It is with great sadness we share that Emily Katherine Campbell passed away peacefully on December 10, 2021 at the age of 88. Emily was the dearly loved wife and best friend of Robert James “Bob” Campbell, who passed away in December of 2018; deeply caring and loving mother of Mary Brandon Campbell and James Hubbard Campbell (Jacquelyn); devoted grandmother of Scott, Jack, Morgan, Collin and Catherine; loving sister-in-law of Richard Campbell; and aunt and loyal friend to many. Emily is predeceased by her sister, Mary Louise Tallberg.
Emily was born in Muskegon on June 11, 1933 to Rita Hegarty Lingelbach and Reiner Lingelbach. Emily’s family moved to Flint, where she spent most of her formative years. Emily attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio where she met Bob, the love of her life and partner for 63 years. Emily was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority at Denison and the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree. Bob joined the Keeler Brass Company and brought Emily to Grand Rapids to start their lives together. Bob and Emily raised their family and spent the remainder of their years in Grand Rapids, nurturing special, lifelong friendships.
Emily was new to Grand Rapids and had to “start from scratch”. She never forgot this and was kind and welcoming to those new to the community. It was this empathy that launched Emily’s practice of mailing her children and then her grandchildren birthday cakes every year, wherever they happened to be located. Emily was an active volunteer in a wide range of activities, including the Junior League and the Hodgen Guild of Blodgett Hospital. She was a voracious reader, with a book in every room of the house and a “spare” in her purse. Emily was a cheerful and enthusiastic supporter of her friends and family and would join them in almost any adventure. In addition to being a terrific Bridge player, Emily knit and needlepointed beautiful pieces, including a Christmas stocking for each family pet. She was known as a “card shark” and an unbeatable croquet player by her grandchildren. Most importantly, Emily was a trusted and true friend. She was accepting, deeply caring and an unflinching presence for her friends and family through their most difficult times. We will miss Emily immensely.
A celebration of Emily’s life will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, June 9th at Kent County Club, 1600 College Avenue NE, followed immediately by a luncheon reception in Emily’s honor. In addition, a mass will be offered for Emily at the 8:30am service at St. Stephen Church, 723 Rosewood SE, on June 9th. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in honor of Emily to the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Robert J. Campbell Endowed Scholarship at Kendall College of Art and Design St. Stephen in honor of Emily K. Campbell to purchase new books and revamp the library at the St. Stephen School, or an organization of your choice.