Feb. 19, 1925 – March 6, 2018
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Earl L. Campbell, 93, of Coos Bay, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 17 at the First Baptist Church of Coos Bay, 1140 S. 10th St., with pastor Roland Shanks officiating. Refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the service. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay.
Earl was born Feb. 19, 1925 in Corvallis, to Jesse Campbell and Melvina (Bowers) Campbell, on Henry Cable Ranch that is now known as the Finlay Park Reserve. He passed away peacefully at his home in Coos Bay March 6, 2018.
Earl’s father ran the ranch, his mother did all of the cooking and cleaning for the whole ranch, besides raising a family. All of the brothers and sisters worked on the ranch. When his dad retired, Earl and brother Bobby took over running the ranch, while raising their own families.
Earl served his country honorably in the United States Army from January 1944 to December 1945. His basic training was in Kansas. From there he was sent overseas, serving in the Burma, China and India conflicts. He received a commendation from the Chinese Combat Command. Three other brothers were also in the service at the same time. Kenneth was in the U.S. Army and served in North Africa and Italy. Jesse was in the U.S. Navy SeaBees in the Pacific Islands. Bobby was in the U.S. Navy, on a ship in the Pacific. All of the boys made it home safely. Earl received the Bronze Star May 24, 2010 for his overseas duty in combat.
Earl and his brother Bobby decided they wanted to learn how to fly. Both received their pilot licenses. Bobby decided that it was not for him. Earl became an avid pilot, owning several different kinds of airplanes.
In the early 1950’s Earl and his family moved to Sisters, and he opened up his own equipment repair shop. Later he became master mechanic for Barkley Logging. In the mid 1950’s the family relocated to Sandy, where he did farming and ranching. In the late 1950’s through the early 1960’s Earl became manager of Newport Airport and North Bend Airport, along with his friend Bill McClure. Earl taught flying and also flew for several businesses including Sause Brothers. Earl and Bill McClure obtained their commercial pilots licenses.
In the mid 1960’s Earl moved to Redding, Calif., where he worked in road construction. He also owned a sand and gravel business with his friend James Smith. Subsequently he went to work for North Valley Construction.
On September 22, 1973 Earl married Fern McClure, blending two families. In 1976 they moved to Alaska to start up a septic system business. But, as soon as the snow began to appear on the mountaintops, they decided that it was time to return to California. In 1977, with the help of friends Don and Sherry Clifton, Earl opened Campbell Ready Mix, in Mount Shasta, Calif. He eventually took over the sand and gravel operation, when Don and Sherry retired. In 1994 Earl and Fern moved to Wasilla, Alaska to open an equipment tire business, but as before, they decided to move back to the lower 48 before winter set in. They landed in Coos Bay and remained there until Earl’s passing.
Earl is survived by his wife, Fern Campbell of Coos Bay; daughter, Barbara Campbell of Portland; son, David Campbell of Wasilla, Alaska; daughter, Susan Johnson of Springfield, Virg.; daughter, Deb Rowan of Santa Rosa, Calif.; daughter, Martha Rowland of Philomath; and many extended family members.
Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.