Edward L. Campbell, 75, ended his life's journey on May 6, 2010. He died peacefully at home in the loving embrace of his family and cherished friends.
Visitation was 3 to 5 PM on Sunday, May 9, at Dunn's Funeral Home, 2121 Grand Avenue. Services are Monday, May 10, at 12 noon, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 15 Indianola Avenue, Des Moines.
Edward was preceded in death by his father, James Campbell, his mother, LeVerne
Campbell, and sisters Nancy Mayo and Colleen Bleasdell. Edward will be missed by his loving wife of 35 years, Bonnie, and sisters Christine Lantis (Ken), Sandy, Utah, Julie Jordan, Panora, Iowa, and Lisa Campbell, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Edward was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa and attended Sacred Heart School. He served in the U.S. Army and is a graduate of the University of Iowa.
After starting his career working for the Grinnell and Charles City Chambers of Commerce, Campbell was recruited to join the staff of Governor Harold E. Hughes in 1965 where he served as a Special Assistant. One of Campbell's most significant responsibilities was to oversee the establishment of the community colleges in the State of Iowa. When Governor Hughes was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968, Campbell joined the Hughes staff in Washington, D.C.
When Senator Hughes retired from the Senate in 1974, Campbell returned to Iowa to run the successful campaign of then-Congressman John Culver for the United States Senate. Campbell managed Senator Culver's Iowa offices until entering the private sector in 1976.
In 1977, Campbell was elected State Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party and served with distinction in that position until 1982. As Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Campbell became a nationally-recognized and respected political confidante, observer, and sometimes colorful commentator. Jack Germond and Jules Witcover dedicated their book about the 1984 Presidential campaign, Wake Us When It's Over, to Campbell with these words: "To Ed Campbell, who personifies what is good about politics."
Campbell's favorite toast to his friends was: "May you live forever and I never, ever die." And, he has not. His memory will live on in the generations of Iowa leaders he mentored and in the public policy initiatives that were shaped by his leadership over four decades.
Edward's family wishes to thank the dedicated physicians and health care providers who cared for Edward during his illness. Bonnie also wishes to acknowledge the wonderful support of her sister, Karen, and her eternal gratitude to Bret Bair who provided both excellent nursing care and loving companionship for Edward over the past year.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Iowa Democratic Party.