Raymond (Ray) Lee Campbell, age 84, passed away peacefully at home on Sept 4, 2021. Born in Detroit July 12, 1937, Ray’s parents Claude and Marie Campbell raised Ray in the Battle Creek area where he attended Battle Creek Public and Gull Lake Consolidated Schools graduating in 1955. Ray attended Alma College, transferring his last year to Western Michigan University where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in education. Ray and wife Cathy married in 1964 and moved to Albion where both were hired by Albion Public Schools. He taught speech and physical education at the Junior High and was assistant football coach and swim coach at the high school where he initiated the Albion Swim Relays in 1964. In 1996 the relays were renamed the “Ray Campbell Relays” in his honor. Other positions over the next 30 years included assistant principal at both the junior high and high school and the last 9 years principal at Caldwell Elementary.
Ray was very active in the community. He was Albion Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for many years and emceed the Chamber’s “Eggs and Issues” series. He and wife Cathy were MCs for 40 plus years of the Albion Festival of the Forks parades. Ray was named Grand Marshal of the Festival in 2004 and was also a Forks Award Winner. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Albion Exchange Club, Duck Lake Country Club, and board member of the Economic Development Corporation for 20 years.
Being a life-long sports enthusiast, Ray enjoyed following U of M, Albion College, and local high school sports, especially his children’s participation in their sports. He played fast-pitch softball for the Stag Bar team which later became the Martin Marauders. Over the years, he and his family skied throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ray was also an avid runner for more than 30 years. He ran everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, mini-marathons, to 5 full marathons. His love of running extended to unique jaunts while travelling. He was able to run on the 1st Olympic track in Athens, Greece; the Great Wall of China; the Kentucky Derby Race Track; and the Indianapolis 500 Race Track. In addition to running, Ray thoroughly enjoyed he and Cathy’s “Friday Night Golf and Dinners” with their Duck Lake Country Club friends. He even made a hole-in-one at Duck Lake Country Club in 2002. Ray and Cathy also loved travel; they enjoyed taking their boys, from a very young age, on new adventures and in addition, traveling with good friends to many countries.
As a lover of music, Ray played cornet in the Battle Creek Central High School band. Years later his sons followed his lead and also played cornet. This musical interest continued as Ray and his family attended concerts and plays on their travels throughout the world and right here at home. The Brass Band of Battle Creek and Gospel Barn concerts were some of their favorites as well as performances by their own children.
While in Albion, Ray was an active member of the Albion Community Theater where he and his family appeared in several productions. As a young teacher while at Athens High School, he was selected as a contestant for the TV show “Password”. His partner on the show was Agnes Moorehead. Known for his dry sense of humor: Ray’s friends remember him attempting to tell a joke but laughing before getting to the punchline. They also remember his love of bright colors: colorful ties, jackets from his many trips, and the bright orange 1976 Corvette convertible he drove in Memorial Day Parades. His students in particular remember his advice to them: “Winning isn’t as important as finishing what you start.”
Ray is survived by his wife of 57 years, Catherine (Cathy); children, Cameron Kern of Flagstaff, Arizona and Michael Campbell of Mattawan, Michigan; grandchildren, Hailey Ingols and Cameron Kern Jr. of Flagstaff, Arizona; brother and sister-in-law Eric and Lori Clements; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family also wishes to recognize the loving care given by Melinda Guy. Ray was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Jennie and Fred Clements; brother and sister-in-law, Carlon and Joyce Schafer.
Visitation will be held Monday, Sept 13 at Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Home in Marshall, MI at 723 US HWY 27 North, from 4-8pm where the family will be present to greet friends and share memories. Memorial contributions can be made in Ray’s memory to: Albion First United Methodist Church, 600 E Michigan Ave, Albion, MI 49224; Albion Community Foundation (Youth Projects) 1002 N Eaton St, Albion, MI 49224, https://albionfoundation.org/donate/ ; Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum, 301 S Superior St, Albion, MI 49224, https://www.kidsnstuff.org/personal-giving.html ; Fountain Clinic, Marshall, 111 N Jefferson St #1, Marshall, MI 49068, https://www.fountainclinic.org/fundraisers-donations/ . You may also leave a personal message for the family and sign the online guestbook at https://www.kempffuneralhome.com .