Renee (nee DeFlo) Caminis, died peacefully at the age of 87 at the Washington Home & Community Hospices in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29, 2013, and was interred on Oct. 4 at Mt. St. Mary’s Cemetery in Flushing, N.Y.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Christofer Caminis, who died in 1992 after 45 years of marriage, and by her parents, three sisters and two brothers.
Survivors include her daughters, Jane DeFlo Caminis of New York City and Asimina Caminis of Washington, D.C., and Asimina’s husband, Henri Bretaudeau; nephews and nieces and their children and grandchildren in the United States, France, and Greece; two step-granddaughters and five step-great-grandchildren in France; and many friends.
Born in Louvroil, France, Renée met Christofer during World War II in northern France, where he was stationed while serving in the U.S. Army. She moved to New York City in 1947 to marry Christofer and taught herself English and Greek. Christofer was born in Greece and became a U.S. citizen.
An intelligent and creative woman who had won a prestigious national educational award in France while still a teenager, she had to abandon her plan to become a teacher because of the war. Nonetheless, she made the most of other opportunities to apply her talents.
Always good with numbers, she worked at the French bank Crédit du Nord before moving to the U.S. After her marriage, she managed Christofer’s painting-contracting business and worked as a sales associate at Bloomingdale’s.
She helped many friends and family members navigate their way through a variety of bureaucratic mazes. She was a fabulous cook and baker. Her grand-nephews and -nieces still rave about her cookies. She was skilled at crochet, embroidery, and knitting. She loved listening to classical music and going to museums.
When Christopher retired, they moved to Belleair, Fla. After nursing Christofer through his long battle with cancer, which ended with his death, she worked for several years as a hostess in the restaurant of long-time friends in Largo, Fla. She served as a volunteer in the gift shop at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater until she moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 2011 to be near her daughter, Asimina.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Washington Home & Community Hospices in Washington, D.C.; Suncoast Hospice Foundation in Clearwater, Fla; or the New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund.
A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Cecelia Church, 820 Jasmine Way, Clearwater, Fla.