Richard A Campbell
(August 21, 1933 – July 29, 2022; 88 years old)
Richard passed away peacefully in the care of Community Hospice and Qualified Care Facility Trinity Grove after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Special thanks to Community Hospice, Trinity Grove of Wilmington and Terra Bella of Southport, who provided Richard with excellent care while lovingly allowing him to maintain as much independence and dignity as possible.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, Ada Stimer Ellis, Clarence Ellis, his informally adopted father, and father Alfred Campbell, and brother Thomas Campbell and daughter Joy Lynn Carroll (Curt). Richard is survived by his 25 year old loving wife Mary, his 2 children – Rick (and his wife Becky) and Vicki (and her husband Tommy), his 5 grandchildren – Kassidy (husband Sean), Scott (wife Cathy), Bradley , Alexander and Desmond (wife Courtney), 6 great-grandchildren – Ayden, Heather, Blair, Victoria, Owen and Ava. He would also like to mention his siblings-in-law and his many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Richard spent his early childhood in Hadley, Michigan before the family settled in Waterford, Michigan. Having worked from a young age, he took great pride in his final two summers of high school, when he first hitchhiked to Traverse City to pick cherries with the migrant workers, and then hitchhiked from Michigan for the second summer Alaska went to work gold dredging for the Alaska Smelt and Mining Company. Upon his return, he married his high school sweetheart (Patrisa).
After marrying Patrisa, Richard lived in Detroit for the next 3 years, working as a Detroit police officer and then a private investigator while attending Wayne State Law School. After passing the Michigan Bar, Richard and his family moved back to Waterford, and he “hung up his clapboard” (opened his own practice). He remained a prominent, respected attorney in Oakland County for the next 33 years.
In 1978, while still a lawyer, Richard opened a restaurant in Waterford called The Club Players, which was later remodeled and renamed The Duck Blind. Over the next few years, his restaurant became a haven for family and friends to gather, tell stories, form relationships, and often be invited to join the “owners’ table” party. He has always said that owning the restaurant is like having friends over every night, sitting in the living room and telling stories.
Although Richard ran two companies, he always wanted more in his life. He was an airline pilot and loved to take friends and family on trips around Michigan and up the east coast in his Mooney Chaparral plane. He was also an avid skier, sailor, golfer, traveler and lifelong learner. He took time off for several sabbaticals, including a year-long RV trip across the US and Mexico, a year skiing in Vail, Colorado, and with his wife Mary he spent 3 years in Whistler, British Columbia, 2 years sailing in the US Caribbean, and 3 years sailing Lake Huron and the entire length of the Erie Canal and Intracoastal Waterway. They have also toured many countries around the world and several US national parks.
Richard also had a side passion for real estate and over the years he built or renovated many homes, office buildings and multi-unit condos. In Michigan he was very active in local politics, running several election campaigns but always refusing to run himself because he “didn’t want to be so tied”.
In 2000, Richard retired and moved with Mary to the Magnolia Greens golf community in Leland, NC to be closer to the ocean and enjoy a year-round temperate climate. Knowing he needed to stay busy, they purchased a 3 unit complex on Oak Island which he spent the next 5 years renovating from the ground up. They also joined the Couples Golf Group and the Winey Diners, became members of the Wilson Center and the fine arts community, and took many road trips to explore the “things to do” in Coastal North Carolina. Richard immediately made many new and lasting friendships; but always maintained the old friendships.
He was a man who was always available to family and friends as an advisor, mentor, protector, companion, and friend. He really brought out the best in people. He knew how to inspire and motivate people and radiated a self-confidence that made them believe in themselves. He made himself available to everyone with his rich knowledge on almost all topics.
He loved children of all ages and always included them in the adventures of his life, whether it was boating on Williams Lake, skiing on Boyne Mountain, attending festivals or concerts, trying out new restaurants, going on a road trip, skiing in the… West or sailing in the Great Great Lakes or Chesapeake or golfing. He loved teaching children how to make things and instilling in them an appreciation for new experiences. And he always found the good in others, regardless of their position or status.
Richard was highly regarded as a man of integrity, compassion, intelligence and reliability. He was incredibly popular and will be missed terribly.
The family will be guests at a celebration of life at Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation Clubhouse, 1800 Tommy Jacobs Dr. Leland, NC 28451. There will be a short service followed by a continental brunch and get-together.
There will also be a funeral service on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Ottawa Park Cemetery, 6188 Dixie Hwy., Clarkston, Michigan, 48346 followed by lunch at the Deer Lake Athletic Club, 6167 White Lake Rd ., Clarkston, Michigan 48346
For those who would like to make a charitable donation in his memory, the family asks that they consider the Alzheimer’s Association ().
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, Village Road Chapel 525 Village Road Leland, NC 28451. 910.791.9099
Published by Wilmington Funeral & Cremation – Wilmington Chapel on August 2, 2022.