Remembering Murray Campbell

In loving memory, to a cherished friend and colleague

I knew Murray Campbell for only a year, but in that short time, he made quite an impression on me. He was 89 years old and working for Beth Donovan Hospice as our Treasurer. I found him to be a true gentleman, generous, kind, friendly, and so smart, always keeping up with the latest in the accounting software, which was at times, a real challenge. He and I would trade stories on many subjects; our beloved dogs, the military, and even how to make a good soup. Murray C. birthday1Murray could always make you feel as if what you had to say, mattered. Even when working on a particular problem, he always handled it with humour, asking for advice on the phone and then meticulously carrying out the directions he was given. He always got to the bottom of it and never let it get the better of him. He taught me living lessons that I will not soon forget.  

The following is a biography from his daughter, Diane.

"Murray Campbell lived in the Kemptville area for almost 30 years, most of his retired life. He and his wife Mary were known to many, being involved with Holy Cross Church and many other organizations in the region.

Murray was born in Montreal and lived there most of his childhood, with the exception of the depression years when he and his younger brother, Bruce, went to live with relatives in New Brunswick, when his father lost his job. He was a WW11 veteran stationed in England as a Sergeant in the Canadian Army.  He returned home to his job as a draftsman at Dominion Engineering in Lachine. He met Mary Cleary in 1946 and they were married the following year.
Together they had two daughters; Linda, born in 1948 and Diane in 1951. Various pics of 2011 - 2012 016

Throughout his life, he had a great love of learning, including the forever-changing world of technology. Murray's life was not without its difficulties. For many years he suffered with depression and tragically lost his brother at the age of 42. His daughter Linda, battled breast cancer for many years which led to her death at the age of 52. In addition, he provided support to his wife who had to deal with both breast and thyroid cancer for a very long time and he himself was a prostate cancer survivor. Throughout all of this, his faith in God and his love and committment to his family and his community were unfailing. 

He retired from Dominion Engineering in 1982 and he and Mary moved to Oxford Station in 1984, having discovered the area while camping often at the Rideau River Provincial Park. As many have witnessed, they were inseparable and both became entrenched in their new community. Murray volunteered as a member of the Finance Committee of Holy Cross Church and was Treasurer of the Kemptville and District Home Support for over 25 years. In 2009, he was the recipient of the North Grenville Senior's Civic Award. He later became Treasurer of the Beth Donovan Hospice.

Murray and Mary were married for 63 years and at the tiime of his death had 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. A sixth great-grandchild (and his namesake Connor Murray) was born in November 2012. Murray lost the love of his life in April 2011 when Mary's illness finally got the best of her. He continued his work with the Hospice even through this very difficult time.

He passed away in January 2012 but he will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and colleagues forever."

Birthday Group Shot2

Family & Friends joined Murray for his 90th Birthday

 

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  • “A much needed and appreciated community service. Thank you.”
  • “I can say without a sliver of doubt that without all the people and on-going mental health support for me as a caregiver from everyone at Beth Donovan Hospice not only would “our Joanie” not have been able to come home, she would not have had the quality of end of life full-on ‘LIVING’ she was able to experience in the short time she had once home.”
  • “There were still things to get organized: I needed assistive devices in the home and had no idea how or where I was going to find them let alone the funds. Once again there they were, “What do you need, let’s check and see what we have”; Raised toilet seat, bed rail, wedge pillow, and volunteer driver they were there every step. Once we got home our needs changed quickly; we now needed a commode and wheelchair. I panicked … one frantic text to our Home Visiting volunteer and one phone call to Beth Donovan Hospice and 2 hours later we were equipped for the weekend and the next chapter in this journey.”
  • “’Thank you’ just seems inadequate for the group of people that are Beth Donovan Hospice as an organization. You not only gave Joanie a chance for dignity and respect but you gave her, myself and the kids the greatest gift of all; your support granted her wish to live, and I do mean live, her final moments at home surrounded by love and laughter.”

  • “The hospice does very important work in our community …..thank you for being there and extending your help and compassion at this difficult time”

Volunteer Share

  • “Being a hospice volunteer is an amazingly rewarding experience. Being able to give comfort and support to families while they are facing a very difficult time, or being able to give them a few hours a week even just to sit and chat, can mean so much to them. I am proud to be part of this wonderful organization and have formed lasting friendships with other volunteers as well as the staff.”

    Sandra Mackenzie, Home-Visiting Volunteer

  • “When I lost my mother and mother-in-law, the hospice and palliative care they received meant the world to us. I knew then it was my volunteer calling. Weighed against other volunteer experiences, this is by far the most meaningful for me. When it comes to end-of-life, we can’t fix the situation or alter the course, but we can make the journey a little better along the way. To ‘make the best day possible’ for clients and their families, that’s my hope.”

    Daryl Webber, Home-Visiting Volunteer

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  • Remembering Murray Campbell
    In loving memory, to a cherished friend and colleague I knew Murray Campbell for only a year, but in that short time, he made quite…
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