Cammie Aline Lapenas

8 entries
  • "My deepest condolences for your loss. May memories of..."
  • "Cammie and I have known each other for many years. Oddly..."
    - Christie Crowell
  • "I loved Cammie. She was the 1st therapist I went to, she..."
    - Jerri Becnel
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    - Lashawn Keith
  • "Cammie will be missed by so many. What a great Pi Phi..."
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Obituary

Cammie Aline Lapenas, 69, of Baton Rouge died peacefully in the early morning of January 19, 2019 at home, the home she loved and in which she was raised. Her daughter and a caregiver were with her, and there is much comfort knowing her ever-present pain is finally relieved. Cammie was born August 9, 1949 in Lafayette, Louisiana to Mr. and Mrs. John V. Lapenas, Sr. (Beryle Evans). The family returned to Baton Rouge when Cammie was four, and she remained in the community she loved for the rest of her life. She attended the Louisiana State University Laboratory School and University High School. (Go Cubs!) She earned a B.A. in 1971 from LSU, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, and she was a Le Cercle de Bacchus débutante in 1969. After years as a stay-at-home mother, Cammie returned to LSU, earning her Masters of Social Work in 1985. While still a student, Cammie volunteered at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, "The Phone," and combined the skills she was acquiring in class with her lifelong love of animals by starting the Human-Animal Bonding Project at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She worked as a therapist at Family Counseling Services before opening her own private practice. Her beloved Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Murphy, went to work with her daily. Cammie spent the last several years of her career at LSU Mental Health in the Student Health Center. Among her many professional affiliations and honors were being a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work and memberships in the National Association of Social Workers, Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners (including a term as Chair), American Group Psychotherapy Association, Louisiana Group Psychotherapy Association, and the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists (Founding Member). Cammie loved her work and was good at it, but if for some reason she couldn't be a social worker in her hometown, she would have settled for being a veterinarian with a hardware store/antique jewelry shop in Destin, Florida. Cammie's health issues began at age 16 with a tumor on her spine, and throughout her life, she endured nearly 30 surgeries. However, Cammie had an iron will, much courage, and a determination to recuperate and rehabilitate after every set back including paralysis. She loved living and laughing and did both boldly, believed in family, was proud of her Lithuanian heritage, surrounded herself with wonderful friends from every stage of life, enjoyed helping people and made a career of it, thought some rewards are worth taking risks, and taught her daughter these values by example. Among her favorite things were the beach, entertaining, Hitchcock films, travel, a beautifully set table, board games, the blues, telling family stories (without worrying about silly things like "facts"), her GTO, neighborhood, dogs, friends, and family, room service, and LSU Baseball (Go Tigers!). Cammie is survived by her daughter, Chanelle Thibaut; a cousin she loved as a daughter, Melchina "China" Creaghan Smulson, of Washington, D.C., China's husband, Stoff, and their children, Julian and Melchina "Rose;" brother, John V. "Johnny" Lapenas, Jr., of Clinton, LA and his wife, Joyce; cousin, Sidney McCallum Creaghan, of Lafayette, LA and her husband, Francis "Frank;" cousin, Edmund McCallum, of Fairhope, AL and his wife, Ingrid; nephew, William "Billy" DeMoss, of Clinton, his wife, Donna, and their son, William "Shelby;" niece, Joy Lapenas Gardner, of Clinton, her husband, Todd, and their children, Emery and Evan; niece, Somer Lapenas Tweedy, of Clinton, her stepson, Austin, and her daughter, Taylor "Rae." She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Lapenas (Helen Belzas); maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Willard F. "Bill" Evans (Aline Hamilton); and her parents. Chanelle and the family are so grateful to the wonderful and hilarious triumvirate, other classmates and friends, the HOCA neighbors and book club, sitters Patricia Robinson and Antoinette Robertson, and especially Cammie's aide and friend, Tonya Patterson, who have fed, transported, entertained, and even stayed in the hospital with Cammie. A memorial service joyfully celebrating Cammie's life will be held Saturday, February 16 at 12:00 noon at the family home. In honor of her unique wishes and her spirit, a gospel choir and prayer will begin at 12:30 followed by great music, delicious food, and loving remembrances. It is the family's intention to have a gathering Cammie would love to host and to attend! In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Louisiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 4613 Fairfield St. Metairie, LA 70006; Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge, 2550 Gourrier Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70820; or a cause of your choice.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Feb. 13 to Feb. 16, 2019
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