Kenneth Eugene Campbell, 85, a devoted husband and loving father, died on Thursday (February 8, 2018), at his home with his family by his side.
Surviving Ken is his beloved wife of 58 years, Nancy (Fox); his children Craig (Donna Baldisseri) of Marlborough, Mass., Christopher (Rena Huang) of Albany, N.Y., Karen (Rich Fahle) of Chelsea, Mich., Bryan (Kristen Carni) of San Clemente, Calif. Also surviving are his 12 grandchildren, Colin & Gillian Campbell; Matthew & Evan Campbell; Aidan, Campbell, Nora & Owen Fahle; Carni, Paige, Tessa & Maggy Campbell.
Ken was born on June 20, 1932, on the family farm in Sterling, N.Y., on the date of his parents’ 16th wedding anniversary. He was the sixth of eight children born to Arthur & Margaret (Andrews) Campbell. His siblings include Miriam Haywood (deceased), George (deceased), Dorothea Fields, Ruth Bigelow (deceased), Arthur (deceased), Carol Mayfield, Kathleen Johnson.
Ken was a special man, one of the very good people from a generation when perseverance was more useful than ego, and simple sincerity was the prevailing rule of thumb.
Ken was a decorated veteran of the Korean War, yet he never spoke of his medals. He believed in an honest day’s work, looking someone in the eye, and listening to people’s stories to find some common ground. He had the powerful ability to make you feel better in his presence because he effortlessly brought out the best in you, frequently with a story or two shared along the way.
Ken was incredibly proud of his four children and their many accomplishments throughout their lives. He lived for their successes and beamed (or sometimes cried) with pride during their special moments. He loved his children’s spouses as his own. He took them into his heart without reservation and had complete trust in them as parents to his beloved grandchildren. And of course, for 58 years he made a wonderful life with Nancy, making a family and sharing life’s beauty. He doled out love and respect, and it was returned to him in equal measure.
Ken was everyone’s go-to guy for advice for really just about anything – from vegetable gardening, to appliance fixing, to the best travel routes, to the tastiest ingredients for a soup, to the perfect New York state apple for any occasion. He understood inherently that life’s greatest joys were the small things, which he experienced and shared with great gusto. When he read a great book, ate a delicious meal, grew a perfect cabbage, or found an especially superb IPA, he would revel in it, declaring it “the best I ever read.” Or “the best I ever tasted.” Ken was passionate about his discoveries, and absolutely loved sharing his new finds with family and friends.
The family would like to thank some of Ken’s favorite people for showering him with so much love throughout the years: Inez Darrow, Mona Fox, Patricia Crowe, Barb Helbig, Chris & Kip Utter. An extra dose of love goes out to Lori Campbell who cared for Ken with such tenderness. Ken never had a bad word to say about anybody. His calm, gentle demeanor will be missed by so many. The twinkle in his eye is no longer, yet his sense of fun & genuine care will live on through all who knew him. His final selfless act was to donate his body for study at the University of Rochester.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate you supporting your local farmers market or the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. nysaes.cals.cornell.edu