Lt. Col. William Francis Campbell, USAF - Retired, passed peacefully from this earth on Wednesday, January 23 in his home after a short illness. Col. Campbell was born and raised in New Jersey on May 6, 1920 to parents William John Michael Campbell and Louise Rutzler Campbell. He graduated from Montclair State College as a History and English teacher; he also attended Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and University of South Alabama in Mobile. He entered the US Army Air Corps in March of 1942 as an Aviation Cadet. He served on B-17's over Germany during World War II. He worked in airline administration following the war. He returned to Active Duty with the US Air Force during the Korean War flying medium bombers. He flew jet interceptors in Alaska. He holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, four Air Medals, Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Service Medal and was cited for Valor during WWII. He was stationed in Alaska, England, Turkey, Korea and Thailand. He was an ROTC instructor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, flew VIPS's with Special Air missions and was Assistant Air Attaché at the US Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. He retired from the Air Force with 30 years of service. Col. Campbell became the Officer in charge of Air Force Junior ROTC program at Midview High School in Grafton, OH from 1976 - 1985, where he touched the lives of many young men and women cadets who went through his program. Campbell was married on December 25, 1942 to Audrey Brogan. Together they had 5 children - Michael (Sally) of Napa, CA; Joseph (Judy) of Alameda, CA; Cynthia of San Diego, CA; Bill (Dana) of Castle Rock, CO and Laurel Campbell-Zinck (Mike Zinck) of Colorado Springs, CO. He had seven grandchildren: Thomas Campbell of Las Vegas, NV, Ian Zinck of Colorado Springs, Elizabeth Hansen Campbell of Napa, Kira Zinck of Colorado Springs, Megan, Audrey and Liam Campbell of Castle Rock. After moving frequently their entire adult lives, Bill and Audrey enjoyed settling down for their second retirement in beautiful Colorado Springs, where they relocated in 1986. During these years they traveled frequently, visiting Europe, Argentina, and traveling around the western US. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, sister and by his beloved Audrey in 2006. He was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus, a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church, life member of MOAA, and a member of the 91st Bomb Group. He loved music and was an accomplished pianist. Visitation will be at Swan-Law funeral home on Sunday, January 27 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, January 28 at 2:00 pm at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Burial at Fairview Cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care.
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Published in The Gazette on Jan. 27, 2013