"When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'Happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." ~John Lennon
Thomas Ervin Campen was born December 1, 1949, in Peoria, Illinois to Willis T. and Luella M. Tucker Campen. Thomas moved to Lodi in 1980 and met Lisa Bowen and was married in 1983. Thomas was a devoted father and friend. He was a wonderful guitar player and photographer, a reluctant commercial truck driver, an enthusiastic motorcyclist, and most of all a mentor. He was never limited in his ability to do anything he put his mind to. Thomas learned multiple computer operating systems and command line in his early 50's, picked up the guitar and learned to play in his late 50's, became a golf enthusiast and one of the better players at his California golf club at age 61, and recently picked up photography as a hobby and within six months was selling photographs online. He believed that happiness was the key to life and it is our sincerest hope that he was happy when he left. We as a family know he was a success.
Surviving are his mother, Luella M. Tucker Campen, his only son, Christopher T. Campen, and daughter-in-law, Saori Campen, four brothers Jerome H. Campen and Galen M. Campen both of East Peoria, IL., Willis P. Campen of Washington, IL., and Matthew J. Campen of Creve Coeur, IL.; two sisters Mary J. Orr of Washington, IL., and Monica J. Frietsch of Mapleton, IL.
17 Nieces and nephews, 24 great nieces and nephews.
Thomas was preceded in death by his father Willis T. Campen on November 18, 2005 in Creve Coeur, IL., one brother Alan B. Campen on June 26, 1995 in Maplewood, MO., one sister Janice M Auer on October 30, 1980 in Peoria, IL. His memorial service will be held in Peoria, IL
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, 2012