CHARLES EUGENE "GENE"
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LAKE WALES - Charles Eugene "Gene" Campbell, 85, of Lake Wales, FL passed away January 23, 2013 at Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale, FL, due to natural causes.
He was born to the late Charles Boyd Campbell and Edna Valentine Campbell, Oct. 5, 1927 in Elkhart, KS. and spent his early life in Dewey, OK where he graduated from High School in 1945. Upon graduation he joined the Merchant Marines at age 17. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific as part of the post-WWII military occupation forces.
He received degrees from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK; and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN. He was a dedicated educator, serving students for 35 years as a teacher and administrator, retiring as an Assistant Professor at St. Cloud State University in 1986.
Gene married his college sweetheart, Willa Dean Place of Coweta, OK on January 26, 1951. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage, living in Dewey, OK, St. Cloud and Nisswa, MN and Langley, OK before moving to Lake Wales, FL in 1998.
Gene's spiritual walk and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing with others was very important to him as he served as Deacon, Elder and Shepherd throughout his life of worship, most recently at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales.
He enjoyed fishing, water skiing, and especially sailing his boat "CrackerJack" on both Lake Superior and Grand Lake of the Cherokees. He taught adult sailing classes at St. Cloud State University culminating with a weekend cruise around the Apostle Islands.
He is survived by his wife, Willa of the home at Water's Edge in Lake Wales and two children: daughter Dianna and Dr. Jim Atkinson of Winter Haven, FL; son Ron and Suzanne Campbell of Lake Wales, FL. He and Willa have three grandchildren: Kristofer Atkinson and wife Angie of Tulsa, OK, Mackenzie and Madison Campbell of Lake Wales, FL.
Gene is also survived by sister Betty Maurer and brother Allen Campbell, both of Bartlesville, OK.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Family Life Center, First Presbyterian Church, 16 N. 3rd Street, Lake Wales, FL 33853 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 320 W. Main St. Lakeland, FL 33815 .
The family will greet friends at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 26, 2013 in the Parlor at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, with a memorial service at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary followed by reception in the Family Life Center.
Marion Nelson Funeral Home, Lake Wales.
Published in Ledger from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2013