Kenneth Campbell, Jr.

Obituary of Kenneth Wayne Campbell, Jr.

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Kenneth “Joe” Wayne Campbell Jr, age 66, entered into his Eternal Heavenly Home at Home exactly where he wanted to be surrounded by those he’d made beautiful memories with memories like those pictured above of a life well lived during the 8:40am hours of November 21, 2023. 

Joe was born to his parents Kenneth “Gus” Wayne Campbell, Sr and Amy Loretta Foster Campbell in Oneida, New York on June of 1957. 

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, maternal grandparents Robert Foster and Hazel Hollingsworth Foster, paternal grandparents Emery Campbell and Vera Jones Campbell, his youngest sister Nancy Hawver at age 42 and his younger brother Jerry Campbell at age 59, James “Jim” Huer (sister Cathy’s partner in life) all of Upstate New York. Joe was also predeceased by his in laws Milton Cheek and Barbara Andrews Cheek of Chapel Hill, NC, and brother in law Rocky Wilkerson, of Hurdle Mills, NC.

Joe is survived by his wife Janice Cheek Campbell of the home, their two sons Bobby “Bob” Campbell, (Angeles Cordero) of Chapel Hill,NC and Christopher “Chris” Campbell of Carrboro, NC, (Shelby Campbell) of Chapel Hill, NC. He’s also survived by his wife’s biological daughter Barbara “Barbie” Cheek Todd of Havelock, NC, his sister Catherine “Cathy” Campbell,  youngest brother Ronald “Ron” Campbell, (Samantha Rainwater Campbell), all of Oneida, NY, his closest brother Floyd “Sam” Campbell (Rhonda Burton) of Salem, VA, sisters in law Donna Campbell of Eaton, NY, and Cathy Wilkerson, of Hurdle Mills, NC, brothers in law Paul Wilkerson (Lisa) of Hurdle Mills, NC, and Harry Hawver, of Oneida, NY, step mother in law Katherine “Kat” Cheek, of Hurdle Mills, NC, sister in law Pam Cheek Wagoner (Lee) of Hickory, NC and brother in law Tony Cheek (Cindy) of Efland, NC.

Joe is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Brianna Oliver, of Wilmington, NC, Destiny Heath, of Durham, NC, Hayliegh Campbell and Matthew Litchfield, of Lexington, SC, Stephanie Guzman, of Brussels, Charleigh and Carter Campbell, of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC, Nathan “Nate” Harrington of Hillsborough, NC, Savanna Alley Surrant and Nathaniel Alley both of VA.

He’ll be especially missed by special friends Kevin & Jeanne Mitchell (and family) of Pittsboro, NC, Robert & Terry Willis (and pups) of NC, Howard and Gale Marsh of Sherrill, NY, and Gil Arison (Donna) of Canastota, NY.

Joe also leaves behind to treasure his memory so many niece’s, nephews, close friends and coworkers whom were touched by his great smile, his ability to smile in the wake of adversity, his since of humor and his strong sense of loyalty. 

He’s been a great Son, Step Son, Son In Law, Brother, Husband, Dad, Uncle, Papa and Friend to all whom had the pleasure to get to know him and will be greatly missed by us all.

Joe proudly entered into the Army in 1974 in Princeton, South Carolina; he attended AIT in Beckley, West Virginia, and was a Vietnam War Veteran in the 1st Battalion, 76 Field Artillery as a tank operator stationed in Kitzingen, Germany. When he left the Army he traveled the East Coast working as a Pipe Fitter and in the Construction business as a extremely talented Equipment Operator working for  Christopher Construction in VA, Mellot Construction of Carrboro, NC, Bobby Arrington Grading of Chapel Hill, NC, the Town of Chapel Hill, NC, the Orange County Landfill of Chapel Hill, NC, (where he implemented the first recycling program for Orange County) and which he had been retired from in 2005, (after an on the job injury caused many cervical spine surgeries, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and MERSA), he worked throughout his marriage for his well respected friend and father in law at Cheek Apartments of Carrboro, NC, and for his son at Bob’s Towing and Hauling of Chapel Hill, NC.

Joe was a very hard worker, starting his own small family business know as “Joe’s Hauling” of which his sons now operate. He also sold firewood in the community between his many other responsibilities and positions in his later years (this routine seems to have been just a sampling of his strong will to survive and also helped him to make remarkable recoveries).

It wasn’t until 1981, when working construction at the new waste water treatment plant in Chapel Hill, NC, that he met his wife, they were married in Oneida Castle, NY, August of 1985, the couple resided in Carrboro and Durham, NC where they raised there family and in Chapel Hill, NC where they later lived on the family estate (in the home his in-laws built and were married in before his father in law was drafted for the Korean War) the land was originally owned by his wife’s paternal grandparents J. Joel Cheek and Mae Maud Merritt Cheek of Chapel Hill, NC.

Joe adopted his wife’s oldest son Bobby “Bob” (Robert “Bobby” Milton Tate) Campbell and the couple welcomed their son Christopher “Chris” Campbell, in 1987.

Joe fought many courageous medical battles during the years including Degenerative Disk Disease 2000’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis 2007, Multiple Spine surgeries lumbar 1995, cervical 2005, 11/2006 & 12/2006 (where he contracted antibiotic resistant MERSA), Lung Cancer in 2019 with Radiation), bilateral shoulder surgeries 2016, 2021 & 2022, bilateral knee replacements 2018 & 2021, Sinus surgeries 2014 & 2022, Parathyroid surgery 2021, an survived a Horrific Heavy Duty Tow Truck accident on Interstate 85/40 in Burlington, NC, in 2020 (his wife Janice always being by his side until the COVID-19 Pandemic and the world wide shut down in 2020), Joe always makes remarkable recoveries and some of his most difficult recoveries (knowing he was the glue that held his family together) included his hardest fought battle with Metastatic Lung Cancer (which included lung, lymphatic, bone and liver cancer) for which he underwent Chemotherapy until the Cancer continued to spread while receiving Chemotherapy, he then signed up with Hospice in late July, 2023.

At the families request, there will be a private grave side service. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family through Walkers Funeral Home portal. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to be made Payable to “Campbell Grandchildren Educational Fund” at 715 Old Fayetteville Rd, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516. 

The family wishes to thank the UNC Homecare & Hospice team members for their dedicated services 24/7/365.

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