John Henry Camper, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle, went home to be with the Lord on March 9, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
He was the fourth of six children born to William and Ellen Camper in Jacksonville, FL on December 31, 1921, and was a member of Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, where he was baptized at the age of twelve. Upon his graduation from Stanton High School, he attended Edward Waters Jr. College (now Edward Waters College), where he received his Associate's Degree, and went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree from Georgia State College (now Savannah State University). He also earned his Master's Degree from New York University. Mr. Camper came to Oxnard, CA in 1958, and made history as the first African American Principal in Ventura County for the Ventura School for Girls, now the California Youth Authority.
He was an active member of the NAACP, served as a Boy Scout Leader, and was an avid Civil Rights Activist. He was a College Instructor at his alma mater, Savannah State College, and was a principal of an elementary school in Dixie, GA. Mr. Camper served as Superintendent of Pomona Adult Education and Superintendent of Education at the California Institute for Women. He was a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and received a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition for his historical service as a Montford Point Marine. Mr. Camper was also the recipient of the Pioneer Award from the Ventura County NAACP. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated for sixty seven years, and authored two books on Education and Psychology. He was also a member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Oxnard, CA.
Mr. Camper is survived by his daughter, Olga Rene Camper Stewart (Vincent Stewart), a sister Eloise Cross, three grandsons, Anthony Camper, Christopher Camper, and Joshua Camper (Jennifer), four great-granddaughters, and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family.
He is preceded in death by four siblings and his daughter Terri Jo Camper. To sign the family's on line guestbook, share stories, and post pictures please visit our website: www.garciamortuaryoxnard.com and click on Mr. Camper's name located below "Obituaries". Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Garcia Mortuary, 629 South A Street, Oxnard. For further information, please call (805) 486-9148.