It seems fitting at this time of thanksgiving, that we celebrate the life of our mother, Gladys (nee Lennie) Campbell, who taught us the importance of giving back to clan and community, and to be ever thankful for the love of family and friends. Mom passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 15th at the Maison McCulloch Hospice. She was 91.
Born in Sudbury ON, mom had a chaotic, crowded, but laughter-filled childhood, the eighth of nine children born to John and Ann (Soutar) Lennie who emigrated from Scotland for a better life in Canada in 1929. She was close to all of her siblings and over the years mourned the loss of each member of the Lennie clan; her brothers David, Peter, John, and Andrew Lennie, and her sisters Liz MacKinnon, Jess McGilvary, Nan Duval, and Margaret Taylor.
Mom married our dad, John “Jack” Campbell (predeceased) in 1952, and together they provided a safe and happy home to three children. They raised us to become independent adults, stressed the importance of education, a strong work ethic, and the importance of volunteerism. Perhaps the best gift they shared was a slightly irreverent sense of humour, which will help see us through this sad time.
Our children - Emily (partner Jason), Mark (wife Therese), Craig (wife Kim), and Tristan Campbell, and Patrick McCallum - all had the joy and privilege of knowing their grandparents, and have many fond memories that they can now share with their children - Layla, Porter, Lily, Audrey, Luke, and Winnie.
Although dad was the Rotarian, mom certainly lived the motto of “service above self.” Whether it was volunteering with the Red Cross, hosting holiday dinners for family and friends or inviting a novice curler into the club bonspiel, she considered everyone she met as a new friend. An accomplished figure skater in her younger years, mom and her partner, Alfio Grottoli, were Northern Ontario Pairs Champions and placed fifth in the Canadian Championships.
A sports enthusiast, mom could hold her own in a discussion of the latest Leafs trade or the Jays’ annual race for the pennant. She enjoyed live concerts (Tony Bennett, Celine Dion, and Johnny Reid were a few of her favourites), live theatre, and the occasional trip to the casino.
Sandra will be forever grateful for the opportunity to share her home with mom over the last four years as she faced the challenge of Alzheimer’s with her typical optimism and humour. Special thanks to the compassionate health care workers who helped keep mom happy and safe, including Dr. Amelia Witkowski, the Bayshore nurses and PSWs, and Susan Labelle, who became like family.
The truth is, the only thing mom hated in her life was her name, Gladys. But we are ‘glad’ that she was a part of our lives and take comfort in the fact that she was loved by all who knew her.
Love always and forever,
Jack Campbell and Jean Harris, North Bay ON
Brent and Lorraine Campbell, Louisville, Kentucky
Sandra Campbell, Sudbury ON
As per mom’s wishes, there will be no public visitation or service. If you so choose, please consider a donation in her name to the Maison McCulloch Hospice, where she was provided with such wonderful care in her last weeks of life. Arrangements entrusted to the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home, www.lougheed.org.