Felipe Santiago Campos died at age 82 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the Nathan Adelson Hospice after a debilitating battle with brain cancer.
Felipe was born on May 1st, 1934 in Villanueva-Cortez, Honduras to Fidelia and Apolinario Campos. His mother Fidelia ran the local kitchen and bakery in the mining town they resided in while his father worked with the miners excavating gold. He was the youngest of 4 siblings, two of which proceeded him in death. His biological father passed away suddenly from a heart attack when Felipe was just a baby while cradling him in his arms.
His mother remarried and he was raised by his step-father, Eugenio Henriquez, who instilled upon him the importance of holding one's own and contributing indefinitely to family whether that be with love, admiration or monetary aid. At the tender age of 8 years old, his step father, Eugenio, passed away and Felipe started working to help support his mother. This included various odd jobs in the gold mining town where his step father and mother worked in El Salvador. He spent his formative years in El Salvador and although he tried to pursue studies in agronomy, his commitment to contributing to his family's home eventually led him to relocate and move to various districts in El Salvador so that he could send money to his mother and sisters.
On January 25, 1964 he married Maria “Melitha” Carmen Uceda in El Salvador. She would be his lifelong companion and the one true love in his life. Due to conflicts between El Salvador and Honduras, he was no longer permitted to access a visa to live in El Salvador. This caused him to make the tough choice of leaving his wife and family and seek refuge in Guatemala for a short time. When it became clear that he would not be able to return to El Salvador, he made the choice of seeking work with a company that would allow him to immigrate to the United States.
He arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1971 and became infused with the enthusiasm of pursuing the American Dream. After a year of hard work, he was able to arrange for his wife Melitha’s passage into the United States. Their life in Las Vegas was full of flashing casino lights, beautiful cars and desert sunsets. Felipe worked in the hospitality industry for the remainder of his life. He worked for the legendary Dunes Hotel and got to meet the Rat Pack as a busboy during the beginning of his career. He glowed whenever he spoke of shaking Frank Sinatra’s hand, seeing the Jackson 5 and Andy Williams, among countless other renowned celebrities. He was an employee at the Dunes Hotel until its demolition and retired after working at the Flamingo Hotel.
When he retired, he sought every opportunity to travel alongside Melitha and journeyed far and wide to see all of America’s gems. He had an endless optimism and thirst for living. Even as the spark of life became a flicker he retained his splendid humor, compassion for others and his unwavering faith in God. He was a magnificent man who traversed unimaginable odds and was grateful for every day he was able to be with us on here on Earth.
Felipe is survived by his adoring wife Melitha, his son Herbert, and his two grandchildren Devin and Kevin with whom his memory and legacy lives on.
Viewing will be held on Friday March 24th at Boulder City Family Mortuary 833 Nevada Hwy Ste 1 BC, NV from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. Memorial service will be held on Saturday March 25th at 11:00 a.m. at the Boulder City Christian Center. Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at www.bouldercityfamilymortuary.com