Originally created 02/11/02

Featured obituary: Mr. Walter Campbelle

Clearwater resident Walter Campbelle loved to help people less fortunate than he was.

"He was very interested in helping other people - I guess because of his childhood, growing up without a dad and living in a boarding school in Tennessee," said Linda Tyler, Mr. Campbelle's daughter.

In the past few years, Mr. Campbelle, who died Friday, gave most of his time to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Augusta and the Aidmore Children's Home in Conyers, Ga.

At the veterans hospital, Mr. Campbelle was in charge of giving parties and coordinating the bingo games every Monday and Friday night.

Mr. Campbelle served on the board of trustees of Aid-more Children's Home because he thought it was important to help children who were homeless, Ms. Tyler said.

"Even after he had his stroke ... in July, he just had to go down to the board meeting," she said. "We took him even though he wasn't really able to go."

After service in the Army during World War II, Mr. Campbelle worked at DuPont, officiated high school football on Friday nights and played Santa Claus every Christmas for the mentally handicapped.

"When I was young, I remember he used to go around every Christmas and get names of families that needed stuff for their kids," his daughter said. "He would put baskets together to make sure (the families) had food and toys at Christmas."

Since his wife, Mary, died four years ago, Mr. Campbelle relied on his two poodles, Pierre and Mickey, for companionship.

Over the years, he remained close to Ms. Tyler's mother, his ex-wife.

"She has helped me take care of him over the last seven months. It is not usual that you stay really good friends with your ex-wife, but they have remained good friends," Ms. Tyler said.

The funeral was Sunday at Redds Branch Baptist Church in Clearwater.

Reach Carly Phillips at (803) 648-1395 or carly.phillips@augustachronicle.com.


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