DOMINGO CAMARILLO | MAY 13, 1938 - MARCH 28, 2014

East Chicago's 'Godfather' loved his family and city

2014-04-04T22:34:00Z 2014-04-04T23:21:07Z East Chicago's 'Godfather' loved his family and cityCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent
April 04, 2014 10:34 pm  • 

Domingo Camarillo enjoyed the best hobby that any man can have -- his family.

He loved to spend time with his 100 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, said his daughter, Lidia Banda.

He would treat them to ice cream in the backyard -- and often would invite the whole neighborhood to join them.

Domingo "Godfather" Camarillo, 75, of East Chicago, died March 28.

In the hospital, when a nurse offered a popsicle to him, he insisted that his whole family get one, too.

"Even when he was a dying dad, he was still worried about everybody but himself," his daughter said.

He also was a very political person.

"He was a strong supporter of the Democrat organizations in East Chicago and Lake County," said Banda's husband, Edwardo.

He helped register voters, served as a translator and also worked on the campaigns of former Gary Mayor Rudy Clay.

With a chuckle, Edwardo Banda said Camarillo had many stories about working cotton fields in Texas during his youth.

"He was a proud American" and often flew the flag in front of his house, Edwardo Banda said.

With multiple flagpoles, he often accompanied it with the flags of Mexico, Puerto Rico and his home state of Texas.

"He was a sharpshooter," his son-in-law said, noting that everyone knew where they stood with him.

A retiree from Inland Steel, he currently was a janitorial supervisor at the county courthouse, Edwardo Banda said.

"He was a very loving man," Lidia Banda said. "He would help anyone even if he didn't know them."

He also loved his wife of 52 years, Lidia, very much.

"I appreciate everybody in the town of East Chicago for all their thoughts," his wife said. "He loved everyone from the bottom of his heart."

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