Joseph Nelson Campbell

Published 10:55 am Sunday, March 22, 2020

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Joseph Nelson Campbell died in his sleep at home after a brief illness with cancer on March 14, 2020. Joe was born on August 8, 1931, the fourth of six children of Lottie May Kerns Campbell and Fred Leland Campbell.  Even though he was born in Front Royal, Virginia, he always considered Portsmouth, Virginia his home. In 1939, at just 8 years old, he sold local newspapers telling of the coming War in Europe. He also loved going to school, starting with Ann Street, following with Cook Street, Briggs, Harry Hunt and going to Woodrow Wilson High School from 1948-1951.

From 1951-1966 Joe served in the National Guard, doing one tour of duty in the Korean War, being Honorably Discharged in 1958 from active duty.

His career in the United States Postal Service was very successful, beginning in 1951 and retiring after 36 years of service in 1987. During this service he served as Postmaster in several of the largest post offices in Virginia.

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In 1986 the family moved to the Outer Banks. Joe served on the Town of Southern Shores Town Council for two terms with collateral duties as Police Commissioner, Planning Board, Vice Mayor and Town Representative on the Dare County Area Development Commission, serving as president of the commission for two terms. Joe also served on several local boards and as president of Duck Woods Country Club.

In 2003 Joe and Mary moved to Smithfield, Virginia to be closer to family.  Joe served on the Town of Smithfield’s Board of Zoning Appeals for five years and he was active in the Cypress Creek Homeowners Association. He was awarded the “Cypress Creek Volunteer of the Year for 2019.”

Joe was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mary Dudley Campbell and his sister, Jean Campbell Rozier. Joe is survived by son Joseph Kerns “Kasey” Campbell and wife DeMott “Dee” Booker Campbell; grandson Joseph Nelson Campbell II and granddaughter Mary Stuart Campbell Taylor and husband Joshua Emory Taylor, all of Smithfield, Virginia; brothers Fred Leland Campbell of Nags Head and Adolph and Mavis Campbell of Louisiana; sisters Clara Johnson of Ohio and Cindy Holmes of Maryland and many nieces and nephews.

Burial took place March 20 at St. Luke’s Memorial Park Cemetery at 14477 Benn’s Church Blvd. in Smithfield, Virginia. Baker-Foster Funeral Home is making all arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the American Cancer Society. Due to the current circumstances in our environment, A Celebration of Life will be arranged for a later date.

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