Arthur J. Campbell, 67, volunteer and fund-raiser

October 30, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Arthur J. Campbell, a longtime volunteer and fund-raiser for the Maryland Science Center, Baltimore Zoo and St. Agnes HealthCare, died Wednesday of heart failure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson.

Mr. Campbell, 67, of Catonsville also worked to preserve and restore Cowdenville African Methodist Episcopal Church, a 143-year-old Arbutus building where freed slaves gathered in the mid-1800s before the end of the Civil War.

"He was just a very giving person," said his son, Thomas W. Campbell of Baltimore. "That was just his nature and what he enjoyed."

Friends and relatives said Mr. Campbell, who retired in 1979, worked tirelessly in his volunteer projects -- more so than if he had been working at a full-time job.

Since 1982, he had been a volunteer at the science center, where he had been one of the facility's top fund-raisers and had helped update its archives. He had worked at the Baltimore Zoo since 1980 and at St. Agnes HealthCare since the mid-1980s.

"His dedication to the science center was extraordinary," said Thomas Bozzuto, the center's board chairman. "His interests were varied, and he went after projects with tremendous tenacity."

One project was getting computers for the volunteers to use to update the archives.

"He beat on everyone's door -- even mine -- until he got computers," Mr. Bozzuto said. "He worked for them."

April Robbins, the science center's director of development, called Mr. Campbell "extremely passionate" and said that although he had been sick in recent months he continued to work on volunteer projects.

"He even called from his intensive-care bed to check on his projects," Mrs. Robbins said. At his death, he was treasurer of the Science Center Volunteer Associates.

Born in Hartford, Conn., and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Campbell worked as a geological surveyor for Gulf Oil from about 1955 to 1959, working mostly out of South America.

He was port director for the United Seamen's Service, a nonprofit organization that provides social services for merchant seamen and military personnel, from 1959 until he retired in 1979.

His work for the United Seamen's Service took him to many stops, including Guam, Germany, Korea, Japan, Iran and Vietnam. Upon his retirement, he settled in Catonsville.

Mr. Campbell's interest in Cowdenville AME Church, which was built by former slaves in 1857 and has stood on its Sulphur Spring Road location since 1907, was born largely because of its closeness to his home.

"He just felt of it as his civic responsibility that he took an interest in it," said Evelyn Revels, president of the Cowdenville Improvement Association of Arbutus.

Mr. Campbell had numerous hobbies, including woodworking, gourmet cooking and furniture reupholstering -- all self-taught.

He made wooden toys and trinkets each Easter and Christmas for friends and family, and he was so proficient at gourmet cooking that he was host of a public television cooking show while in Guam working for the United Seamen's Service.

Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow at Loudon Park Funeral Home, 3620 Wilkens Ave., Southwest Baltimore.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, the former Fumiko Kato, whom he married in 1953; his stepmother, Lola Campbell of Baltimore; four sisters, Florence Mangan of Buffalo, Jeanette Galipo of Tucson, Ariz., Beatrice Harper of Buffalo and Katherine Innis of Syracuse, N.Y.

Donations may be made to the St. Agnes Hospital Auxiliary, 900 Caton Ave., Baltimore, 21229.

Pub Date: 10/30/98

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