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Dr. Albert James Campbell, 81

Dr. Albert James Campbell, 81, of Sedalia, died Tuesday, October 9, 2012, in Columbia, MO.

He was born in Sedalia, November 20, 1931, a son of the late Dr. Albert James and Nannie Gentry (Estill) Campbell. On August 15, 1953, in St. Joseph, he married Janet Beaven, who preceded him in death on May 30, 2011.

Known for his warm smile, his gentle bedside manner, and the ever present blue blazer, Dr. Campbell was a familiar face in Sedalia, having practiced medicine here for nearly 45 years, beginning when he assumed his own father’s practice in 1957.

Dr. Campbell was a 1949 graduate of Smith Cotton High School and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Missouri where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity in which he remained active. His first two years of medical school were also at the University of Missouri, and he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Medicine at that school. He completed his Medical Degree at the University of Pennsylvania in June 1956. His internship and residency were served at the University of Michigan hospitals, in General Practice. He began his practice in Sedalia in 1957. He received further advanced practice training and certification in the then new specialty of Family Medicine in 1974.

He was an active member of many organizations, including the Missouri State Medical Association, Southern Medical Association, First Christian Church where he served as an elder and was a member of Bethany Sunday school class. He was a member of the Shriners for many years as well as numerous other volunteer organizations. Dr. Campbell was a member of the University of Missouri School of Medicine Alumni Board of Governors for 30 years and served as its president from 1985-87. He was a long standing Counselor with the Southern Medical Association, and a past President of the Missouri State Medical Association. He was a long time mentor to medical students during Family Practice rotations, and many MU students rotated through his practice. He mentored elementary school children in reading programs in the Sedalia public schools. He was a member of numerous other civic groups across the state and nation, and a supporter of all things Sedalia.

His early career was in his own father’s old office on South Ohio, in Downtown Sedalia, and his children recall countless hours of house calls made after hours to patients who could not otherwise receive health care. He was often paid in his early practice in green beans and sides of beef. He volunteered at The Free Clinic in Sedalia, worked with sick children at an orphanage clinic in Mexico, and he provided medical care, counseling and hope to many, many people over the years. He was the physician at the Missouri State Fair for years, and the Physician who saved many lives during Sedalia’s now infamous Ozark Music Festival in 1974, managing drug overdoses and severe dehydration. He was the regional physician for the Missouri Pacific Railroad for many years, and served as plant physician for the local branch of Alcan Cable here in Sedalia.

He learned to love medicine, his vocation and his hobby, making housecalls with his father, and from his father and his mother, he learned the love of travel. He and his wife, Janet, shared many adventures around the country and the world. He was always ready for the next trip. He enjoyed traveling to medical meetings and conferring with physician colleagues and friends; he savored winter time on Padre Island TX and his many friends there; he traveled to spend time with his grandchildren in NC, his son in Ohio, his sister in South Carolina, and his friends at the Lake of the Ozarks. He was a die hard MU fan and took in many football games in Columbia and around the conference. He and Janet enjoyed many quiet weekends together enjoying the beauty of their native state.

He is survived by three children, Elizabeth E. Campbell, M.D., and her husband, Mark Lefebvre, Ph.D., of Raleigh, N.C., Albert James Campbell, III, M.D., of Delaware, OH, and Robert Beaven Campbell, of Sedalia; a sister, Nancy Campbell Young, of Hilton Head Island, S.C; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Beaven Blakeley, and her husband, James Edward Blakeley, Sr., of St. Joseph; three grandchildren, Avery James Campbell and Aiden Elizabeth Lefebvre, of Raleigh, N.C and Mark Lefebvre’s daughter, Hilary Lefebvre Perry, of New York City; and five nieces and nephews, Kathryn Schaeffer, of Kansas City, MO, James Edward Blakeley, of Idaho Falls, ID, Susan Young, of Chicago, IL, Janet Deer, of Paola, KS, and Quentin Young, of Carmel, IN.

Funeral service will be 10:30 am, Monday, October 15, 2012, at First Christian Church with the Rev. Chad McMullin officiating. Pallbearers will be Dr. Kenneth Azan, Fred Schaeffer, Tom Knight, Barney Knight, Stafford Swearingen, Chris Squires and Steve Bloess. Honorary pallbearers will be Ray Haley, John Swearingen, Dr. Robert Stockwood, Thomas Keating, David Malmo, John Knaus, John Bloess, Blake Butler, Rick Johns and Tom Stamm.  Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Friends may call after noon on Sunday, October 13 at McLaughlin Funeral Chapel. The family will receive visitors from 2-4 p.m.

Memorials are suggested to the Albert James Campbell, MD and Janet Beaven Campbell Scholarship Endowment at the University of Missouri School of Medicine; to The First Christian Church of Sedalia MO or to State Fair Community College Scholarship Fund, also of Sedalia. Memorial contributions may be delivered in care of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.

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