Charles King Campbell Jr., a resident of Ridgefield since 1998, died peacefully at his home on Thursday, October 14, from chondrosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. Sandy, as he was known to family and friends, was beloved for his kindness and gentle wit, and admired for the fierce, quiet determination he brought to his 18-month battle with his disease.
Born in Evanston, IL, on May 13, 1949, son of the late Charles K. and Phyllis (Lord) Campbell, he graduated from Brown University in 1971 and earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1976. As a partner with the Stamford firm Pullman & Comley, he was an expert in land use law and a mentor for younger professionals. His personal integrity and skill before municipal commissions and in the courtroom earned the respect of colleagues and opponents alike, as did more than a decade of service as Vice-Chairman on the Ridgefield Zoning Board of Appeals. He worked to overcome significant local opposition to establish the Greenwich Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) in 1989, and spent many hours in negotiations with the town of Greenwich to secure that city’s first contract for emergency services. Mr. Campbell also served as the first chairman of the group’s board of directors, and told family and friends that his work with GEMS was his proudest civic achievement. Mr. Campbell, along with his first wife, Sandra T. Campbell, was also a driving force behind the creation of the Greenwich Teen Center at Arch Street, which still serves as an important resource for the community.
A nearly lifelong relationship with Camp Agawam in Raymond, ME culminated in Mr. Campbell’s service as the first chairman of the board of the Agawam Council when it was formed in 1985. He would later count the legal work that preserved Agawam as it is, a place which instills timeless values in successive generations of young men, as among the most important of his career.
Mr. Campbell married the first love of his life, Sandra Taylor Campbell, in 1971, and the couple was thereafter known, memorably, as Sandy and Sandi. After being widowed in 1990, he devoted his time to caring for his three children, taking on the mantle of a working, single father.
As an accomplished musician, Sandy took joy in the guitar in his younger years, and in his later years, discovered new hobbies in birdwatching and aquarium keeping. His family recalls that he found beauty in the natural world, and satisfaction in the simple acts of daily work, like cutting firewood for the winter hearth. With an easy smile and open heart, they say, he shared his love lavishly with those he cared for, never restrained and never self-conscious. Perhaps Mr. Campbell’s greatest joy, those close to him said, was in becoming a grandfather nearly ten years ago.
When illness found him, Mr. Campbell faced a series of difficult surgeries, and the loss of his left leg, with what those close to him describe as stoic courage, and concern for everyone but himself. His sense of humor in the face of suffering was both a comfort and a powerful example, they said.
Mr. Campbell is survived by his sisters Sally Jones, of New London, NH, and Judy Carter of Cumberland Foreside, ME, and two grandchildren, Emily Shimek and Miles Shimek. He also leaves behind his eldest son Charlie, of Brooklyn, NY, daughter Sarah, of Colchester, VT, son Jonathan, of San Diego, CA, and his wife Anne Dayton. He found in her a new spark of life that brightened and expanded his world, and the two were joined in the final weeks of his life, after more than a decade of burgeoning love. He will be profoundly missed.
A memorial service to celebrate Mr. Campbell’s life will be held on Saturday, November 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Ave. in Rowayton, CT. He requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sandra T. Campbell Memorial Fund, Agawam Council, 6 Fundy Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 01405, an endowment established by Mr. Campbell to provide camperships for disadvantaged boys.

Send Your Condolences to the Family



Jowdy Kane and Kane Funeral Homes