Saint Lazare optician remembered for kind, gentle ways
A Hudson family and the surrounding community are mourning the passing of Emidio Campanella, a Saint Lazare business owner who was known for a ready smile and a kind, gentle manner.
Mr. Campanella, who would have turned 59 on Thursday, passed away on April 13 following a motor scooter accident three days earlier in Ste.-Anne-de-Bellevue. The accident occurred on the Trans-Canada service road at Morgan. Mr. Campanella was the owner of Lunetterie Vista, which he opened in Saint Lazare in 2004. His customers, many of whom became friends, were always greeted at the boutique store that reflected Mr. Campanella’s understated, elegant tastes and his love of Italian coffee and classical music, with a warm smile and a kind, soft-spoken word.
He was the kind of businessman who would order a better quality product without the up-charge, or the fanfare, if he knew the client would be happier in the end. As well, it was not unusual to find clients sitting opposite Mr. Campanella at the counter, chatting while enjoying one of the butterscotch candies he always kept at hand. “You always felt special when you walked through his door.. he would always light up as though you were the best thing that walked in… he was a very special man,” Elizabeth Doucet of Saint Lazare said.
Patrizia Campanella said that while she’s not surprised by how much people liked her husband, but she is by the effect his death seems to have had on so many. “I knew he touched a lot of people, I just didn’t know how much,” she said. The family will keep Lunetterie Vista open and running to honour Mr. Campanella’s legacy and his passion for his work, Mrs. Campanella said. The store will have reduced hours until they meet all their staffing needs. In addition to his wife, Mr. Campanella is survived by his children Mia, 14, and Julian, 18, his mother Palmina and sisters Dora and Marisa. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews Stephanie, Elliot, Mark and Jennifer, his mother-in-law Maria and brother-in-law Alfredo, as well as a host of extended family and friends. His father, Armando, had predeceased him.
Mr. Campanella studied at Vanier College and Concordia University before going abroad to attend medical school at the Universita di Bologna, in Bologna, Italy where he specialized in general medicine and surgery from 1980-1986. A serious automobile accident that affected the use of his arms and hands however curtailed his plans to complete medical school and become a surgeon. A year later Mr. Campanella began a two-year study of optometry in Italy, attending the Istituto di studi ottici e optometrici. He was also a past president of the Canadian Medical Student Association in Italy.
A visitation at F. Aubry et Fils Inc., 434 Main, Hudson, will be held on Friday, April 22 from 2 – 5 p.m. and 7 – 9 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, 413 Main Rd., Hudson on Saturday, April 23, at 11:00 a.m. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.