John Roy Campbell passed away at age 85 on Saturday, November 17, 2018. A visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. followed by a memorial service with military honors at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1, at the Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W, Columbia, MO.
The son of Carl and Helen Campbell, John was born on their second wedding anniversary, June 14, 1933, in his maternal grandparents’ home near Goodman, Missouri. John accepted Christ Jesus as his savior as a child and followed Christ’s example of valuing the importance of each individual person throughout his life. John was the first member of his immediate family to graduate from high school and credited the receipt of a scholarship from Sears Roebuck Corporation with the impetus to enroll in the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning his B.S. with honors in Dairy Science from MU College of Agriculture in 1955. A friend introduced him to Eunice Vieten, who shared a background of growing up on a dairy farm. The happiest day of his life was when she accepted his marriage proposal. They married on August 7, 1954.
In college, John was in the ROTC. After receiving a fellowship to pursue Master of Science degree in Dairy Manufacturing, he served one year in the Army reserves. Following that he served two years of Active Duty in the Army’s Seventh Artillery. After discharge from the Army, he returned to Columbia to pursue his PhD in dairy cattle nutrition and physiology at MU and continued serving the United States in the National Guard Army Reserves Field Artillery for the next 22 years, rising to the level of Lieutenant Colonel and Battery Commander of his unit. In 1983, John received The Meritorious Service Medal from the United States Army.
Following completion of his PhD in 1960, John joined the MU Dairy Science faculty quickly rising “through the ranks” to full professor in 1968. He received almost every award recognition available to a faculty member during his 17 years teaching at MU. John taught several courses relating to dairy husbandry and animal sciences and co-authored two textbooks: The Science of Animals That Serve Mankind (Humanity) and The Science of Providing Milk for Mankind (extensively revised and published in 2016 as Dairy Production and Processing, The Science of Milk and Milk Products). John viewed students as “our nation’s most valuable resource.” His book, In Touch With Students… A Philosophy for Teachers (1972), was written to share his teaching philosophies with others. He presented invited lectures pertaining to teaching, counseling and motivating students and related topics at more than 60 colleges and as well as to dozens of professional societies and businesses.
John was recruited by the University of Illinois in 1977 as College of Agriculture Associate Dean and Director of Resident Instruction. In this new role, John demonstrated a passionate zeal for the land-grant philosophy of higher education – providing educational and career opportunities for the sons and daughters of the working classes. He gained support from private individuals and corporations to establish a merit-based scholarship program to help recruit, recognize and support high-caliber students to pursue careers in agriculture, home economics and related professional fields. He selected the name Jonathan Baldwin Turner (JBT) Agricultural Merit Scholarship Program in honor of one of the initial proponents of land-grant universities; the program has been highly successful with alumni holding prominent positions in industry and at universities. John also worked to add JBT funding to support undergraduate and graduate student research.
In 1983, John was named Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois. Innovation, dedication and cooperation with people, both within and outside the College of Agriculture, were hallmarks of the Campbell deanship. His leadership was central to the College obtaining $61.2 million for construction of five new facilities. Colleagues refer to Dr. Campbell’s time at Illinois as “a golden era.”
Dr. Campbell was appointed the fifteenth President of OSU on August 1, 1988 and served until 1993. At OSU he continued his student focus, championed international involvement and inter-university partnerships and expanded distance learning. John resigned as OSU president in 1993 to teach in the OSU College of Agriculture and resume writing. In 1998, he published his fourth book Reclaiming a Lost Heritage ... Land-Grant and Other Higher Education Initiatives for the Twenty-First Century which has been used in teaching Honors Courses and educating others on the heritage of the land-grant system.
John retired from Oklahoma State University in 1999 and returned to Columbia, Missouri, where he would “take aim at new goals and opportunities” stating “life is too precious and fragile to do anything else.” He enjoyed serving as a Consultant-Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association and serving on the National University of Natural Medicine’s Board of Directors from 1998-2013. He continued presenting invited lectures for numerous organizations. Having viewed the need for changes to increase societal perceptions of higher education, he wrote a novel titled Dry Rot in the Ivory Tower ... A Case for Fumigation, Ventilation, and Renewal of the Academic Sanctuary, and another textbook, Companion Animals: Their Biology, Care, Health, and Management.
Throughout his professional career, John Campbell demonstrated a caring attitude toward and sincere interest in students, their careers, and personal lives. He had the privilege of teaching more than 12,000 students and published more than 100 papers. John had plans for many other books and projects, sadly health problems hindered his ability to accomplish all of them. However, he accomplished much and left a legacy at each of the universities where he served.
John Campbell encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue their dreams and each of them has completed or is currently pursuing post-graduate education. John loved to tell stories and share the knowledge he had gained through his many journeys and discussions with people from “all walks of life” and was quick to extend congratulations to others on their accomplishments. At this time of profound loss, a smile comes to mind when we envision him sharing stories with those who preceded him in “graduating to heaven.”
John was proceeded in death by his parents, Carl and Helen Campbell, and son, Keith. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Eunice Campbell; children, Kathy Wall (husband Bill, Mexico, MO), Karen Campbell-Motsinger (husband Larry, Leslie, MO); and grandchildren (Sarah Motsinger-Hoff, Jason Motsinger, Miranda Wall Van Blarcum and Elliott Wall); sister Esther May Gorlinsky (husband Kenneth; Minneapolis, MN), two nieces and other relatives and many friends. John’s family is grateful for the dedicated caregivers that assisted Eunice with his care over the past 3.5 years enabling her to keep him at home.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to one or more of the following funds established in John’s honor: University of Missouri Foundation --The John R. Campbell Endowment for Student Scholarship and Educational Enrichment Fund (https://tinyurl.com/JohnRCampbellEndowment); University of Illinois Foundation for the John R. Campbell JBT Scholarship Endowment Fund #771554 (send to: College of ACES Office of Advancement, 203 Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801); and/or Oklahoma State University Foundation for the John Campbell President’s Distinguished Scholarship Fund (osugiving.com/JohnCampbellEndowment).
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Eunice Campbell; children, Kathy Wall (husband Bill, Mexico, MO), Karen Campbell-Motsinger (husband Larry, Leslie, MO); and grandchildren (Sarah Motsinger-Hoff, Jason Motsinger, Miranda Wall Van Blarcum and Elliott Wall); sister Esther May Gorlinsky (husband Kenneth; Minneapolis, MN), two nieces and other relatives and many friends.
University of Missouri FoundationThe John R. Campbell Endowment for Student Scholarship and Educational Enrichment Fund
University of Illinois Foundation for the John R. Campbell JBT Scholarship Endowment Fund #771554 College of ACES Office of Advancement, Urbana, IL 61801
Oklahoma State UniversityFoundation for the John Campbell President’s Distinguished Scholarship Fund