Celebrating the life of Ruth Marie Campbell
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Surviving are eight sons and three daughters: John (Christine) Campbell of Clearwater, FL; Laurence (Patricia) Campbell of Littleton, CO; Daniel (Mary Anne) Campbell of Pekin; Therese Powers of East Peoria, IL; Michael Campbell of Pekin; Christopher Campbell of Thornton, CO; Rita (Timothy) Sierra of Pekin; Mary (Clifford) Steele of Nashua, NH; Kevin Campbell of Pekin; Stephen (Carolyn) Campbell of Rifle, CO; and Richard (Lisa) Campbell of Springfield, IL. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Bethel Rinderknecht and many grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as several nephews and nieces.
She devoted her life to her Catholic faith, her family, and serving others. She graduated from the St. Francis School of Nursing on January 27, 1947. A memorable time during training was being assigned to the hospital emergency room as the end of WWII was announced. Ruth often said, ”I never had so much second-hand liquor in all my life, but the war was over!” Personally, she was grateful for the return of her two brothers (and future husband) from the Pacific Theater. Ruth began practicing her nursing career at Dr. Claycomb’s office in Pekin. She joined Pekin Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse in 1954 and retired in February 1991, as President of Nursing and Vice President of Medical Affairs responsible for recruiting new doctors to Pekin.
As a member of St Joseph Catholic Church, Ruth volunteered for many church activities including Liturgy Coordinator; Coordinator for Lectors, Sacristans, and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist; member and President of the parish Council of Catholic Women; participated in homebound and hospital ministry, as well as church cleaning and decorating. In 1989 she received the St Joseph Distinguished Service award.
At the Peoria Diocesan level, Ruth had been President of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) and in 1996 received the DCCW Volunteer award as well as the Diocese of Peoria Office of Divine Worship Leadership Award. In 2001, she accepted the Pere Marquette award to honor those who “make special contributions that enrich the life of the diocese.”
Ruth was also a member of the Secular Order of Franciscans and has been Past Minister and Formation Director for the local Sacred Heart Fraternity. She also held council leadership positions at the regional and national Fraternity levels. Ruth and her husband even traveled to Assisi and Rome, Italy with the Franciscans. She was a member of Altrusa and traveled the country with her husband, Clem, in support of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) activities.
She was always very involved with family. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, held Girl Scout meetings at her home, was a member and president of the Parish Board of Education, and helped coordinate and host various social and holiday events in the school cafeteria. Ruth attended as many sporting events as possible. She arranged extended family affairs where her 9 sons would compete in softball games against teams from the Knights of Columbus and Pekin Hospital. Ruth is especially remembered as the chairperson for the chicken and “homemade” noodle dinners during the Parish Bazaar for many years. In 1988, she was named Mother of the Year by the St Joseph Altar and Rosary Society. She was proud that for 50 consecutive years she had a child, grandchild, or great grandchild enrolled in St. Joseph School.
Due to the current social conditions, the family wishes to make special note that her death was NOT Covid related, she simply came to the end of a very full life. The family also thanks the management and staff of the Villas of Holly Brook and Transitions Hospice for their care and support of our mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, over the last 4 years.
The public is invited to her Mass of Christian Burial at 11am on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin. Father Michael Andrejek will officiate. Public visitation will be one hour before the Mass, at the church. Guidelines regarding social distancing and masks will be followed. The Mass will also be live-streamed at https://stjosephpekin.org/parish-life/mass-streaming
All other activities, including burial, will remain private for the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to St. Joseph School / Catholic Church, 303 South 7th St., Pekin, IL 61554.
The family has entrusted Abts Mortuary in Pekin with Celebration of Life and Funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be made at abtsmortuary.com
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