James B. Campbell Jr. was born March 16, 1952, in Vincennes, Indiana, the son of James B. and Dorothy (McCleary) Campbell. When he was still a toddler they moved to Plainfield, Indiana and eventually just outside of town. He attended Avon Schools and graduated valedictorian from Avon High School in 1970. When he was young he began working in the family store, Campbell’s Men’s Shoppe in Plainfield and returned to manage the store for the summer of 1973.
In the fall of 1970, he went to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where he met the love of his life, Boneta Brock, whom he married April 15, 1972. While at Purdue, he worked at L. S. Ayres in the men’s department using the skills he learned in his father’s store. He finished his B. S. in electronics engineering in December, 1974, and he and his wife and 2-year-old son moved to the Seattle area sight unseen. Their daughter was born in 1978.
At the Boeing Company he worked as a test engineer on several programs from 1975-2007: B-1 Bomber Avionics, IUS (Inertial Upper Stage) for the space shuttle program, Peace Shield, 777 Cabin Management System and AWACS 40/45. He returned to Boeing twice under contract after retirement. He enjoyed his coworkers there and remained friends after retirement.
While working for Boeing, the family moved from Bellevue to Kirkland where they attended St. John’s Episcopal Church where Jim helped teach Sunday school, served on the stewardship committee, was a vestry member (including serving a term as Senior Warden), was active in a men’s group and served as a delegate to Diocesan Convention.
While in the Seattle area, Jim and Bonnie took their children on camping trips all around the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. In the late ’80s the family moved to Bothell, Washington and with a group of couples, started an Episcopal Church in the Cottage Lake area of Woodinville which eventually settled in Duvall (Grace Episcopal Church). In 1990 the family moved to Everett. Due to issues with air pollution, Bonnie moved to Raymond, Washington in 1994 and Jim got a work condominium in Kirkland. He split the week between the two places.
In 2005, they moved to Montesano and built a new home in 2006. In 2008, Jim became the spouse of an Episcopal priest when Bonnie was ordained and he also did all that he could for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Montesano including preaching and serving as treasurer and also delegate to Diocesan Convention. He was the communications coordinator.
Jim lettered in cross country in high school and kept stats for the basketball team. At Purdue, he kept stats for the Boilermaker freshman basketball team. His mom said if there was a tiddly winks tournament on TV she thought he would watch it. He liked to keep stats for sports of all kinds including exact records of his own training and competitive running in the 1980s when he ran marathons and shorter races. His most recent sports obsession was international football (soccer).
Jim was close to both his son and daughter and talked to them on the phone several times a week. His three grandsons were his pride and joy and he loved spending time with them.
Jim volunteered for Camp Victory for both girls’ and boys’ camps. He helped with whatever was needed at girls’ camp and hung with the younger boys at boys’ camp often causing them to slow down a bit for the camp grandpa. He loved wearing his cheeseburger hat there.
Jim also served on Diocesan Council and Standing Committee for the Diocese of Olympia and even after finishing those terms he continued to serve on the Budget and Finance Committee where he was the historical voice for the financial concerns of the the diocese and, also the parishes, missions and prayer stations. He often visited a church with financial concerns to help them. He was instrumental in lowering the assessment rate for the churches so they could keep more money for local ministries. He considered The Right Reverend Greg Rickel his friend and pastor. He had scores of friends in the diocese who appreciated his kindness, his gentle spirit, his love of God and his ability to focus on an outcome until it was accomplished. He also served as an ally for the Circles of Color/Ethnic Ministries group. As Mary Lyons noted, there was heart in his strategy.
Jim was a member of the Cursillo community since 1980 and served on several teams over the years. He learned The Servant Song there and it will be sung at his funeral.
Jim’s last paid position was as the bookkeeper for Chaplains on the Harbor which he started as a volunteer. In July, when he retired, he was given the “First Annual Saving-Our-Ass Award” by this agency for his service from 2014 to 2021.
Jim loved to play golf and his favorite golf partners were his brothers. He often said he loved a round of golf with his brother, Tom, just so he could watch him play. He loved playing the Deer Creek Golf Course near Belleville, Indiana because his brother, Mark, built it and helped with the design. His last golf game was played with Pastor Bruce Swanson who was his friend along with Pastor Marc Rice. He loved going to Montesano Ministerial Association activities and talking to our churchy neighbors.
Jim and Bonnie loved to travel places together and had several lovely trips to Canada, Florida, Palm Springs, Sedona and Phoenix, trips to the Hoosier State, Chicago and Hawaii. In 1994/95, Jim worked in Portsmouth, England, for a few months and Bonnie and their daughter joined him for a month and saw all the sites they could. In 2008, they toured Israel/Palestine with a Diocese of Olympia group and made some treasured friends. Jim and Bonnie also took a trip in 2019 to North Carolina, Florida and Costa Rica which they loved.
As Jim’s health deteriorated this year, he studied his genealogy, had his DNA run, and called relatives and talked to them on the phone and through Facebook. So many have said they talked to him just before he died.
Jim breathed his last breaths while talking to his beloved daughter on the phone. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, The Reverend Bonnie Campbell (Central Park, Washington); his son, James B. Campbell III (Fairfax, Virginia), his daughter, Rozena Anne (Jeff) Williams (Nemah, Washington), his brothers, Tom (Aimee) of Winter Park, Florida; Mark (Lynne) and David (Debbie) of Plainfield, Indiana; and Andy (Robin) of Fillmore, Indiana; his grandsons: Caleb and Aaron Williams of Nemah, Washington; and Oliver of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. six nephews, three nieces, several grandnieces and grandnephews: three bonus grandsons: Will, Jack and Jameson Brown of Lebam, Washington and all the Camp Victory kids.
His memorial service will be on Sept. 18, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Montesano Church of God, 317 E. Spruce, followed by a reception at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Montesano, 124 N. Sylvia. His cremains will be spread during a private service on Sept. 19, 2021 in Nemah, Washington. There might be some fishing.
His family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to Chaplains on the Harbor, 52 Arland Road, Montesano, WA 98563. His wife has hopes of buying a tractor or a greenhouse in his memory — an outward sign of the love and esteem Jim’s life prompted in others.