Mario Camilli

Mario Camilli passed away on Aug. 12 after a long battle with kidney failure. He touched many lives with his gentle spirit and loving heart.

Mario was born in Oakland to Joseph (Alex) and Mary Lou Camilli. He graduated from Albany High School. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1964. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and served in the Vietnam War until 1967. After the service, Mario became a Berkeley police officer. After a few short years, he witnessed a police shooting and quickly realized this was not the profession for him. He began selling life insurance for Western and Southern Life. After 10 years, he began his career with AAA as a salesman. He retired from AAA in 2011 after 32 years.

Mario’s true passion was coaching youth football. He started coaching Antioch Youth Football (AYF) in 1986. A few years later, he decided to start a youth football program in the Brentwood/Oakley area. He founded East County Youth Football and Cheer (ECYF) in 1990; they played their first season in 1991. Mario devoted all of his free time to this program for over 25 years, coaching all four levels and attending cheer events and competitions. He struggled turning over control as his health declined, but he remained involved as long as he could, even if it meant watching games from the sidelines. He was very proud of the accomplishments, awards and championships ECYF won through the years. He will always be the heart and soul of ECYF.

Mario is survived by his wife, Gale; devoted children Judi Graves (Donny) of Brentwood, Mario Camilli and Alex Camilli of Oakley and Cheryl Woolworth of Oakland, and grandchildren Jordan and Amanda Graves of Brentwood and Asha Jackson of Oakland. He is also survived by his brothers Joe Camilli (Cathy) of Discovery Bay, Eduardo Camilli (Jacqueline) of Parrish, Florida and sister Nina Hood (Robin) of Sonora and “Pops,” Dennis Capas of Sonora. He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Mary Lou Capas in 2005. His generous loving spirit will be missed by all who knew him.

Friends and family are invited to Higgins Funeral Home, 1310 A Street in Antioch, on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, for visitation from 10 to 10:30 a.m, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Oak View Cemetery in Antioch.