September 24, 1936 – January 10, 2016
Pleasanton, CA and Salt Lake City, UT
James Frank Campbell died with elegance and grace on the morning of January 10, 2016 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. His wife, LuAnn and two of his daughters were with him. He was 79 years old.
Born in the desert in Fullerton, CA, September 24, 1936 to Hazel Viets and James W. Campbell, Jim grew from humble beginnings to positions of authority and influence within the defense industries having spent 10 years as a Captain in the US Air Force and then in the private industry before retiring from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1996. Jim grew up in a family of Borax miners in the Mojave Desert and spent many happy hours doing such things as catching turtles in the desert and painting his initials on them, and catching rattlesnake heads to sell to tourists at the local gas station.
He graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the University of Portland and a commission as 2nd lieutenant in the USAF eventually being promoted to Captain. From there he led a distinguished career where he excelled at managing scientific contracts and helping further understanding of how nuclear explosion products interact with the atmosphere, missile materials, and electronics.
He met and fell in love with his first wife, Patricia Irene Mitchell, while in college. They married on August 22, 1959 and raised three daughters. He has often referred to his daughters as lovely and wonderful people he would be proud to call friends. That they were his daughters truly boggled his mind. Jim was preceded in death by his first wife of 36 years Patricia Irene Campbell on August 14, 1995.
Jim was a Deacon in the Catholic Church for many years, and took up social justice as a cause by fighting for those who were marginalized, forgotten, and had no voice, but left the Church after becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their attitude towards LGBT people and women.
He met and fell in love with his second wife, LuAnn Poulsen while living in Ukiah. They married in 1999, eventually moving to Utah, back to the desert he loved so much. He often described the desert as being in his blood and soul.
Jim was a gifted writer, poet, a brilliant mind (and physicist), wonderful father, devoted husband, social justice activist, chef, and was a true hero to all of us who knew and loved him. He had great courage, a dry sense of humor, a tender heart, a sense of justice, compassion, and a resiliency that was not only unparalleled but part of his very fiber. He was a healer in a the true sense of the word impacting the lives of many.
He leaves behind his wife of 17 years, LuAnn Poulsen Campbell, his sister Peggy Campbell (Gresham, OR); his adult children: Terri Campbell (Sacramento, CA) Cathy Campbell Ritter and her husband Herb Ritter (Pleasanton, CA) Elizabeth Campbell Streng and her husband Joe Streng (Pleasanton, CA), Terisa and Evan Gabrielson (Riverton, UT), Dayna and Alan Hughes (Elk Ridge, UT) Todd and Monica Poulsen (South Jordon, UT); Michael James Poulsen (Taylorsville, UT). His grandkids, Tricia, Jimmy, Paul, Lynne, Lauren, Mallory, Creighton, Easton, Kylee, Lexy, and Nate, as well as his great grandchildren.
There will be a celebration of Jim’s life on Saturday January 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Pleasanton, CA. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to:
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation
801-584-5800 or toll free 1-877-585-0303
500 Huntsman Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108