Alfred “Alfie, Alfy” Young Campbell
Alfred, 92, passed away on Sept. 26. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 3, 1930 to Alexander March Campbell and Margaret (Kerr) Campbell.
Alfred’s dad was a renowned Scottish fiddle player. Alfy inherited his dad’s talent when learning to play the bagpipes. He also was physically agile and became a star athlete, coaching his first of many soccer teams in a 50-year span at age 14.
After a stint in the British army as a medic, Alfy began an apprenticeship to learn the trade of tool and die making. His eye for accuracy put him at the top of his trade.
In 1962, the Worcester Kiltie pipe band invited him to the United States to coach and instruct the band’s piping section. He had been an instructor at the College of Piping in Glasgow. After that first year, he left to become the piping coach and instructor with the Manchester Pipe Band. He has played pipes with them off and on over the years. He’s coached many bands, including the Mystic Highland Pipe Band. His numerous students have gone on to win myriad medals in solo and band competitions.
Alfy regularly performed at weddings, funerals, birthday parties, St. Patrick Day events, parades, etc. He also performed at libraries periodically. A performance at the Essex Public Library in 1983 had over 50 attendees and was so popular he was asked to return the following week. He brought two Scottish dancers the second week. His performances always included history, Scottish lore, and an explanation of each tune’s history before playing it.
In addition to his active bagpiping, he was also very active in soccer. He was instructor and coach at the Country School Soccer Clinic in Madison. He started shoreline adult soccer in Branford, Guilford, and Alfie’s Angels, which later evolved into the Clinton soccer club. Alfy coached the Clinton Recreation Department Fall soccer league as well as the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Clansman team. One summer he coached Clinton’s A Division team in the CJSA. He particularly liked coaching middle school and high school teams as the attention span and listening skills were more advanced.
Alfy went to Vermont to be trained as a licensed dowser. He was hired many times to find the best source of water for new wells to be dug. One time he was asked to dowse for a missing cat, of which he successfully found!!
All of this while working full time! Over the years, he’s worked for many companies, Boeing and Lears jet early on. He also worked for Monsanto and Schaefer Machine Company in Clinton.
Another pursuit was dabbling into the mystical, studying phenomenon such as an out of body experience. He changed the spelling of his nickname from Alfie to Alfy because the Y is a more powerful symbol than the IE.
Alfy is survived by his four children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A future memorial Service will be held in Glasgow, Scotland where his ashes will be delivered to his relatives there.
Donations can be made to the Manchester Pipe Band, Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) or to any of the Clinton Soccer leagues. He actively played in the adult leagues until he reached 70 years old, but could still regularly be seen “kicking the ball around” at one field or another.