Combining both sadness and joy we share that Camello, “CJ” Palermo passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the age of 92 years.
A native Houstonian and proud Texan to the end, CJ, made an impact on all around him, starting at his birth. In the living quarters above the family grocery store on March 5, 1926 he arrived as a fabled 11-1/2 lb. newborn equipped with two teeth! He was fond of recounting his first meal – a penny cookie soaked in milk, only to finish by saying, “…and I’ve been eating ever since.” A larger than life person, he proudly participated in the generation defining event of World War II after enlisting in the United States Navy at the age of seventeen. At the end of his military service he returned to run the family grocery store on West Dallas and Genesee for 15 years likening it to a prison sentence. Upon liberating himself from the shackles of the 3:00 am to 9:00 pm internment, he worked several jobs to support his family before being employed by the City of Houston Water Department where he retired after 14 years. But despite his freedom, he never stopped being a grocery man. He was prone to scouring circulars and sharing his insight with friends and family of where to find the best produce and cuts of meat throughout town until the end.
CJ was a member of the St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church Men’s Club and the Sacred Heart Society of Little York Italian organization where he held court weekly for decades at the 4th Ward Sicilian table during Pasta Thursday lunch alongside his lifelong friends. He was also a former member of the Knights of Columbus Council 803.
He loved living on Galveston Bay in San Leon, crabbing, and hosting the annual Fourth of July celebrations with friends and family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Mary Ann; sons, Joey and Damon and wife Staci; three grandchildren, Camello, Antonia, and Luke; numerous godchildren, nephews, nieces and an extensive network of Sicilian cousins and relatives both here and abroad. He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary and his cherished sister, Pauline.
Lastly, the man who taught us that food is synonymous with love is now safely in the arms of Jesus at the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Visitation will be held Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 5:00p.m., with a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00p.m., at Emken-Linton Funeral Home, 5100 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Texas City, TX 77591. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of CJ on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, 1604 9th Ave N, Texas City, TX 77590, with Rev. Clint Ressler, Pastor presiding.
Memorial donations in memory of Camello may be made to Boys Town Catholic Charity, 14100 Crawford Street, Boys Town, NE 68010. Tel: (531) 355-1300