In my youth, I attended an engagement party for my cousin, Diddy, who was committing matrimony about six months thereafter. I met her intended for the first time and, for their ceremony, I served as chauffeur to the church and then to the reception. The groom was Alan Campbell who that fall was entering law school at Georgetown University after graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Alan went on to achieve a spectacular career in the Washington legal community, including serving a term as president of the Federal Communications Bar Association. In 2005 he retired from the practice of law and he and Diddy left the hubbub of the Washington area and moved to the Northern Neck, settling in an idyllic spot looking across the Yeocomico River into downtown Lewisetta.
For the next 14 years they engaged in numerous volunteer projects across the Northern Neck, perhaps highlighted by their involvement with the Westmoreland Players where they undertook a variety of projects. Alan appeared in 20 of the Players’ productions in his 60s, finding a new avocation as an actor. Diddy, an accomplished artist, painted many of the set designs and they both were mainstays in the organization’s activities. Alan said that he liked acting because it was a new venture to which I replied by asking if he considered it as a parallel to practicing law.
Alan also decided to become a Master Gardener, taking the coursework, and following up serving as master of ceremonies at several of the Gardening in the Northern Neck seminars held each spring in White Stone. He was a regular working at the Farm Museum Garden on Route 360 near Horsehead and at the George Washington Birthplace demonstration garden, two of the signature local projects that the Master Gardeners of the Northern Neck undertake to maintain in order to inform the community about the organization and its value to the community. The Farm Museum garden is an important teaching tool for local school-age children.
Alan was an especially resourceful individual, gifted intellectually and interested in every aspect of life around him. He had a significant athletic background playing a variety of sports—particularly high school football which he liked to recollect as a formative learning experience. Many years ago, he completed the Marine Corps Marathon held each year in the Washington area. Having run one marathon myself, albeit one of far lesser prestige, but still 26.2 miles, I was impressed that for his introduction to the marathon scene he undertook the Cadillac of such races. He was a staunch adherent to the concept that a healthy body was necessary for a healthy mind.
A few years ago, Alan began having memory problems which continued to accelerate. He and Diddy decided to bring their Northern Neck sojourn to a conclusion and moved to be nearer their daughter in Ohio. His condition continued to deteriorate and on Monday he died at the age of 81. Alan was a happy person, enjoying all aspects of life, always supportive of his family and friends, and ever eager to do his share, whether personally or professionally, to make the world a better and happier place.
Alan Charles Campbell, April 6, 1940-August 16, 2021. R.I.P.