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In Memory

Herbert L. Campbell

Herbert L. Campbell

Deceased August 25, 2012, Germany.

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12/01/16 03:34 PM #1    

Edward P. Campbell

Herbie, one of the five Campbell's in our class, was a psychiatrist with the US State Department living in Germany when he passed away on August 25, 2012.  I've copied a bit from his obituary in The Plain Dealer:

CAMPBELL DR. HERBERT L. CAMPBELL, age 63, beloved husband of Kristin Kirkhoff and father of Jenny (JP Shannon) and Katie. Sibling of Malcolm David Campbell (deceased), Christopher Campbell (Darlene), Katherine Wolk (Harry), and Amie Campbell (Todd Besch). Also survived by Kristin's sisters: Nanne Olds, Jane Kirkhoff, and Amy Carlson. He passed away peacefully in Germany on Aug. 25.

09/14/17 12:12 PM #2    

Deborah S. Denig (Waddell)

We were so fortunate to remain friends with Herb until he died and to still be friends of his family. Herb was as outgoing and inclusive and fun and insightful throughout his life as he was in high school. He had wide arms with which he reached out and brought in not only friends and family but everyone around him.


Herb graduated from Miami U and went to Japan where he taught English to Japanese business men. In the summer of 1976, he appeared in our driveway in Columbus, OH, saying he had enrolled in Med school at OSU. One of his gifts to us was reuniting us with Ralph Talmage. Having children the same age, Ralph and his wife Joan have been the best of friends since Herb began to forge that connection for us. We had some great times with Herb and Ralph and Joan during his med school days, perhaps the best being a dinner when he announced that he and Kristen Kirkoff had married on a trip to England from which they had just returned. Herb seemed to pop up where you might least expect him, so when I went to the OSU hospital to deliver our 2nd daughter by C-section, Herb popped up, saying he had already checked with the doc who said yes so would it be okay with us if he was in the delivery room. Adrienne’s birth was his first surgery and first delivery of his med school career. 


After med school, Herb interned in Toledo then went to Nepal where he treated patients with tuberculosis & leprosy. Their daughter Jenny was born in Nepal in 1985. Following that he did a psychiatry residency at Brown University and worked for awhile there with refugees. Their daughter Katie was born there on Halloween in 1991. We had a lovely visit with them there, part of which was spent with Herb’s parents who had moved to Cape Cod by that time. I am not quite sure how Thailand fits in here, but I know they also lived there. 


After that, Herb was employed by the U.S. State Dept. and was one of an elite group of psychiatrists who treated overseas employees of the State Dept. and their families. They lived in Ivory Coast, South Africa, India, and Greece.


Herb and his family fully embraced living in exotic places, so we would get occasional e-mails describing adventures that few can have. Herb’s day to day life involved much travel as his assignments weren’t just for the country where they lived, but also for wide areas of that continent. He counseled State Dept. personnel involved in the Middle East wars. Perhaps most amazing, he was the sole U.S. representative allowed by the Pakistani government to visit Raymond Davis, the CIA operative who was imprisoned there in what was called a “hell hole” prison in 2011. 


We continued to see Herb when we would come to visit his mother and sisters in RR and we would receive an e-mail with the subject line “Herb in Cleveland.” He never failed to include Jim’s mom in a lunch date with his mom.


The hard part of the story is Herb’s death. I need to provide some background to tell our story of this. Jenny married a Naval Academy graduate in a beautiful ceremony at the family home in Cape Cod and after JP trained as a P-3 pilot he was assigned to Whidbey Island Naval Station in WA. Jenny began law school at UW and because the commute was long lived with Jim’s sister, Elizabeth (RRHS ’72) in Seattle during the week. Katie had finished two years at an East Coast school and was transferring to Ohio Wesleyan. I went with her to get her a bit settled in and Kristen flew over from their current home in Greece that weekend to spend a few days with her, staying at our home in a Columbus suburb. In the meantime, we were in RR because Jim’s brother Chuck (RRHS ’66) had died very suddenly. We returned home just after Kristen left for NC to visit her dad and got the 2nd unbelievable and horrible morning phone call in a week (the first being about Chuck’s death). Jim’s sister called to say that JP had appeared at her house in the middle of the night to say that Herb had died. Jim and I were so convinced that Herb was so full of life that this could not be true so told each other that Elizabeth must be wrong, it must be Jennie’s grandpa and not her dad who had died. Grandpa was fine, but Herb is gone. While Kristen was staying at our house and while we were at Chuck’s funeral, Herb had travelled from Athens to Munich where he had meetings on Monday. He went early to spend the weekend in the area and decided to visit Neuschwanstein Castle—yes, the one that the Disney castle is modeled on. No one knew of his exact plans, but when a U.S. State Department psychiatrist does not show up for a Monday meeting and cannot be reached, alarms are sounded. Herb’s phone had not died and they were able to triangulate on it. The German government provided helicopters and dogs to search and Herb was found off a path at the castle, resting with his arms behind his head and his shirt rolled up as a pillow. His funeral in Kristen’s sister’s back yard in Shaker was an wonderful tribute to an amazing guy. Kristen had to move from their State Dept. home in Greece, so she returned to the U.S. where she currently works for the State Dept. in D.C. Both of their daughters also live in the D.C. area.


This is a sad story and it breaks my heart to write it. Herb was a bright light in many lives for way too few years. We are certainly not the only ones who remember him fondly and miss him greatly.

09/14/17 12:14 PM #3    

Deborah S. Denig (Waddell)

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