January 1, 1944 - October 17, 2015
t.dwarf Ludwig Caminita III, age 71, passed away at his home near Dallas, Oregon on October 17, 2015, following a difficult bout with cancer. dwarf was born January 1944, in Washington, DC to Ludwig Caminita, Jr. and Barbara Hobson Caminita. His parents, brother, Tony D'Addio, chosen brother, Jere Harley, and good friend Carroll Tveidt, predeceased him.
dwarf is survived by his family and many close friends; his wife, Laurie Hall, and their four grown children and spouses, Becky Jeremiah Isom of Salem, Oregon, Scott Nelson of Medford, Oregon, Kumiko Yoshihara of Pendleton, Oregon, Kayla Samuel Pureco of Pendleton, Oregon, three grandsons, Andres, Xaiden and Brandon and his niece, Mykah D'Addio Larkins, and her children, Tyler and Madelyn, of Albany, California. Included as his family were Joshua Fulero, Tom Claire Foskolos and Ella Derania Gabriel Gonzales. Laurie's family also adopted dwarf, including her mother, Shirley Redding of Salem, Oregon, step-mother, Marylou Hall of Kent, Washington, sisters, Christy Hall-Scheufele Bill of Glide, Oregon, Kathy Luessen Ron of Fall City, Washington, Shannon Hall of Seattle, Washington and brothers, Mike Redding Jan of Lakewood, Washington, Patrick Redding Suzan Borno of Rockville, Maryland, Dan Redding Jan of Vancouver, Washington and eight nieces not one nephew in this crew. dwarf also leaves behind his chosen sister in life, Nina Burkholder Steve Brown, and their son Gabe Brown, of Homer, Alaska, and his chosen brothers in life, Keith Jellum Carol Yarrow of Sherwood, Oregon and David Ostwald Brigitte Moyer of Portola Valley, California. His extended families include, the Tveidts of Hood River, Oregon, the Harleys of Portland, Oregon, the Helligsos of Kodiak, Alaska, and the Lowrys of Portland and Verrieres le Buisson, France.
There will be no memorial service, at dwarf's request. There will be a celebration of life next summer, with music. If you feel led to do something in his memory, please make a donation to your local food bank.
dwarf was a multi-dimensional artist and musician. He practiced a variety of arts and mediums: printmaking, sculpture, boxes, pottery, collage, stained glass, sign painting and woodworking. He was an accomplished caligrapher and taught classes in Oregon and Alaska. A self taught musician, he sang and played blues harmonica and guitar.
dwarf grew up in Arlington, VA. His parents divorced when he was young, his mother employed a nanny, Bertha McCray, to care for him while she worked. Bertha was with them until dwarf was 12 years of age. His mother was a bacteriologist, one of the few women in the field at the time and while he was young, she worked at The Smithsonian. dwarf remembered going into the basement of the great natural history museum and seeing all kinds of interesting displays and artifacts. His father was a public relations pioneer, who also worked in DC, and he spent each Saturday taking dwarf to the many museums in DC, as well as movies, and musical performances. For many years, he would have long summer visits with his Hobson grandparents at their small farm in rural Rhode Island. This is the foundation on which this amazing man built his life.
After graduating from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design. After about a year, dwarf and his friend, Jere Harley, left college and headed west in Jere's Karmann Ghia. They were off to San Francisco to find the “Beats.” They missed them by a few years and arrived a few years before the hippie movement. But the dwarf lived in Berkeley, California for a while, playing music and exploring his art. At one point, as he told the story, he was hungry and hadn't eaten for days, so he cut his long hair and went door to door to find a job. He was willing to do anything. He landed a job at Kaufman's Draperies, where Mr. Kaufman would call out to him over the intercom, “Ludwig, Come Here!” He was the only person in dwarf's life that ever called him by his birth name. Even as a kid, his family called him “Triple”, as he was the third in the family using this name. While at Kaufman's he gained a friend and brother, David Ostwald.
dwarf moved to Portland Oregon, where he continued his music and art pursuits. dwarf played harmonica, guitar, sang and managed two of Portland's folk music venues, Caffe Espresso and The Folksinger. The venues hosted national and local musicians. For a time, he played harmonica and sang with the Portland Zoo Electric Band. During the Portland years, he explored and studied many different art genres. He apprenticed himself to Keith Jellum, to learn metal casting, and he gained a friend and brother in Keith. Many others in the Portland music and art community became his family.
After an inspiring visit to the Columbia River Gorge, dwarf decided to move to Cascade Locks, where he settled for more than 30 years. He volunteered as a city councilman and on the planning committee of Cascade Locks. He began his work as a sign painter and general contractor. He continued his music explorations and creative endeavors. During these years, he and Nina Burkholder became good friends; they joined forces and started Delicate Balance Design and Construction. When Nina returned to her family's commercial fishing in Olga Bay on Kodiak Island, Alaska, dwarf joined the Burkholder crew at Olga Bay to fish and to build and remodel the family's Olga Bay cabins. Later, dwarf joined up with Nina, Steve Brown, Kent Helligso and Bernie Burkholder as crewmembers on their fishing boats. He fell in love with Alaska, later buying a house in Homer, just up the road from Steve & Nina.
For the next few years, when not fishing, dwarf made his living as a licensed construction contractor, the dwarfworks. In 1995, dwarf travelled to Montisi, Italy, to stay and care for a villa for six months with his friends in Montisi, Italy.
In 1998, dwarf married Laurie Hall and became the step-dwarf to her four children. The dwarfworks moved from Cascade Locks to the Willamette Valley. Laurie & dwarf purchased a home in Amity, Oregon and raised the girls there until the youngest graduated from high school.
dwarf and Laurie's home in Amity was a gathering place for friends and family. There was always room for one more at the dinner table. dwarf was a wonderful cook, sharing recipes from his Italian grandmother as well as his own collection.
dwarf and Laurie had many traveling adventures: they explored corners of Oregon, from Wallowa to Crater Lake and the Oregon Coast; made multiple trips to visit dwarf's mother in Macon, Georgia; Laurie flew to Alaska's Olga Bay on Kodiak Island to join dwarf at the end of his fishing seasons. dwarf had travelled the Al Can Highway many times over the years and he shared the adventure from Kodiak Island to Oregon with Laurie in 1998. During Spring Break 2001, always up for an adventure, they loaded the youngest daughters into the “Big White Van” and drove across the country to Washington, DC. Laurie & the girls flew home and dwarf went on to work on his mother's home in Macon.
dwarf and Laurie enjoyed adventures in Europe, in 2005 for four weeks, included visits to London and Paris, and then rented a car in Lyon, France and drove through the Alps to Montisi, Italy. They returned to Italy in 2009 for three more weeks.
dwarf shared his love for art with Laurie. As they travelled, they visited as many museums as they could, including stops in Portland, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Florence and Rome.
They purchased five acres outside of Dallas, Oregon in 2004 and built a home and moved onto the land in April 2012. An animal lover, dwarf rescued or adopted many cats over the years, building catteries wherever he lived, which provided them safe spaces, away from cars and predators. When he and Laurie moved to the country, they adopted two donkeys and dwarf kept busy building fences and barns.
An obituary cannot contain each person, place and adventure that the dwarf enjoyed in his lifetime. We say farewell to this generous, loving and adventurous Renaissance man, knowing that everyone, lucky enough to call him friend or family, will miss him dearly.