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Memorial Scholarship Honors Doug Campbell's Passion for God

Memorial Scholarship Honors Doug Campbell's Passion for God

John Douglas

John Douglas "Doug" Campbell passed away after a brief battle with cancer on December 24, 2021. Losing a loved one in the prime of their life is every family's worst nightmare. In this story, Rev. Dr. David Campbell, who serves as senior pastor of Due West UMC in Marietta, reflects on Doug's life and why he and his mother, Mrs. Norma Payton, honored his legacy by creating the Doug Campbell Memorial Scholarship Endowment with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. Each year, this endowed scholarship will benefit a student who participates in the Wesley Foundation at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Tech Wesley).

Q. What type of legacy does Doug leave behind?

Dr. Campbell: Family and friends that loved him and that he loved. He was one of those people that was so intentional about maintaining relationships. People he worked with more than 40 years ago came in from out of town for the funeral because he worked so hard to stay connected. He loved his alma mater, Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology).

Q: What qualities and character traits come to mind when you think about Doug?

Dr. Campbell: I've mentioned his commitment to family and friends. That manifested itself in his willingness to help folks however he could. He worked in the airline industry for 30 years, and there is no telling how many buddy passes he shared so people could take nice trips.

Q: What can you share about Doug's faith?

Dr. Campbell: My brother's faith was strongest in the last years of his life. He became very active in his church in Texas, and they had a great impact on him. (We also endowed a station in the prayer garden of his church. We flew out last September for the dedication). In his last days, when he was very sick and in much pain, he would thank the Lord for every little thing he was able to do. It brought tears to my eyes. No complaints, just gratitude.

Q: Any comments about his career?

Dr. Campbell: He had long been an admirer of Southwest Airlines. He went to work for ValuJet in the early 1990s. Because of his loyalty, he had more years of service than almost anyone in that company. I remember the day I heard Southwest was buying ValuJet (which was now named AirTran Airways due to renaming and mergers). It was perfect for him. That moved him to Dallas, and he had a chance to work for the airline he so admired. (I had to clean out his closet, which consisted mostly of Southwest and Georgia Tech golf shirts). About this time last year, my wife and I were in invited to Southwest headquarters in Dallas. We were treated like royalty because of our connection to my brother. His boss stopped work for a couple of hours so all of his co-workers could talk to us and share memories. Some of them flew to Atlanta for the funeral. More came to the dedication of the prayer garden in Texas.

Q: What were Doug's favorite pastimes?

Dr. Campbell: Traveling, hanging out with friends, listening to classic rock, and watching old TV shows!

Q: Why was Georgia Tech such a meaningful part of Doug's life?

Dr. Campbell: Georgia Tech has a reputation for being a tough school for which to gain admittance and a challenging place to go to school. Getting that degree was a goal of his, and he was proud of it. Like in other areas of his life, he stayed in touch with his college friends.

Q: Why did your family choose to establish this scholarship endowment with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation?

Dr. Campbell: I have been involved with three different congregations that established endowment funds through the Foundation. That has given me a perspective shaped by different congregations over a number of years, and all has been positive. That kind of consistency does not just happen but is the result of a solid approach.

Q: Can you share the spiritual impact your family hopes this scholarship will make in the lives of these Tech Wesley students?

Dr. Campbell: My brother was one of those who was not active in the church in college. One of those things I believe he would have done differently given another chance. I think he would be excited to be a part of helping Christian college students to remain grounded in the faith and develop disciplines, learn life lessons, and establish relationships that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Dr. Campbell: We are so excited that Doug's name will be attached to Georgia Tech, the Wesley Foundation and the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. He would want the faith that sustained him in the most difficult of moments to be infused into the lives of students at his alma mater.

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