James W. “Jay” Campbell, formerly of Niles

Published 5:59pm Wednesday, March 12, 2014

James W. “Jay” Campbell, 91, a longtime resident of Niles died at 10:35 a.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo, Mich. following an extended illness.

He was born on Oct. 6, 1922, in Manchester, Tenn. to James Theodore and Maude (Hickerson) Campbell, and was graduated from Manchester High School. He served a tour of duty with the United States Army, and saw many months of action in the Philippines. He was injured twice, earning the Purple Heart Medal with a bronze oak leaf cluster, and was discharged as a veteran of World War II. He came to Niles in 1946 and was employed by the former Michigan Central Railroad as a locomotive engineer. He continued his career with Michigan Central’s successors, eventually retiring from the National Railroad Passenger Corporation — “Amtrak.”

Jay, or “J.W.” was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles, and of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He enjoyed yardwork at home, and is well known for the care of his cars – they were always showroom clean and polished.

On May 17, 1947, in Niles he married the former Lillian Agnes Webber with whom he celebrated last year the sixty-sixth anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, Lillian Campbell and their daughters, Pamela (Dan) Heuschele of Kalamazoo and Terri (Tom) Lane of Watervliet, Michigan; grandchildren Dana (Jason) Jones and Kaleb (Stephenie) Lane; and great-grandchildren Mackenzie Jones and Reagan Jones.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Clyde Raymond Campbell and sister, Zelma Ruth Treadwell.

The family of James Campbell will receive relatives and friends from 1 until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles, followed by a procession to the grave at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles for Committal Services by the Rev. Cathi Huvaere of Wesley United Methodist Church. The service will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Army Honor Guard.

Contributions in memory of Mr. Campbell may be made to Wesley United Church, or to the resident activity fund at Friendship Village of Kalamazoo, or to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.



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