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Obituary: Eugene "Gene" Colin Campbell Jr.

Eugene “Gene” Colin Campbell, Jr, a pillar of the Williams, Arizona community, passed away Oct. 3, at the age of 102.

Born in Flagstaff on August 24, 1921, to Eugene Colin and Ruth Echo (Diamond) Campbell, he was the third oldest of seven children. He attended schools in Phoenix and later entered the United States Army; he was one of the few remaining Army Air Corps enlistees.

In 1942, Gene married Zona Mae Jones. Together, they had five children. After his father passed away, Gene and his brother, Jack, and later, his son, “Colin,” continued to run the family ranch in Ash Fork. Gene semi-retired from working as a rancher in the mid-1970s and bought a home in Williams. Gene hailed from a legacy of cattle ranchers and railroad workers, contributing significantly to the fabric of Williams, the town he called home.

Gene was well known throughout Williams and held in high regard by everyone in the community. His genuine embodiment of the resilient spirit of Williams endeared him to all. As he aged, he maintained his health, as well as relationships within the community, by walking up and down the main streets of Williams daily. There wasn't a person in Williams that didn't say, "saw your Grandpa out walking today."

Gene is survived by one sister, Nan Frances Hopgood, one daughter, Patricia Jo “PJ” Meade, nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Zona Mae Campbell; sisters, Ruth “Carleen” Boynton-Rossi, Claire Jane Blanchard, Leora Jean Lund, and Gladys “Lynette” Antonel; brother, Jack Diamond Campbell; daughters, Carol Louise Docherty, Susan Lynette Bowdon, and Mary Claire Barbee; son, Eugene “Colin” Campbell, Jr; grandsons, Darren Cole James, Tyler Cole Bowdon, and Wess Justin James; and great-great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Marie Aguilar.

Gene’s memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him, especially his grandchildren, who cherished him as patriarch of the family. His gruff kindness and community endearment will be celebrated and remembered for years to come.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 at Mountain View Cemetery in Williams, Arizona, with a gathering to follow at the Sultana. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m., Nov. 11 at the home of Rochelle and Adam Rankin, 75 East Silver Creek Road, Gilbert, Arizona. Norvel Owens Mortuary assisted with final arrangements.

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