Douglass Archibald Camper, 89, of Hinesville departed this life on Monday, April 29, 2013, at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta.
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Douglass Camper was born on June 15, 1923, in Prescott, Ariz., to the late Augusta Viola Cason Camper and Archibald Hayward Camper. Douglass Camper was educated in Prescott and San Diego, Calif. He grew up during The Depression. His early years were tough. He often had to gather rice that had spilled from passing trains for dinner. He often spoke of those hard times.
Douglass Camper joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17, six months prior to World War II. During WWII he served as a shift watch cook. While serving aboard the heavy cruiser CA-71 USS Quincy, Douglass met and talked to President Roosevelt as he traveled to the Yalta Conference aboard the Quincy. During Douglass' military service he traveled to many places: Normandy, France, Nuremburg, Germany and San Diego. Petty Officer First Class Douglass Camper retired from the military after 23 and three months of service in September 1961.
Douglass married his first wife, Charlene Gee (deceased) of South Ozone Park, N.Y. They later divorced.
After service, Douglass returned to the states and worked as a skycap captain at LaGuardia and JFK airports. He also worked for the railroad as a pullman porter. He later worked for United Airlines as a skycap captain. While employed there he met his second wife, Naomi Porter (deceased). Since Naomi was a cabin maintenance worker, Douglass asked if he could change jobs so he could be near her. They worked side-by-side, cleaning airplane cabins for some years and then he retired after 14 years of service in 1986. After leaving United, Douglass and Naomi moved to Denver, Colo., where he lived until 1994, when the military hospital at Fort Carson closed.
Once in Hinesville, Douglass and Naomi built their dream retirement home. Douglass became a member of Greater Zachariah Church in Glennville (Naomi's home) and served as a Sunday school teacher and usher. Douglass later became an active and faithful member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Hinesville.
He was the foster father of several children. Most were from abusive homes and Douglass taught and loved them as if they were his own. After many years of service to the community and his church, he was ordained as a deacon in 2005. Douglass was a generous man and quietly helped family and friends. He never sought the spotlight.
Douglass leaves to mourn his death, a sister, Blanche (William) Bell of Tucson; and a brother, Hayward (Isabelle) Camper of Albuquerque, N.M.. Two sisters and one brother preceded him in death: Mary Jane Camper, Pearl Camper, and Leonard Camper. He also leaves to mourn his death devoted second cousins, 1SG Nixon Alfred Camper, Jr. (ret.) and W. Renea Camper of Hinesville; and his first cousins, Nixon Alfred Camper and Ruby Kimbrow of Baltimore, Md., and Joyce Augustus of Hinesville, Mary Lou Camper Redd, Elizabeth Camper (Frank) Jones, and Ellen Camper (Glendi) Johns, all of Baltimore; his pastor, the Rev. Dr. M.L. Jackson, dear spiritual friends, Prophet and Mrs. Ruffus Powell, Deacon David Terry, and Jackie Faison of Hinesville, Mr. Willie Thompson of North Carolina, and the Rev. and Mrs. Guffie of Denver, Colo., dear neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Myers, Ms. Pam Hall and Ms. Chong Morgan, and caring and devoted caregivers: Shamonda Sanders, Sarah Barnes, Dellrea Fillmore and Lauren Smith. In addition, a host of church family members, neighbors, and friends grieve his passing. Also cousins, Jean Camper (Edgar) Kahn and John Camper Jr., preceded him death.
Mr. Camper's visitation will be from 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1370 Shaw Road, Hinesville, until his funeral service at 3:30pm with full military honors.
Interment will be in Long Island National Cemetery in Long Island, N.Y., on Friday, May 10.
Dorchester Funeral Home has charge of local arrangements.
Published in Coastal Courier from May 2 to May 9, 2013