Patrick J. Campbell, 68, of Montgomery, Texas, passed away on July 27, 2013, of congestive heart failure.
Mr. Campbell was born January 21, 1945 in Bakersfield, California to Fred and Jane Campbell. His family moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1947, where Mr. Campbell spent his formative years. As a youngster, he could frequently be seen around town in his western outfit, complete with cowboy hat, chaps, and toy six shooters on his hips. He was a huge fan of Gene Autrey and Hop-Along Cassidy and enjoyed going to see western movies showing at the downtown theater.
In 1958 Mr. Campbell's family returned to Bakersfield, where he graduated from North High School in 1963. At North High, he played football and was a wrestling champion. His senior year, he was presented with the Sam Lynn Trophy, which was awarded to the most outstanding athlete in Kern County.
He was married to Jana Maltby on September 5, 1964. That same year, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served on active duty until 1967. He achieved the rank of Sargent E-5, and often said that he considered his time in the Marine Corps to be his "college education." His daughter Patricia was born in 1965, and his son Donald in 1967.
During these years, Mr. Campbell also served as the drummer in a rock and roll band known as the Titans, and later in several country & western bands. Mr. Campbell's bands played gigs all over Southern California in the 1960s. Meanwhile, Mr. Campbell worked in the oil fields around Bakersfield. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for FMC Corporation selling oil field equipment. His work for FMC eventually took Mr. Campbell and his family overseas, where they lived in Iran (1973-74), the United Arab Emirates (1974-75) and England (1975-78) before returning to the United States and settling in Conroe (and later Montgomery), Texas.
Mr. Campbell got started in the oil well firefighting business in the early 1980s with Boots & Coots, Inc. where he was General Manager. He later founded Blowout Tools, Inc. and became one of the principals in Wild Well Control, Inc. His work as an oil well firefighting expert took Mr. Campbell to every corner of the world. Mr. Campbell spent more than a year leading a team in Kuwait to extinguish oil well fires set by Saddam Hussein during his retreat from advancing U.S. forces during the Gulf War in 1991. He fought oil well fires in such exotic and dangerous locales as the Amazon jungle, sub-Saharan Africa, the South China Sea, Sumatra, and - perhaps most exotic and dangerous of all - South Louisiana.
Mr. Campbell sold his interest in Wild Well Control to Superior Energy in 2001 but remained as president of the company. At Superior, Mr. Campbell played a leading role in the team of experts seeking to control the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the later 2000s he negotiated and supervised contracts to decommission hundreds of obsolete and potentially hazardous wells in the Gulf. He received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Technology Center in 2012.
Mr. Campbell's magnetic personality made him a natural salesman and won him many friends. He was confident, optimistic, and generous to a fault. He loved his wife deeply would want everyone to know that she was his partner in life's journey and supported him in every way. He described their life together as a "wonderful adventure."
In his later years he took great pleasure in his many grandchildren, with whom he loved to be "silly." One of his most valued accomplishments was providing the "Homeplace" where his grandkids (as well as many great-nephews and great-nieces) could enjoy fishing, boating, driving the golf cart, playing in the tree-house, building bonfires, playing volleyball, hanging out in the bunk-house, and generally having a great time.
Mr. Campbell accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at age 16 and was a member of Crossroads Baptist Church in the The Woodlands, Texas. He is survived by Jana, his wife of 49 years; his daughter Tricia Fesler, her husband Clint, and grandchildren Hannah, Rebecca, John and Claire Fesler of Oak Ridge, Texas; his son Donald Campbell, his wife Kelli, and grandchildren Sarah, Patrick and Rachel Campbell of Dallas, Texas; brothers Michael Campbell of Henderson Nevada and Kevin Campbell of Fresno, California; and sister Maureen Weidenheimer, also of Fresno.
Services will be held at Crossroads Baptist Church, 5000 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77384 at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31 with burial to follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Montgomery, Texas.
Services will be directed by Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home in Montgomery (www.shmfh.com
). Should you desire to make a donation in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider the Shriners Hospitals for Children Galveston (www.donate2sch.org
), as Mr. Campbell supported the Shriners' work on behalf of child burn victims throughout his professional career.
Published by Houston Chronicle on Jul. 28, 2013.