John Theodore Campbell
John Theodore Campbell
  • October 7, 1942 - March 22, 2017
  • Phoenix, Arizona

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John Theodore Campbell, 74, beloved husband, father and grandfather unexpectedly passed away on March 22, 2017 and is now with the Lord.

He was born in Richmond, VA, graduated from Douglas Freeman High School, earned a football scholarship to Virginia Military Institute and later attended Richmond College where he met Ellen, his wife of 54 years.

In 1969 John was made sales manager of 4 states and transferred to Phoenix. When he felt the heat and saw the palm trees, he decided that he was home. After 11 years in that position he opened his own Advertising Specialty business which continues today.

John enjoyed traveling for missions in Africa and pleasure in many countries from the Netherlands to New Zealand.

John's philosophy was that the money he earned was only there to enable his work for God. . He had a strong desire to help the people of Africa, culminating in supporting native seminarians & church leaders wanting to spread God's words to its people. When the Lost Boys of South Sudan came to Arizona, John was among the first to help them personally.

John was most proud of the work he did in Christian ministry. He was a Lay Reader at All Saints Episcopal Church in Phoenix, AZ for 32 years. He served as Lay leader of Arizona Anglican Cursillos for years beginning in 1977 and he was the first Lay Director of the Arizona Walk to Emmaus #1. Both of these Christian Renewal programs have brought thousands of people closer to our Lord. He taught Bible classes to all ages throughout his life & continued to teach that our work for God is not complete at any age.

For 38 years John was a volunteer Santa Claus. He ministered to little children, terminally ill adults, nursing homes, chemo rooms, and to groups who wanted a wholesome celebration of Christmas. He would be found giving candy canes to the janitors, dishwashers and caregivers because he saw everyone that many other people overlook. This Santa gave hundreds of thousands of people a hug and the message that Jesus loves them. Recently he took his 50 best true Santa stories and compiled them into a book "Santa and the Candy Cane Heart".

John was a gentleman, a Christian and "the best Santa ever"..

He is preceded in death by his son, Sean Andrew Campbell.

John is survived by his wife, Ellen Campbell, daughter, Stefanie Campbell, grandson, Johnathan Campbell.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 2 pm at Bethany Bible Church, 6060 North 7th Ave., Phoenix, 85021. A reception will be held at the church following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to North Pole Ministries or Arizona Walk to Emmaus or Lampstand Ministries
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