John Earl Campbell

March 13, 1931 - April 21, 2020
John Earl Campbell

John E. Campbell passed away on Tuesday, April 21st after a short illness. He was 89 years of age. John was born on March 13, 1931 in Hayden, Arizona, where his father, Earl Manley Campbell worked for a copper mine and his mother, Willie Vinita Daugherty Campbell, lived with her new baby in company housing, where she always spoke of waging a constant battle with snakes, scorpions, and the everpresent Arizona dust. The family moved back to Webb City when John was three months old. John was the great great grandson of William Armstrong Daugherty, the head of one of the founding families of the Webb City/Carterville area.

John attended West Side Elementary School and graduated from Webb City High School in 1949. He then attended Joplin Junior College and Kansas State Teacher’s College (now Pittsburg State University) where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in English Literature, a minor in History, and worked on his Master’s Degree in 1954.

John married the love of his life, Jane L. Watson, in 1955. She preceded him in death on May 19th of 2018, just one month short of their 63rd wedding anniversary. John is survived by his two children, Robert B. Campbell, and Cynthia (Cindy) Campbell, and his two beloved grandchildren, Clara and Daniel Campbell.

Following college, John served in the Missouri National Guard as a Sergeant 1st Class Tank Commander. After teaching at Webb City Junior High for a couple of years, John worked for 38 years with the Missouri Department of Transportation as an engineer with Surveys and Plans. He retired in 1992 as District Liaison Engineer.

John was a Freemason and active in civic organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, the Webb City Library Board, the Webb City Parks Board, the Jasper County Association for Social Services, and more recently, the Webb City Housing Authority. Both John and Jane were avid supporters of Webb City Cardinal sports and never missed tuning in for the games.

John was a devout Christian. Both he and his wife Jane had been active members of the local Presbyterian Churches for many years, but more recently, John and Jane joined First Community Church of Joplin and finally found their loving ‘forever family’ of church members.

The family plans on holding a Life Celebration for John later this summer, but only after the current restrictions for such gatherings have been lifted. Although the family would very much appreciate receiving cards, in lieu of flowers they would love to see contributions be made to the Webb City School Foundation c/o 411 N. Madison Street, Webb City, Missouri 64870.