Obituary | V.R. “Bob” Campbell
V.R. (‘Bob’) Campbell went in peace and love surrounded by family and friends to be with his Savior on August 4th, 2019, at KRMC. He was 95 years old.
He was preceded in death by his faithful and loving wife of 70 years, Alda
(‘Aldee’) Rosine (Haack) Campbell who passed at the age of 93 in September of 2017, as well as by his two daughters; Barbara Louise Campbell (in a car accident in 1967, aged 20) and Shauna Dee Campbell (to cancer in 2017, aged 59), and by his brother; Charles Alan Campbell (in 1997, aged 69).
He is survived by 23 loving and caring nieces and nephews, as well as by a good
number of great and great-great-nieces and nephews.
Bob was born on October 13, 1923, in Birmingham, Alabama, and christened
Virgil Ogliver Campbel Jr., after his father. It was his mother, Mary Louise (McSweeny)
Campbell, who instead called him ‘Robert’ and Bob adopted the name Virgil Robert
Campbell as a compromise, enabling him to honor his mother and his father, like the
good book says.
After graduating San Diego High School in 1942, Bob joined the United States
Navy and was accepted into its Naval Aviation Cadet program. Two years later he
received his certification as a Naval Aviator and began his career as a pilot.
Bob first met Aldee Haack in 1945 and as soon as Bob returned from the Pacific
and was released from the Navy in October of 1946, the two married. Bob took a civilian
job with the Naval Air Station in San Diego before being recalled to active duty in the
Navy from 1948 to 1950. Bob was returned to inactive status just prior to the start of the
Korean War, but went on to work at the Naval Air Station Training Department and fly
in the Naval Reserves.
Then in 1951, as Bob put it, “my dreams came true” and he was hired by TWA,
first as a co-pilot and then graduating to Captain in 1957. Bob continued to fly until he
retired in 1983 at the age of 60, having achieved the rank of Senior Check Captain for
TWA’s fleet of Boeing 747s. He referred to this period as “the golden age of aviation” and loved sharing his many entertaining stories of rubbing elbows with ‘jet set’ celebrities on board his transatlantic flights.
On the ground Bob was an active member of the Horseless Carriage Club of
America, enjoying many tours of the western US, Canada and Mexico in the several pre-1916 cars he owned, his favorite being a 1913 Model T that he called ‘Esmerelda’. Bob served on the national board of the HCCA from 1971 to 1979 and then again from 1994 to 1998, being elected to terms as its chairman and as its president during both tenures.
In 1998, Bob and Aldee moved from California to Kingman, Arizona, where after
all the moves that Bob’s work had demanded of them, they were finally able to truly
settle down. Bob quickly became active in many Kingman community groups such as
Gideons, Salvation Army, Route 66 and WACOG, while alongside Aldee he helped found Kingman’s Cerbat Garden Club. Most importantly of course, the two joined the Kingman Presbyterian Church, where Bob devoted himself to the service of that faith on which he and Aldee both relied, taking on many leadership roles. Bob called its congregation his “church family”, and said they made Kingman “truly a place to call home”.
A memorial service will be held at the Kingman Presbyterian Church on Sunday,
October 13th at 2pm.Reception following the service. In lieu of flowers donations may
be made in Bob’s name to the Kingman Presbyterian Mission Travel Fund or to the Joan and Diana Hospice House, Kingman.
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