A Bouquet of Adjectives for my Mom

Eileen Driscoll Campbell in 1993

It’s been a long time since I have looked at my mother’s obituary, but in reviewing it, I’m really glad that we took the approach we did, painting a colorful portrait of her colorful life.

Eileen Driscoll Campbell was known by many people in several communities for her forthright and outspoken style, tenacity, strength, intelligence, energy, wit, selflessness, strong leadership abilities and – most of all – her deep love for and commitment to her family.

Born on July 3, 1917 in Boise, ID, she was utterly devoted to the important relationships in her life – to her husband, children, parents, church and community. She passed away on May 10, 1999, at her home in University Place, WA, holding the hand of her husband, Henry Snively Campbell, to whom she was married for 57 years.

Eileen met Henry at the University of Washington during the spring of their senior year in 1939; Eileen had transferred from Mills College after her freshman year. Both were enrolled in an elective course on Browning’s “The Ring and the Book” narrative poem, taught by the UW’s “Dean” of English literature, Dr. Padelford. Henry recalled seeing “this vision enter the room, dressed to the nines.” For the first two weeks, Eileen left the class on the arm of their mutual friend, Brook Fink. After that, Eileen left on Henry’s arm. Eileen was active in Gamma Phi Beta sorority during college and as an alumna.

Anticipating the US entry into World War II, Henry was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in May, 1941. After receiving a letter from Henry in early December, Eileen boarded the train with her mother from Boise to join Henry in Quantico, VA. The two were married a short time later on December 26, 1941.

Eileen loved babies and children. The couple became parents for the first time in November, 1942, with the arrival of Scott Driscoll Campbell. She devoted her life to building and caring for her family, which over 15 years grew to include Bruce Harrison Campbell, Madeline (“Midge”) Elizabeth Campbell, Dean Driscoll Campbell and Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Harrison Campbell.

Just prior to Eileen’s diagnosis of lung cancer, the family gathered for a family portrait following Christmas. Eileen sits smiling in the center holding her newborn great grandson, surrounded by her husband, children, two daughters-in-law, son-in-law and six grandchildren. Scott and his wife, Pat Ford Campbell, live in Seattle. Scott’s son, Marc Christopher Campbell, lives in Mesa, AZ, with his wife, Jennifer, and their newborn, Henry Scott Campbell. Bruce and his son, Vincent Manzari Campbell, live in San Diego, CA. Bruce’s daughter, Cassandra Eileen Campbell, lives in Seattle. Also residing in Seattle are Dean, his wife, Gwendolyn Snyder Campbell, and their daughter, Alison Rose Campbell. Betsy lives in Davis, CA, with her husband, Todd Stone, and their two children, Madeline Follis Stone and Thomas Milton Stone. Eileen and Henry’s third child, Madeline, died in October 1953 of leukemia and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Eileen is also survived by: her cousin, Donald Clark, of Nampa, ID; her niece, Louise Campbell Ulbricht, and grandniece, Mary Ulbricht of Tacoma; her nephew, William F. Campbell, Jr.; his wife, Margaret, of Yakima, WA; and her godchild, Lynn Fawcett Whiting of Bliss, ID.

She was a devoted officer’s wife who supported Henry’s successful career in the US Marine Corps. The couple lived in the Washington, D.C., area for several tours of duty including Henry’s service as Executive Officer of Marine Barracks between 1957 and 1959, during which he was promoted to Colonel. Henry also served as the US Marine Corps member of the Directing Staff of the Canadian Army Staff College, Kingston, Ontario, between 1955 and 1957. The couple moved to Washington state following Henry’s retirement from the Marine Corps following his heart attack in Honolulu, HI, in 1963. Henry continued his career with Weyerhaeuser Co.

Eileen approached their civilian life with equal gusto, becoming a leader of many church, community service, and arts groups in Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma, WA.

Eileen’s Christian faith was central to her life. To Eileen, being a part of a community was synonymous with active participation in church. She fondly remembered Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. She was an active member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Mission (later Parish) in Everett, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tacoma. She chaired the Vestry of St. Andrew’s several times and was instrumental in the church’s incorporation efforts. She served as president of the Episcopal Church Women and St. Mary’s Guild, and contributed her time to many church support guilds, including the Altar Guild and Wedding Guild.

Eileen was a strong proponent of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organization. She served three terms as president of Chapter CA, twice in the 1970s and the third time in 1981-82.

She participated actively in children’s school activities, leading an Indian Guides group in Kensington, MD, serving as den mother in Seattle, WA and marshaling an effort to build Curtis High School’s first entry in the Daffodil Festival Parade in 1975.

Having studied and sung opera as a soprano during her music studies at the University of Washington, Eileen’s interest in opera was passionate. She was an active member of the opera guilds of Seattle and Tacoma and served as president of the group in Everett. Eileen also was an active participant in pediatric orthopedic guilds in Seattle and Tacoma.

Eileen attributed the importance she placed on relationships to her parents, Madeline Spieles Driscoll and Dean Driscoll, a Harvard-trained attorney who practiced in Boise. Eileen also was devoted to her grandmother, Hannah, whom she credited for her tenacity and positive attitude. She was proud of the family’s Irish heritage and its role in settling the West.

Services are scheduled for Saturday, May 15, beginning at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church located at 12th and Jackson Streets in Tacoma. An informal reception will follow in the church parish hall. In lieu of flowers, unrestricted gifts are welcome to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Those who celebrate her life are encouraged to wear red or bright colors, reflecting Eileen’s vibrant approach to living.

Eileen leaves a gaping hold in the lives of all who loved her. In another sense, she filled many holes with her fierce brand of love and devotion. She was much loved by her family and the many others whose lives she touched. Her memory will be cherished profoundly.

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