It’s only February and I’m already writing another obituary for a friend, Carla Campagnuolo-Jolly, who passed away last night after a brief battle with cancer. Anybody who was involved with the JWID/CWID series in the last decade who have come across Carla and few who did would forget her. For us rural Kiwis , she was like The Nanny personified…words a mile a minute, straight shooting and direct, an unforgettable chest that always seemed to arrive a couple of minutes before the rest of her…I think my first contact with her was on one of the last JWIDs where she was a nasal voice on the phone telling me to get “…stuff sorted down there!” I couldn’t have been very good at getting it sorted because the next year she came down to NZ to see for herself what the problem was…JWIDs all tend to blur after a while…stuck in a big room fills of computers and screen trying to explain to some vendor why his prize app just doesn’t work for three weeks…but I still remember well the night we all went out to The Curry Club in Wellington for a night out…these things were always good for hosting…and we also had great people coming in from Australia and the States…
In 2006, I let myself get talked into being the lead national evaluator for CWID 07 which sounded pretty good – more so since I’d just handed over the Centre for Army Lessons and had (I thought) some time on my hands – as it meant three trips to the US for the planning conferences in Virginia Beach with a payback of three weeks on-base for CWID and then a month ot complete the report…that was the easy bit – no one really quite got round to warning me about the CWID social schedule which, on top of her actual job, Carla managed…the rule always was, no matter how rough the night before, everyone was always on deck at 0800 for the next round of the conference…Carla’s mission was to make that as big a challenge as possible and the Wednesday night of each conference was always her piece de resistance, the Room Party. This started around seven and ended when it ended (most people had lost the ability to comprehend the concepts of time and muscular coordination well before midnight) – each involved a bewildering array of cocktails, shooters, things that looked like Popsicles but would put you on your back in about 30 seconds, and tons of pizza and snack food. In the morning (one ALWAYS prepared the next day;s clothing the night before!) it was wake around 0730, shower, dress, put on Homer Simpson glasses and back into the fray…
When Carla was diagnosed with cancer last year, I think many of us thought “…poor old cancer doesn’t know what it’s buying into here…” That Carla was a scrapper was never secret as anyone who ran afoul of her administratively at CWID would know and she fought this beast to the bitter end. No matter how she may have really been feeling after the operations and tubes and pills and illness, she always keep a brave face up. In fact, that’s probably why her passing has come as such a shock to so many: even during this last battle she was always so alive…
So today the thoughts of the Kiwi JWID/CWID team for the last decade are of Carla, and with Karl, Michael and Justin, her family and friends…
From Karl, writing on Carla’s page…we request that instead of flowers or other remembrances you send a donation in Carla’s name to:
1. Christian Healing Ministries
PO Box 9520
Jacksonville, Fl 32208
2. Capital Hospice
5656 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church Va 22042
Update 11 Feb 11
From Karl… I met with the Reverand that will preside over Carla’s service. The time, date and location are as follows:
Date: 18 February 2011
Location: The Falls Church, 115 East Fairfax Street, Falls Church Va, the old historic church.
My condolences. Let’s hope you won’t be writing another one of these for a long while
I don’t know you but i did know Carla since I was a DISA person until 2008. I saw Carla last Fall, and she was so positive, dismissing stage 4 cancer as a small thing that she would get through. This is too sad, she was so very vibrant. Your narrative made me smile – thank you.
I will miss that woman, she was my bestest of all
especially when she needed Friday off
or when Riki needed to be controlled
Mike would do anything she asked
as would the entire NZ defence ministry
Carla dear(big sister), we love you and miss you deeply
I am your loyal servant,
This is an unbelievable shock! Carla – what a wonderful, beautiful, amazing woman! I don’t know what this world is going to do without you, but heaven sure is lucky to have you as one of their angels! I love you – wish I had told you more often! I’ll miss you Big Sister!
Having worked at DISA since 2006 and having the pleasure to work with Carla at CWID in Stuttgart, this was quite a shock as I have been in Afghanistan since 2009 and no idea she was even sick. What a sweetheart and joy to work with. She will me missed greatly and the CWID program will never, ever be the same. My condolences to her family during this difficult time. I’m pretty positive that Carla is kicking someone’s but to jeep them in line up there. Luv u Carla!!
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