CHINOOK - Walter Donald Campbell, 78, of Chinook died Monday, July 18, 2005, at the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home in Chinook.
Cremation has taken place. A wake Service will be held Monday at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Chinook. A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Chinook. Burial of the cremated remains will follow in the Kuper Memorial Cemetery with military honors.
Walter was born to Walter H. and Clara (Staab) Campbell in Bracken, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Sept. 16, 1926. Bracken was the closest hospital to their homestead in North Phillips County, near Whitewater. Walt attended Victory School. The family moved to a farm near Strater Community east of Malta. He attended Strater Grade School and graduated from Malta High School in 1945. Walt joined the Army Air Corps in 1946 and was in on the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. He was discharged in 1947.
Walt then worked on ranches in Phillips County and raised registered Hereford cattle with his father. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman for one year and then began work with the railroad in 1949 as a signalman. Walt re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950. He was a gunner on a B52 and flew 20 combat missions over North Korea.
He married Betty Jane Jensen in Lake Charles, La., in December of 1952. After his discharge in 1953, they moved to Libby, where Walt resumed working for the Great Northern Railway. Their son, Michael, was born in Libby in 1954. They were divorced two years later.
Walt worked from 1953 to 1963 in almost every railroad town on the Hi-Line from Newport, Wash., to Williston, N.D., living the longest in Libby, Essex, Cut Bank and East Glacier.
He married Elaine Maloney in Malta on Nov. 30, 1963. They lived in Great Falls and moved to Chinook in 1967. He continued as a signalman with the railroad until his retirement in June of 1989.
Walt was a Boy Scout leader for troop 448 in Chinook. He was a country musician, playing in various country bands along the Hi-Line area, and provided music for the church services and retreats. He was a member of St. Gabriel's Church in Chinook and St. Mary's in Rocky Boy. He was active in the Cursillo movement, was a fourth-degree Knights of Columbus member, and member of VFW Post No. 4620 and the Eagles. He was an EMT and volunteered with the Blaine County ambulance for 10 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and a daughter, Erin Marie.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine; daughter, Colleen and partner Jay Messina of New York City; sons, Michael and wife, Lynette (Torgersen), of White Bear Lake, Minn., Kevin and wife, Rita (Rasmussen), of Chinook, and Patrick of Missoula; sister, Lavonne Compton (Duane) of Malta; brothers, Jack (Bea) Campbell of Havre and Collin (Shirley) Campbell of Great Falls; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Edwards Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.