John Patrick Anthony Campbell, of Madison, passed away peacefully, at home, on May 19. The malevolent culprit was glioblastoma multiforme.
John was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Far Rockaway, New York, on Oct. 8, 1959. He was baptized at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Far Rockaway. He was a New Yorker through and through; and he loved the New York Yankees, the New York Giants, the city, upstate, the Adirondacks, the Finger Lakes region, and almost all things New York. But when he was eight years old, his family moved from Queens to Connecticut, whereupon Middletown became his home.
John attended Middletown Public Schools and graduated from Xavier High School. He attended undergraduate college at UConn and CCSU, and he earned his master’s degree from Sacred Heart University.
John lived a wonderfully full, robust, faith-based life. He was a devout Roman Catholic and a dedicated servant throughout his life, and his chosen profession, love, and true passion was youth ministry. He never considered it a job or “work,” but he was employed by the Diocese of Bridgeport and by the Archdiocese of Hartford. He served as the Campus Catholic Chaplain at Trinity College and CCSU. He was active with the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministers and served on the Board of Directors at NFCYM. He had a special love for Capuchin Youth and Family Ministry and was long involved with CYFM’s many programs. He participated in the Capuchin Appalachian Mission (CAM) trips for 24 consecutive summers. He guided youth groups at World Youth Day (WYD) in Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Toronto, Canada; and Cologne, Germany. He completed a postulancy year with the Province of St. Mary Capuchin Franciscans. He participated in the NEYG and the NDDI. Youth Ministry was his calling and his life’s work, but he also found time to volunteer with The Hartford Catholic Worker, Madison Little League (MLL), and he was a proud and long-standing member of the Elk’s Club, BPOE, Westbrook.
John was predeceased by his parents, Antionette Campanella Campbell and John Francis Campbell, of Middletown. He leaves behind his wonderful, loving, and utterly broken-hearted family: his wife, Heidi Holland Campbell; his daughters, Kallian Holland-Rivard Socci (Adam) and his brand-new, very special grandson Zack Joseph Socci, and Marley Holland-Rivard Kelly (John V); his siblings, Tom and Lynn Campbell, Carol and Jim Daly and Joe Campbell; his in-laws, Ginny Holland Perkins and Gretchen Holland Mayo and James; his nieces and nephews: Christopher Campbell, Brian and Brianna Campbell, TJ and Kat Campbell and baby Theo, Matt Campbell, Amanda Campbell and fiancé Nathan Peffer; and his cherished Christina Campbell; Bill and Lindsey Cummings and Aidan, Brianna, and Charlotte; and Barbara and Andrew Tattersall.
John was a remarkable person who had many cherished friends. He will be so sorely missed by the 80 Silver group, the Ronzo-Hoots group, The GOT, his BIRI girls, his Middletown friends, his Madison friends, his tri-state friends, his Xavier friends, his TrinColl and CCSU kids, and all of his peers, colleagues, and friends near and far in the youth ministry field that he so loved. If you were lucky enough to have known John and been able to call him Friend, you were blessed indeed.
Swan Funeral Home of Madison is handling the arrangements. Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, at Swan Funeral Home, Madison. The funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 2, at St. Pius X Church in Middletown. Burial will follow at West Cemetery in Madison.
Heidi and family extend their most sincere and heartfelt gracious gratitude and thanks to the entire staff at Smilow/YNHH, and in particular to Dr. Joseph Contessa and the entire radiology team and to Dr. Nick Blondin and the entire neuro-oncology team. We are extremely grateful to all at Smilow/YNHH who tried to make a difference. The family also wishes to acknowledge and thank all of the nurses, aides, caregivers, and staff at The Connecticut Hospice for making John’s final two weeks at home possible, comfortable, peaceful, and dignified. A very special thanks to Deb and Lynn at The Connecticut Hospice and to Thomas from Helping Hands Caring Hearts. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA) or to a cancer charity of your choice.