Constituents Deceased list

Richard S. Campisi ’57 was the son of Salvador V. Campisi ’27 and Genevieve P. Basile. He grew up on The Alameda in San Jose and attended St. Leo the Great School. Later, he attended Bellarmine College Preparatory, where he lettered in track and football. Dick was a natural athlete who could excel at any sport. Although he was heavily recruited by the Washington Huskies, he chose to attend SCU, his father’s alma mater, where he received a B.S. in biology. The Campisis have attended Santa Clara University since 1924, and Dick was a fourth-generation Californian. His maternal grandfather, Joseph Basile Sr. immigrated to New Orleans from Palermo, Italy, in 1837. In Dick’s senior year of college, he met the love of his life, Barbara Achille, at a wedding. One year later, Dick and Barbara were married. They moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Dick enrolled in the dental school at Creighton University. After Creighton, the couple moved to Chicago, where Dick attended Loyola University Dental School to obtain a master’s in orthodontics. While in dental school, he was encouraged by his father to purchase the ranch land that his mother and her sister, Vivian Callaghan, had inherited from their father. Dick was 26 at the time. The ranch lay largely undeveloped until Dick graduated from Loyola and he and Barbara returned home to California. Dick began to slowly develop the ranch land. When his brothers finished their respective degrees and returned to California, they joined Dick in the development of the ranch. For over 50 years, the trio has enjoyed this shared passion. Dick caught the development bug from his family. A few years after graduation, he convinced his father-in-law, Gene G. Achille, a respected building contractor, to come out of retirement to build an office for him. Dick partnered with his brother, Dion, and his longtime friend Edwin Abate ’54 to build a dental office on Forest Avenue. Within a few years, Dick partnered with his brothers Jon and Dion to build a second medical and dental building on Forest Avenue. Dick’s happiest times were when he took all of his children and grandchildren to “The Ranch.” On these trips, the family met the ranchers and learned how their beautiful fruits and vegetables are grown, harvested, and shipped. Dick treasured the friendships of the families who farm the land he developed in Visalia. He had a deep admiration for the farmers and their children, whose craft transcended multiple generations of farming professionals. Dick equally loved his orthodontic practice, staff, and patients. When he decided to retire, he waited years to find just the right people to purchase the business. The search ended when he met Eric Phelps and Jason Cohen. Though Dick sold his practice after 47 years, he remained a part of the Phelps and Cohen family, building a deep respect and long-lasting friendship with their entire team. Once retired, Dick pursued his other passions: He built a magnificent train layout to showcase the trains he had been collecting since childhood in addition to traveling the world. A recent trip to Sicily with his best friend, Vic LoBue, and two other friends from the Sons of Sicily was a dream come true. Dick proudly served as the president of the Downtown San Jose Rotary Club from 2005 to 2006. He was a director from 2000 to 2003 as well as a Paul Harris fellow and an Endowment fellow. Until the start of his illness, he had perfect attendance for over 30 years. Dick was also a member of the Board of Fellows of Santa Clara University, the Santa Clara County Dental Society, the Amici d’Oro, South Bay Historical Railroad Society, and the Santa Clara University Gianera Society. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Jan. 28, 2019. He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; daughter Michelle Campisi ’86 (Michael) and sons Christian Campisi ’90 (Anna), Richard Gregory Campisi ’98 (Elizabeth); grandchildren Gregory Campisi ’12, Jennifer Barsant ’15, Carolyn, Gabriella, Rory, Thomas, Teresa, and William Campisi; and brothers Jon Campisi ’63 and Dion Campisi ’66. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary.

29 Mar 2019