Thomas James Campana (57), of Akron, Ohio, passed away at his home in the arms of his loving wife, Elizabeth (Beth) Hayas Campana, Monday night, August 21, 2023, after a long and very courageous battle with cancer. A loving and supportive husband, stepfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend, Tom cared most about those he loved above all else.
Born on July 21, 1966, in Youngstown, Ohio, to Gene and Catherine (Pepperney) Campana, Tom was the first born of three rambunctious boys. Always the protective and supportive big brother, Tom and his brothers, John and Jim, kept their parents busy with sporting activities, general mischief, and the occasional broken bone. Only Tom could convince his brother to pull him up a snowy hill on a sled with the promise to pull the sled down the hill for his brother.
Tom attended Saint Christine School from first to eighth grade and then Ursuline High School, where he was the Class of 1984’s Valedictorian. While at Ursuline he participated on the Track and Cross Country team as well as the Basketball team. Tom went on to study Electrical Engineering at Youngstown State University, graduating in 1989. Tom continued to stay involved with YSU throughout his career as a member of the Electrical Engineering Advisory Board.
After graduation, Tom took a job at Goodyear, in their Global Headquarters in Akron, Ohio, as a member of the Facilities Engineering team. He leveraged his facilities knowledge as he moved into Resident Engineering positions in Beaumont, TX and Napanee, Ontario. Tom returned to the Akron headquarters in 1996, where he joined the Global Engineering Mix team and later moved into a leadership role where he managed the team for the past 18 years as the Senior Manager. Tom was a passionate employee at Goodyear for more than 34 years. He was a mentor and coach for his team and viewed as, “the face of Mixing Operations,” by administration.
True joy came to Tom’s life in 2008, when he met his future wife, Beth. Tom knew from the first time he saw her that he would marry her. He has described her as both his “dream girl” and “soulmate.” Tom and Beth started dating in 2010 and were married on September 30th, 2012. Tom and Beth were happy just being with each other, whether that was traveling (they recently took a dream trip to Italy), attending a Cleveland Browns game, or even just a quiet night in front of the television. Once married, Tom also became a stepfather to Beth’s two children Melanie and Lucas Frost, who he loved as his own. They were dedicated not only to each other, but also to sharing their hearts, support, and strength with Melanie and Lucas. Tom’s final written words to Beth were, “I love you immeasurably.”
In addition to his family, two of Tom’s passions were the Cleveland Browns and golfing. Tom was a devoted Cleveland sports fan who followed the Guardians, Cavaliers, and especially the Browns. He loved the Browns and was a season ticket-holder to their games for several years. Referencing the team, he joked that, “They stole my money right up to the end!” Tom enjoyed golfing and played as much as he could, even attending yearly golf trips with friends. In his words, “I loved golf, I just wish I had been better at it.”
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Catherine (Pepperney) Campana of Youngstown, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Beth) Hayas Campana of Akron; stepdaughter, Melanie Frost of Akron; stepson, Lucas Frost of Akron; brothers, James Campana of Youngstown and John Campana (Juliann Cortese) of Tallahassee, Florida; and his niece and nephew, Joelie and Jace Campana of Tallahassee, FL.
To know Tom was to love him. Tom always had a smile for everyone, always had an ear to listen, and a heart filled with such kindness, sincerity, and a genuine compassion for others. He touched the lives of so many with his selflessness and generosity.
Instead of calling hours and a funeral, Tom’s wish was for friends and family to gather at a Celebration of Life Ceremony, to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Tom’s family would request that donations be made to American Cancer Society.