William “Bill” Campbell

Thursday, July 6, 2023 4:54 pm

William “Bill” M. Campbell, 75, of Waukon, died Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at Aase Haugen Home in Decorah.

A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, July 11, at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Grant VanderVelden officiating and burial with military honors will be at Oakland Cemetery, both in Waukon. Friends may greet the family from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church on Tuesday. Martin – Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling the arrangements.

William Mark Campbell was born August 1, 1947, in Waukon, Iowa, the son of Mark “Pat” and Arlene M. (Wild) Campbell. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon. Bill protected and served people his whole life. At age 14, Bill started working at the Skelly gas station, always smiling as he pumped gas. Bill loved cars! As a young man, he watched out for and kept his sister and brothers safe. When he was 18, he became a volunteer fireman for the Waukon Pioneer Fire Department. Serving people in hardship and taking care of those in need was something he loved. Once, when Bill and wife Kathy were out for dinner at the Vet’s Club, the fire whistle blew and off he went; a woman came up to Kathy and said, “Oh, he’s a fireman too, you poor dear.” Bill loved that.

In 1967, at the age of 19, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He received his 10 weeks of medical training at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX, and was sent to Vietnam in October of 1968 as a combat medic with the 1st Cavalry Division. He saved many lives, patched up the wounded, and made lifelong friendships with his Army buddies. During an offensive, Bill carried a wounded soldier and his 80 lb. pack out of the jungle until a Hewy helicopter could evacuate the soldier. On February 28, 1969, Bill was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces. He also received two Purple Hearts. Duty, Honor, Country – Bill was very proud of his military service.

After returning home from Vietnam, Bill married the love of his life Kathryn Dee Wiedemann on November 14, 1970, at First Presbyterian Church in Waukon. They bought Bill’s Gulf Station, which he ran until 1973. His love of cars continued throughout his life. He attended many car shows and auctions with friends; many of those cars showed up in his garage.

For 30 years, Bill served in law enforcement, protecting the citizens of Allamakee County as a Waukon police officer and deputy sheriff until retiring in 2004. He served with kindness, respect, and strength; his whole life was devoted to others. His humor carried him through and he always had a joke or story to share with you.

He was a member of the Deputy Sheriffs State Association, Waukon Jaycees, the VFW, Lion’s Club, and First Presbyterian Church. Bill liked playing golf and cards as well.

Bill worked hard providing, taking care of, and protecting his wife and children. He was so proud of Kari and Ryan and all their achievements. Bill loved them and all his wonderful grandchildren very much.

Throughout his life and all the choices he made, he remained vigilant to his oath to “protect and serve.”

Bill is survived by his wife Kathy of Waukon; two children: Kari Kay (Michael) O’Hara of Decorah, IA, and Ryan William (Kristen Billings) Campbell of Adel, IA; grandchildren: Mason, Kylie, Kade, and Kyra O’Hara and Ella, Laney, and Greta Campbell; mom Arlene Campbell Rooney of Waukon; his sister Mary Schofield of Waukon; two brothers: Robert (Kristi) Campbell of Waukon and Perry Campbell of Centennial, CO; and his nieces and nephew: Masie McGraw, Britney Pierce, and Mark Campbell.

He was preceded in death by his dad Mark; brother-in-law Thomas Schofield; sister-in-law Vickie Campbell; and grandparents Leonard and Hazel Campbell and Anna and George Wild.

Honorary casketbearers are Bill’s grandchildren, the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department, the Waukon Fire Department, the Waukon Police Department, Lynn Dundee, Joe Emerson, Fred Delphey, Tom Garrett, Ron Henning, Wayne Howe, Larry Jatho, Carl Johnson, Troy Lubahn, Vince Seybert, Dick Sullivan, and Jerry Tausz.

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