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Obituary for Harvey Colin Campbell

Harvey Colin


August 18, 1938 – July 14, 2021

Harvey Colin Campbell passed away on July 14, 2021, at the hospital. He was 82.

Visitation: closed casket visitation, rosary, and vigil service will be held at the Hooper Weaver Chapel, Wednesday, July 21, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Funeral Mass: St. Canice Catholic Church, Friday, Jun 23, 1:00 pm, Graveside and interment immediately following the mass.

Reception: The family will host a reception, immediately after the graveside service. An announcement will be made at the funeral of the location for the reception. All attendees are invited. Please email Ann Diggins, jadiggins@gmail.com, or by text, 702-279-6789, to let us know if you are able to attend.

Harvey was born August 18, 1938, in Gillette, Wyoming to Everett and Irene Campbell. He was raised the first 5 years of his life, with his parents, and younger sister, Sally, in a sheep wagon. His parents earned their living by caring for sheep herds throughout Wyoming and Montana. Our Dad retained a healthy dislike of sheep for his entire life, and despite his wife’s desire for just “one or two sheep” to keep the grass short, he was never responsible for caring for sheep again. When it was time for Dad to start school, the family moved to Montana, where Dad attended school through the 8th grade. When it was time for him to start high school, the family moved again and settled on a farm near Lyndon, Kansas. Dad was the first in his family to go to college, in spite of his plan to return to the farm after graduating high school and help the family. Our grandfather, who had attended school through only the 8th grade, told Dad he was going to college. Dad attended college in Emporia, Kansas, starting at the age of 17, and became a high school math teacher. He then joined the Air Force, attending Officer Candidate School, and entered the Air Force as a Lieutenant.

He met his future, wife, Rosemary Thibault, in a bar in Sacramento. In a story that still surprises their children, they were married four months later, at St. Canice in Nevada City. Their short-term courtship, turned into 58 years of marriage. Dad not only convinced our Mom to marry him, but soon after she packed up and moved with him to Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he was stationed for six years in Strategic Air Command. While Dad was flying in B-52s with nuclear bombs attached during the Cold War, Mom was giving birth and raising their first daughter, Ann, and first-born son, David, while living in base housing in South Dakota.

Dad transitioned from his job as an electronic warfare officer in B-52s to the same position in fighters, F-105s with the Wild Weasels. He was deployed to Vietnam for a one-year tour of duty with the Wild Weasels in the late 1960’s. Mom packed up their two kids and moved to Grass Valley to be closer to her parents. No email or cell phones in those days, so we had recorded audio tapes of our Dad talking to all of us and we hung on every word. His children’s favorite photo of their father is him in his full flight suit sitting on the ground propped up against the wheel of the F-105, napping, before a mission over Vietnam. Dad remained famous for his naps his entire life.

Dad returned stateside and the family moved to Las Vegas, and Nellis Air Force Base, where Dad continued working as part of the Wild Weasels squadron. Dad loved his job at Nellis with the Wild Weasels and always said Las Vegas was one of the best places he lived while in the Air Force. While in Las Vegas, Mom gave birth to their youngest son, Danny. Following stints in Louisiana (getting his MBA) and in Virginia working at Langley Air Force Base, Harvey did a two-year tour, bringing his family with him in South Korea. While there the family adopted his youngest daughter, Katie.

Dad retired from the Air Force in 1984 after 23 years, and the family re-located to Simi Valley, California, where Dad started his second career at Lockheed, working as an electrical systems engineer in the famed ‘Skunkworks’ division working on the SR-71, U-2, and other projects.

After retiring from his second career, he and Mom relocated back to Mom’s family home in Nevada City and built their beloved custom home in Grass Valley, where they lived for 24 happy years. Dad was a self-taught electrical engineer, carpenter, woodworker, guitar player, and scotch drinker. He was better at some of these than others. He built beautiful furniture, but only ever tortured his family with a few chords of “Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild Wild Women” on the guitar.

Harvey is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and sister Sally Smothers; and Harvey and Rosemary’s four children, Ann Diggins, David Campbell, Dan Campbell, and Katie Frederick. He was the proud grandfather of 9 grandchildren, Monica and Marc, Matthew, Sean, Josh, Megan, Ian, Ben and Everett, and two great children, Emmie and Theo.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Wounded Warriors.

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