James R. Campbell

July 2, 1932November 24, 2018

Jul. 2, 1932 - Nov. 24, 2018 EDMOND Local Newsman Remembered James Ronald Campbell of Edmond, Oklahoma - journalist, husband, father, step-father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather - passed away quietly on November 24, 2018 with friends and family around him. He was a newsman to the end - a realist dedicated to the pursuit of truth in all things, his work, his faith, and his life.Jim graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where he was editor of the OU Daily, and then started his professional career at the Bartlesville Examiner. After a stint in the US Army, he was hired by United Press International, where he worked for 30 years, serving as Arkansas, Oklahoma, and finally Michigan State Editor. After retirement from UPI, Jim spent many years covering state capitol news for the Oklahoma Press Association. He is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, and served as President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, two-time president of the Oklahoma City Press Club, and president of the Oklahoma City Gridiron Club. He was also a long-time director, performer, and writer of the Annual Gridiron Show.An avid runner, Jim competed once in the Boston Marathon and multiple times in the Detroit and OKC Memorial Marathons.Jim was active and independent, still meeting with friends and his Full Circle Book Club, attending services at the First Unitarian Church of OKC, where he was a 50-year member, and hitting the gym, despite declining mobility. Surrounded by newspapers, news magazines and books, he continued to follow daily events with great interest up to the day of his sudden death of pneumonia at age 86.Jim was preceded in death by the love of his life, Betty Sue Donica, is survived by his three daughters, Donica Stephenson, Pam Gray and husband Rick, and Jenifer Cook and husband Chris, grandchildren Lauren Langley Raymundo, Jillian Hansen, Zachary Gray, Nelia Cook, and Augustus Cook, great-grandchildren Evan, Emilia, and Taylor, and great-great-grandchild Aveanna. A memorial service is set for Sunday, December 9, at 1:30pm at First Unitarian Church, 600 NW 13th St., arrangements by Baggerley Funeral Home in Edmond. Correspondence with the family may be mailed to: PO Box 464, Jones, OK 73049. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, (Select "other funds not listed above" for the designation and then enter S20054. Or mail checks to: Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, 100 N. University Drive, Box 133, Edmond, OK 73034).


  • Memorial Service

    Sunday, December 9, 2018


James R. Campbell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharyn Rusher

December 9, 2018

Jimmy and I have been friends since grade school in Miami, Oklahoma. We went to the Senior Prom together. And later he became my Brother-In-Law. He and Better Sue had a wonderful marriage and raised three lovely, smart daughters. I remember him best by his keen sense of humor and his intelligence. We had just made plans to get together in a few weeks. I will miss him.

Kay McCarthy

December 3, 2018

I went to work for UPI in 1973 and Jim was the bureau manager. He was a role model in every way--especially his ability to report on and write about Oklahoma. Heartfelt condolences to his family.

Colin Wright

December 2, 2018

Jim was the best friend I ever had.