Josephine Camaur, 103, life-long resident of Sonoma County.
Josephine peacefully passed away at her home in the Dry Creek Valley after a brief illness. She was the youngest daughter of Giovanni Brignole and his wife, Rosa Rocca, both of whom migrated from Genoa Providence in Italy. She is survived by her beloved son, Richard; two grandchildren, Elisabeth Camaur Crampton, Paul Camaur; both of Irvine, California. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, David Crampton, Aleksandra Crampton, and Alexis Camaur.
Josephine Camaur was born on a ranch at Asti, near Cloverdale, owned by San Francisco industrialists, Mark J. Fontana, and managed by her father. She and her three older siblings continued to reside and work the 360 acres ranch, after it was acquired by Rosa Brignole, their mother, in 1919.
Josephine Camaur attended elementary school a one-room schoolhouse at Asti and was a graduate of the Geyserville high school in 1931. In 1930, she was crowned May queen of the Geyserville fair by California governor, James Rolfe. She then attended and graduated from the Junior College in Santa Rosa. Following her graduation she was employed as an office assistant at the Tedford Cadillac Company in Santa Rosa.
Prior to World War II, she accompanied her mother on trips to the Mediterranean coast of Italy to visit her grandfather and aunts. During the 1939 trip her mother introduced her to Cesare Camaur, the ship’s first engineer; and a romance flourished. The couple made plans to marry.
Later that fall, the couple did marry in San Jose, Costa Rica and they moved to Asti, where they had a beautiful church wedding in the chapel at Asti in January 1941. When the Rosa Brignole ranch was sold, the couple resided in Asti until July 1943, when they began residence in the Dry Creek Valley. Shortly thereafter their only son, Richard was born. Josephine and Cesare transformed the landscape of their new home into a beautiful garden and small vineyard.
Beginning in 1927 Josephine was the organist at the chapel at Asti, and continued that activity and choir director at the St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church in Healdsburg until the mid-1960s. Cesare’s wrought iron decorating both homes and churches alike, can be found all over northern California.
After, Cesare’s death in 1964, Josephine was employed by Veale Volkswagen in Santa Rosa until her retirement in 1979. Thereafter, she continued to tend to her magnificent rose garden as well as the small vineyard surrounding her home.
In addition she made several visits to her ancestral home in Italy. Josephine spoke Genoese, Italian, Spanish, French; and English. She was engaged and active in many activities and interests. Her garden has become a beautiful rose garden and vineyard
A visitation will be held from 5pm to 7pm with a Rosary at 6pm on Thursday, April 26th, and Mass will be held at 10:30am on Friday, April 27th, all at St. John Catholic Church at 208 Matheson St., Healdsburg. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Josephine Camaur may be made to the Italian Catholic Federation, Healdsburg branch, 208 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448.