limerick, Ireland, where she had fond memories of taking cart and pony rides to her neighbors' homes on the Emerald Isle. When she returned to the States, she settled in New Jersey and attended Red Bank Catholic High School. Ann fell in love with Perry R. Campanella and his extensive Italian family that welcomed her with open arms. She married Perry in 1951 with whom she started a large family of her own. They had six children and raised them in Rumson, NJ.
An avid reader, Ann frequented the library. She had a hunger for learning that never ceased and earned her associate's degree from Brookdale Community College. She devoured mystery novels by the hundreds and continued to expand her mind with books up until her last days. Ann worked as a school secretary at Holy Cross Academy where her children were students and, to their dismay, could seldom get away with mischief with their mom across the hall. When her children were grown, Ann’s curiosity led her to explore places like Israel, Egypt, Rome, and Spain. At home, neighbors could recall her cruising the streets of Monmouth County behind the wheel of her silver Volkswagen Beetle with missing hubcaps. A lover of words with a great sense of humor, she hallmarked her own phrases, coined “Nanisms”, that ranged from expressions of joy to clever insults and just plain nonsense. Ann enjoyed music as much as she did books and travel. She rarely missed bingo day at the senior center, and she never failed to send a birthday card to her 19 grandchildren, whom she affectionately referred to as “grands”, and her 12 great grands.
She was predeceased by her husband Perry R. Campanella and her daughter-in-law Donna. Surviving are her loving children Mike and his fiancé Heidi, Jack, Trish and her husband David, Perry, Paul and his wife Beth, Pete and his wife Mary Beth; and daughters-in-law Colleen and Michele.
A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, January 13th from 4 to 7 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank. A memorial mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 14th at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ann's memory may be made to a charity of the givers' choice.