Roger W. Campbell, 104, of Concord, formerly of Weymouth, died peacefully on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at his home in Concord surrounded by family and caregivers. He was the beloved husband for 69 years of Ruth Ord Campbell, who predeceased him in 2016.
Born in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on December 25, 1918, he was the son of the late Malcolm and Winifred (Bennett) Campbell. His family emigrated from Canada when he was a child. He grew up in Jamaica Plain and attended Boston public schools. After graduating from Boston Commerce in 1937, he then began a 44 year long career at the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company home office, interrupted only by service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. Enlisting in 1942, he served in England pre-invasion, landed in France at Utah Beach, and served with the 9th Air Force P-47 and P-53 Squadron Headquarters Units during the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns.
After Victory in Europe, Roger remained in England for the GI American University project at Shrivenham, studying accounting and philosophy. Upon returning to New York Harbor on the battleship USS Washington in December 1945, he leveraged his Army service to achieve his long-awaited goal of naturalized US citizenship. Promptly after his honorable discharge at Ft Devens, MA, he resumed his old job at John Hancock and soon met Ruth. They married in 1947 and raised their family, living first in Hyde Park, then in Weymouth beginning in 1955. His career ranged across virtually every department of the life insurance business and attained Life Office Management Association (LOMA) fellowship. In the final years of his career, his broad business systems expertise was instrumental and provided critical leadership for automation systems design, testing, and conversion.
Raising his family of three sons, he bestowed his deep appreciation for educational achievement, lifelong learning, professional development, and community service. He was an active member and trustee of Old South Union Church in South Weymouth, a past President of the Quincy, MA chapter of Toastmasters International, a Master Mason affiliated with Celestial Lodge of Westwood, MA, and a past president of the Great Books Club of Weymouth. He served as a Boy Scouts adult leader, Junior Achievement instructor and was the founder of an innovative computer science focused Explorer Post for high school students in partnership with MIT.
In his youth Roger spent summers at an uncle’s farm in Naples, Maine. In later years, he brought his family back to this area, for summer vacations on Crystal Lake in Harrison, Maine. The Maine coast and Cape Cod were also favorite vacation destinations. In retirement, he and Ruth traveled extensively with the Elder Hostel program (now Road Scholar) venturing to many interesting places in the U.S. and abroad.
After moving to Concord in 2006, Roger and Ruth could often be found cheering for their grandchildren at soccer and basketball games. They were active with the Council On Aging, where they collected many new friends among their neighbors on Laws Brook Road, and were generally the central attraction of extended family gatherings during holidays and on special occasions.
Roger had a tremendous devotion to his family, demonstrated by his support of his son, Donald, and his family through his many years battling cancer and his loving care of Ruth through her own health challenges of degenerative Alzheimer’s. Through it all, he was there with sound advice, a helping hand, and calming manner that brought comfort even to the most difficult times.