Edward Campbell, school district chief, Pitman party leader

Edward J. Campbell Jr.
Edward J. Campbell Jr.
Posted: January 10, 2014

When Edward J. Campbell Jr. retired in 1986 as superintendent of the Lower Township Elementary School District, he had been influencing students since he began teaching in the late 1950s.

But he had done more.

"I serve as president of the Clearview Regional High School District school board in Gloucester County," his son, Patrick, a pharmaceutical firm executive, said.

"My older sister is president of the Pitman school board," he said of Stacy DeClement.

"My younger sister, Heather Delia, is a special-education teacher."

Mr. Campbell, his son said, "imparted a commitment to education and the duty of community service."

On Sunday, Jan. 5, Mr. Campbell, 83, died of cancer at his home in Pitman, where he was the Democratic Party chairman.

Born in Cape May, Mr. Campbell graduated from Cape May High School in 1948 and within months joined the Army.

"He told me, 'I joined the Army in part because I wanted three squares a day - three meals a day - because I was so poor,' " his son said.

Mr. Campbell was an artillery fire control commander in Korea, serving in the Inchon landing and in combat at the Chosin Reservoir.

Using the GI Bill, he earned a bachelor's degree in education at what is now Rowan University and, while developing his career, earned master's degrees in reading and in school administration there.

Mr. Campbell began by teaching history at an elementary school in Cape May and moved to Washington Township High School, where he was both teacher and assistant principal, his son said.

His full-time administrative career began at what is now Gateway Regional High School in the late 1960s, where he was assistant principal.

He was principal at a Pitman elementary school from 1969 to 1972 and at a West Deptford middle school from 1972 to 1975 before serving as superintendent of the Lower Township district from 1975 to 1986, his son said.

Mr. Campbell followed that with a college teaching career.

He was an adjunct professor of history for almost 20 years, into the 2000s, at Gloucester County College, and an adjunct at Rowan, "doing both for a while," his son said.

A vice president of the GCC board of trustees in the late 2000s, he was for the last three years a member of the Gloucester County Library Commission.

Mr. Campbell was a volunteer with the Wenonah Fire Company before moving to Pitman in 1969, a Cub Scout leader in Pitman in the early 1970s, and commodore of the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City in 1972.

"He could not fix a car engine if he tried; not a person that was someone who taught me to fish or hunt. But he gave me a love for reading, a love for history," his son said.

Besides his son and daughters, Mr. Campbell is survived by his wife of 56 years, Georgia, two sisters, and six grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 161 Pitman Ave., Pitman, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there.

Donations may be made to VFW Pitman Memorial Post, 142 Oakcrest Ave., Pitman, N.J. 08071.

Condolences may be offered to the family at kellyfhitman.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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