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Mário Roberto de Sá Campos
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He was born in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil, on February 24, 1940 to Amanda Galvão de Sá and Luiz Ribeiro Campos. He was born in the home of his maternal grandmother, Maria Leopoldina de Pessoa Galvão, who raised him until her death in 1955. Mário was the youngest of the family, with two older brothers, Paulo and Manoel, and an older sister, Dinah. He and his siblings had a shared love of music and would often put on plays to entertain the family. His love of music stayed with him throughout his life. He studied piano with his uncle Gazzí and learned to play the guitar. Always curious and with a strong sense of adventure, Mr. de Sá Campos spent much of his childhood on his family's ranch, learning to ride horses, rope cattle, and hunt mountain lions. He learned to drive a truck at the family pineapple plantation. He famously planned (and won!) a trip around the world by jeep. Unfortunately, the automobile manufacturer was unable to grant the prize to a twelve-year-old. He would have to wait a few more years before he could begin exploring those distant lands.

As he grew older his love of music and of people drew him to the local forrós (dances) where he would spend hours dancing, riding his horse home in the middle of the night. Although a cowboy at heart, his father encouraged him to pursue an education. Mr. de Sá Campos would later pass on this lesson to his children: anything else can be taken away, but what you learn stays with you forever. He earned a degree in Agronomy from the Escola de Agronomia do Nordeste and continued learning the rest of his life.

After graduating from the University, his father gave him the gift of an open ticket to travel the world. He loved seeing the world and learning about new cultures. His work in international trade, and his ability to speak five languages, eventually took him to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He especially loved England and considered it his "home away from home." He eventually moved to the United States where he settled in California with his family.

He and his family lived in Escalon for 20 years before moving to Ripon in 2005. His early retirement owing to health reasons did not prevent him from traveling the world via the Internet. His love of learning and his continued curiosity led him to become an avid computer user. He brought the computer and the Internet to the lives of family in Brazil as well, enabling him to keep in daily contact with his brothers and sister, as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by his five children, Hercílio, Tania, Katherine, Mário Filho, and Karen, as well as five grandchildren and his Pichilinga (an exceptional cat).

His life and its legacy can be so truly defined by one word: Love. His love of life and of his family will live on for generations to come.

A celebration of his life was hosted Saturday, April 18 at the First Congregational Church of Ripon. The family requests that if anyone wishes to do something in his honor, please help a child.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

April 22, 2009