On May 21, Edward Warren Campbell, resident of the Laurels in the Village at Carolina Place, Pineville, lost his long battle with heart disease and COPD at the age of 89, passing peacefully with his daughters by his bedside. A darling of his assisted living community, he had a friendly smile for everyone. When Alzheimer’s Disease wouldn’t let him recall someone’s name, he countered with a cheery, “Hey, Girl, how ya doing?” as he made his way down the facility’s hallways. He was considered “a real Southern gentleman” with a lively, irreverent sense of humor that served him well until the very end. Fueled by a stubborn heart and an optimistic attitude, he met most days head on, with spirit and gratitude – “I’m just glad to be here – it’s better than the alternative.” He rarely met a dog, cat, or bird he didn’t take to, he was an avid college football fan, and he loved ice cream – especially butter pecan.
Formerly a longtime resident of Taylors, SC, he was born February 18, 1930 in Belmont, N.C., the son of Edward Campbell and Dorothy Pruitt Campbell. He, his brother Kenneth and sister Judy grew up on the “mill hill” of South Fork in Belmont, where his father was the mill’s master mechanic and electrician. A graduate of Belmont High School, he attended North Carolina State before joining the U.S. Air Force. He became a Staff Sergeant in military intelligence serving in Alaska and flew the friendly skies as an avocational co-pilot at every opportunity.
After his service career, he started a family with Virginia McGraw Campbell and resumed his education at Belmont Abbey College, graduating with a degree in business. During a long and successful career as an award-winning freight salesman with several prominent companies, including the position of Vice President of Sales for Rogers Brown Brokers, he was renowned as a warm, easy-going professional who could sell ice cubes to a penguin and loved to play golf. After retirement, he spent much of his time tending to the rental houses he had as investment properties, happily crawling under sinks to fix faucets or climbing up ladders to replace windows.
He was married to Brenda Craft Campbell for 28 years before her death from breast cancer in 2005. Immediate survivors are: two daughters and sons-in-law – Karen Campbell and Ray Wellbaum of Boston, MA., and Laura Campbell Craig and Paul Craig of Indian Land, SC.; four grandchildren – Erin Craig, Leah Wellbaum, Alex Craig, and Emma Wellbaum; a sister and brother-in-law, Judy Griffin and Ted Griffin, and his brother Kenneth’s widow, Margaret Campbell.
Warren will be deeply missed. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of his favorite charities -- the American Cancer Society (https://www.cancer.org) or the ASPCA (www.aspca.org) -- or the organization that helped make his final days a peaceful transition, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (www.donatehospice.org).