Evelyn Marie Campassi Demilio was born in Clarksdale, Miss. On Feb. 16, 1925. She died on Aug. 2, 2020. Her parents were Primo Louis and Josephine Bursi Campassi (both deceased). There were two brothers, Louis and Willie Campassi (both deceased). Her sister, Margaret Campassi Chaisson, resides in Metairie (New Orleans), La. Her husband, Louis Demilio, passed away on July 7, 1996. Evelyn had 6 nieces and 3 nephews who gave her much joy with their diverse careers and attention. Her son Ronnie Demilio lives in New Orleans.
Her nieces are Diana Sawyer Hudson, Celeste Campassi Wise, Denise Campassi Jones, Lisa Chaisson Hidalgo, Amy Chaisson Sandlin and Andrea Chaisson Fisher. Her nephews are Chuck Campassi (deceased), Mickey Campassi, and Woody Sawyer.
Evelyn attended Clarksdale High School and enjoyed playing the piano for assembly and school events. She attended St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana and studied Music, Piano, and the Organ.
She returned to Clarksdale in 1945 and married her love, Louis Demilio, who had been wounded in World War II. They attended Ole Miss and returned to Lyon where he farmed and she continued her music and being a happy housewife and Mother.
Evelyn played the organ at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church for over 50 years. She taught piano lessons at St. Elizabeth School for over 25 years. She assisted in teaching the Children’s Choir for many years. She played for numerous weddings and always referred to the organ as “The King of Church Music.” The Moller Organ keyboard danced when she played; you knew when Evelyn was upstairs.
She enjoyed her Volunteer work at the Clarksdale Care Station and stopped when her age dictated. The Mag-Pie Gift and Art Shop was a favorite work place where she assisted Brides-To-Be with China and table setting selections. Frequently re-decorating the Window Displays was something she always anticipated.
In her 85th year, she persisted with the landscape at St. Elizabeth Church and School to get the Live Oak Trees and Crepe Myrtle Trees properly trimmed. It is still done today for all to enjoy. Evelyn taught her piano lessons at the Cutrer Mansion in various rooms so she knew and appreciated the importance and beauty of this structure. In her own way, she spoke out and helped many to preserve this beautiful Clarksdale landmark.
Evelyn and Louis (“Dee”) moved to the Old Lyon Bank Building in 1996 which had just been restored and renovated. They had six months there together – life changes.
Evelyn adjusted and continued her love of flowers, as she picked from many Lyon yards while saying she could “help the Owners/Friends prune their flowers, shrubs and bushes.” She was a wonderful cook who didn’t need a recipe; but, she would not alter a classic dish.
A yearly summer vacation to Destin, Fla., with family was always anticipated, homegrown vegetables and Florida seafood. She cooked and loved to do so; Dee assisted. Trips to her favorite City of New Orleans were many and always fun. At 90, driving around Clarksdale “running errands” in her Volkswagen Yellow Beetle was a thrill. She would exclaim how many people wanted to buy her Yellow Bug, but “I don’t think I want to sell” she replied enjoying a playful interchange.
In May, 2017 at 92 years, she agreed with hesitation to move into Flowers Manor for her well being and then to the adjoining Fiser-Spradling Green House. She could appreciate and understood all the wonderful help and assistance she got from the staff of Caregivers at Flowers.
In October, 2019 at 94 years, she moved to the Clarksdale Nursing Center for the nursing care she now needed and it was so well given by the Staff of the Southside Nursing Station. Alice Mayo still visited with Faith and Communion, Father Raju too.
Her main private caregivers were Veronica Gilliam and her two daughters, Lia and Tykera, and Rotanza Thompson, all wonderful! Ruby Lee Blair started care for Evelyn in 2013 and remained her buddy for so many years. Emily Meredith did so much good and helped like no other could in her final year.
Evelyn was a happy person with a smile and she remained that way to the end.
There will be a Memorial Service at an appropriate time. Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale is handling all arrangements.
Memorials may be sent to St. Elizabeth Organ Fund, St. Elizabeth Live Oaks Tree Fund, The Charity of Your Choice or The Flowers to Your Choice.