Donald Abrum Campbell, devoted and much loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, and beloved husband of the late Edna Klein Campbell, departed this life peacefully at the age of 100 in his home in Gowanda, on Saturday, April 12, 2014.
The sixth child of Harry May and Irma VanDyke Flagg Campbell, he was born Feb. 9, 1914, in Quaker Bridge, N.Y. He was predeceased by Leonarda Lent, Mortimer Flagg, Richard Campbell, Josephine Fellows Beebe, Winifred Huntington, Halsey and Frederick Campbell.
Donald and his wife moved to Gowanda in 1936 and lived there for 77 years, where he eventually became a very successful and highly regarded businessman. Starting out as an apprentice meat cutter, his career eventually led him to opening the largest independently owned and operated super market in Western New York. Eventually he owned and operated six Super Duper Markets in the region.
In the late 1960s, he founded Campbell's Angus Farms, raising 450 head of Angus cattle and 1,000 hogs annually to provide products for his stores.
A committed entrepreneur, he, along with three other local businessmen, founded Gowanda Electronics in the 1970s, where he served as chairman of the board of directors. Then, after retiring from the grocery business in 1976, he continued the farming operation and opened a meat market on Route 39, which he continued to operate until 1992.
It's easy to understand why it is often said that "nearly everyone who ever worked in Gowanda was employed by Don Campbell."
In addition to being president of Ten Buffalo Street Inc., Don Campbell, Inc. and Campbell's Super Markets, Don served the community in many ways in the 78 years in which he lived there. He was a member of the Gowanda Village Board as well as a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, serving as senior warden. He was a member of Phoenix Lodge 62, a 32nd degree Mason and was a member of Gowanda Shrine Club 1.
Don also served as president of the Gowanda Area Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Gowanda Shrine Club 1 and the Masonic Building Corporation.
He was one of the founders of the Gowanda Country Club and helped establish the Gowanda Historical Society. Don was a member of the Niagara Permanent Savings and Loan Advisory Board. He also served as president of the Tri-County Memorial Hospital. In 1992, he was the recipient of the "Spirit of Gowanda Award." Recently he was recognized as one of only two people who have achieved 65 years of active membership in the New York State Kiwanis Club.
A self-educated man, he believed wholeheartedly that education was of the utmost importance. Proudly attending Alfred University for one year, he continued to educate himself through his avid reading and quest for knowledge. To that end, he was determined to pro-vide educational opportunities for his children and grandchildren.
Don will be remembered for sharing his wisdom, his kind and gentle heart and his generous spirit. Loved by all, he will be missed forever by his daughters: Susan C. Torrance, Karen C. Meyer, Sandra C. Brzezinski and sons-in-law: John A. Torrance and Paul A. Meyer. His legacy includes eight adoring grandchildren and their spouses; and 15 great-grandchildren. He will also be missed by his many, loving nieces, nephews and friends. In recent years he was fortunate to have devoted caregivers who greatly enriched his life.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday at 3 p.m., at St. Mary's Ep-iscopal Church in Gowanda. Friends may call from 3-7 on Thursday and Friday at the Mentley Funeral Home Inc., 105 E. Main St., Gowanda.