James A. Campbell Sr., 80, of La Grange Park [IL], a
retired volunteer fireman for the La Grange Park Fire Department and
longtime volunteer at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, died of
pneumonia Saturday, Oct. 18, in Hines.
Mr. Campbell graduated from East Aurora High School,
then joined the Army in the hopes of becoming a paratrooper, said his
wife, Lila. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, 508th
Parachute Infantry, Company I. In World War II, he parachuted into
battle at Normandy, was shot and wounded. He recovered and returned to
his unit in time to jump and fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where he
was wounded again. He received two Purple Hearts.
He met his future wife on a blind date, proposed that
day and they married 29 days later. The union lasted for 58 years. After
the war, Mr. Campbell took a position in the Melrose Park Post Office
Distribution Center and became postal supervisor of the bulk mail
center. He retired in 1978. In 1951, he joined the La Grange Park Fire
Department as a volunteer and stayed with the department for 28 years.
"He really loved it. He would have stayed longer but he had to retire
when he was 62," his wife said.
In 1955, Mr. Campbell was instrumental in organizing
the La Grange Park Little League. "He did it just to help and because
his son was playing. He hoped it would still be around when his
grandchildren played, and it was," his wife said.
For the last 10 years, Mr. Campbell has volunteered as
an escort in Hines Hospital, helping and talking with his fellow
veterans, his wife said. "I think anybody would say that he was the
kindest man who never used a bad word and would help anybody do
anything," his wife said.
Other survivors include a son, James Jr.; two
daughters, Kimberly Hoffenkamp and Gail Waterman; a sister, Margie
Regnier; a brother, Robert; eight grandchildren; and eight
great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in
Hitzeman Funeral Home Ltd., 9445 W. 31st St., Brookfield, and again from
10:30 a.m. Wednesday until the 11 a.m. service in the funeral home.
(Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, 21 Oct 2003, Page 5
- courtesy of Tedd Cocker)
(courtesy of "Jackie & Ralph")
Grave marker for James A. Campbell in Section 10 Site
751 of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood (Will county).