The Cowichan Valley has lost a community champion. Pamela Mavis Marie Campbell died on June 1 at the age of 78.
A mom, a caregiver and a friend to all those that needed it, she’d faced many health challenges over the last six months.
“She frequently reminded us that she was a fighter not a quitter but alas, she also knew when enough was enough,” her family said.
Born and raised in Duncan, Campbell was a proud graduate of one of the first practical nursing programs in B.C.
She worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria until she returned to Duncan, married her high school sweetheart, John Campbell, had a daughter and three sons and did anything but “settle down.”
Campbell was a community advocate and an avid volunteer but those words only scratch the surface of the work she did for the people of the Cowichan Valley, particularly the youth.
A tireless advocate for public education, Campbell served as a trustee for the Cowichan School District for 18 years, from November, 1988 through 2005, including long stints as the board chair and vice-chair. She was instrumental in the construction of Frances Kelsey Secondary School in Mill Bay and even met the pioneer for which the facility is named at the school’s grand opening.
“I remember Pam well. She was a wonderful person and trustee,” said current Cowichan Valley Board of Education Chair Candace Spilsbury. “She was caring, committed, supportive and always put students first in her decision-making. She was a strong advocate for public education and for Cowichan Valley schools.”
Campbell was a Life Member of the Kinettes (Kin Canada), a long-time board member and organizer of the Cowichan Music Festival and was involved as an executive with the Navy League of Canada, the Cowichan Valley Christmas Hamper Society, the United Way, and many more.
The Cowichan Music Festival board of directors was sad to hear of Campbell’s passing.
“Pam spent many years as a board member and organizer of venues for each section of the festival. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the festival, briefly taking over as vice president when the president became ill and volunteering to be Master of Ceremonies at a Highlights Concert. Pam will be missed by many in the festival community,” said a note from the festival’s current board.
After Pam’s retirement, the Campbells moved to Victoria to be closer to their family. Campbell didn’t slow down. During her retirement she volunteered weekly at Victoria General Hospital in the pediatric surgical day care unit and spent countless hours sewing special items for the hospital’s neonatal care unit and the pediatric ward.
“We are all better for having known and been loved by her,” said the family. “[Mom] loved her extended family and friends endlessly, and even though it feels impossibly hard to live without her, she will live on in our best memories and by us living the many values she instilled in each of us.”