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1960 Donald 2023

Donald Thomas Campbell

August 26, 1960 — April 7, 2023

Donald “Don” Thomas Campbell, 62, died Friday, April 7th, 2023, at Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, of a long, debilitating illness. The end came rapidly on Good Friday, and he suffered with courage and dignity. He was anointed by Father Bede of the ETSU Catholic Center, cared for with skill and kindness by the ICU staff, and was surrounded in love and prayer by his sister Jeanne, her husband Randy, and their whole family when he passed away that night to enter Eternal Life. He was preceded in death by his parents, Denis and Dolores Campbell, his closest brother David Campbell and Dave’s wife Annie. Don is survived by his SISTERS: Annette (and Richard) Zimmerman of Tucson AZ, Jeanne (and Randy) Krekelberg of Johnson City, TN., Ave Campbell of Tucson, AZ, Claudette (and Mark) Wiitanen of Mead, CO, Camille Campbell of Madison WI, Janette (and Dan) Borgmeier of Rochester, MN, and Jennifer Campbell of Rochester MN; and by BROTHERS: Denis (and Cathy) Campbell of Scandia MN, Douglas (and Jane) Campbell of Bloomington MN, and Dean Campbell of Burnsville, MN. Also surviving are many unique and beloved nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, too numerous to list by name here.

Don was born August 26, 1960, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, the 6th child of Denis and Dolores Campbell, in a family that would be blessed with 6 additional younger siblings after him. Eventually everyone would be nicknamed by their birth order, so Don was dubbed #6. He grew up a middle kid in a big Midwestern Catholic family, trying to find his way and his place and his own identity, tagging along with his brothers, with family enough for 2 teams for every game and sport, and growing closest over the years to David (#5) and Claudette (#7.) Eventually the family moved to the Twin Cities, and Don lived in Minneapolis and later in Saint Paul, MN. He had a big grin and a spirit of adventure. He loved the outdoors and especially fishing, and became quite an expert, and the family’s fishing mentor. Don became estranged to organized religion over the years, but believed in God whom he experienced on a personal basis and through the majesty and wonder of His creation.

He graduated from Saint Thomas Academy’s High School ROTC program in Mendota Heights, and went on to work at and then manage a Pizza Hut. He had a diligent work ethic, put in 60 plus hour work-weeks, and his restaurant was so successful and stable that he was eventually promoted to work with managers in the regional chain to help them identify and solve their restaurants’ problems. From there he moved on to manage a Rental Business in South Minneapolis for several years, then semi-retired and worked odd jobs. After moving to Tennessee 6 years ago to live with his sister Jeanne (#3)’s family, he worked a little as a house and pet sitter, until he became too ill to do even that. He lived simply and privately, and loved peanut butter cookies, Johnny cake, bologna and PB and J sandwiches. He came to the Mountains to find a home, a family, a brother/friend in his brother-in law Randy, some devoted pets to love and care for, and some peace at the end of his life. We learned a lot from Don about life, about ourselves, and about what really matters. He will be greatly missed.

Memorial and Burial Services will be held in Minnesota. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Johnson City/Washington County Animal Shelter ( 

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