Life Story Visitation
Thursday, April 28, 2022
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food, Drinks and stories will be shared throughout the evening and a few special memories and a toast will be given at 7 pm.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association
4200 Lovers Lane
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Sky Foundation Inc
33 Bloomfield Hills Parkway #275
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Raising awareness, funding and innovative research for early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Life Story / Obituary
Intelligent, witty, and charismatic, Bob Campbell lived a life rich in family and friends. A man who truly loved people, he inevitably found himself as the center of attention as he captivated audiences with his terrific stories. Bob was known for his generosity and candor, and was a truly devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Bob’s father, Jack Campbell was a salesman for The Upjohn Company, and he along with his wife, Marion (Lorenz) Campbell were always on the move. They landed for a short time in St. Louis, Missouri where they welcomed their son, Bob, on June 29, 1954. Bob's arrival was much to Marion's relief after suffering through the miserable hot, humid summer weather during her final weeks of pregnancy.
Growing up in a big family, Bob enjoyed the good company of his three older sisters, Carol, Susan, and Marty, and his younger brother, Pat. He enjoyed a childhood filled with many fond memories and magical Christmas gatherings. In his youth, Bob first learned to play the game of golf, which became a lifelong passion.
Eventually the Campbell family settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bob attended Barbour Hall and later graduated from Hackett Catholic High School with the class of 1972. He attended Michigan State University for two years before returning home and landing a job with The Upjohn Company. Working nights and taking classes at Western Michigan University, he eventually earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business from WMU.
And now, the love story of a lifetime. One fateful night, while playing pool at Wayside West, Bob had the good fortune of meeting Carla Casteel. After watching Bob play for a while, she put a quarter on the table to play the next game. Even though she didn't know how to play, she hoped Bob would win so she would get to shoot with him. She secured his interest by buying the first pitcher of beer, and by the end of the evening, Bob asked her out.
Bob and Carla’s first date began with a trip to the beach in South Haven, followed by pizza at Bruno's in Kalamazoo. Near the end of the meal, Carla claimed the last piece which both shocked Bob and made him fall in love. After that successful first date, they began dating seriously, and Carla quickly fell for Bob's wit, generosity, and strong family values. After a couple of years of dating, they had their hearts set on building a future together, and on June 19 1981, Bob and Carla married in an intimate ceremony at Bob's parents' home in Portage. Throughout the last 41 years they enjoyed a truly special marriage; built on a foundation of trust, respect and partnership.
In 1986, Bob and Carla joyfully welcomed their only child, their daughter Sydney. Bob was delighted to be a dad and devoted himself to supporting Sydney in every way. Bob and Sydney had an incredible relationship, and there was not a person who knew him who didn’t know how proud he was of his daughter. Sydney credits him for her common sense, knowledge of essential life skills, and self-confidence. He was always ready to help Sydney with school projects and whenever he was involved, it was sure to be intricate, impressive, and advanced for her grade. Bob always championed Sydney, taking every opportunity to brag about her and lovingly advising and encouraging her throughout her life.
Bob and Carla were truly beach people. They took cruises to the Caribbean, trips to Mexico, and enjoyed many other tropical vacations. They also enjoyed many family reunions with the Casteel family that brought the family closer together and allowed them to see much of the United States. They visited Sydney during her study-abroad in Spain for a once-in-a-lifetime European vacation, and wintered in Venice, Florida for the last seven years.
Though they traveled frequently, Bob's favorite places were his home in Portage and the family cottage in South Haven. The cottage has been in the family since the 1970s and holds many special memories. As a skilled handyman, Bob renovated the cottage a little at a time, and everyone enjoyed seeing his finished work.
A man of many interests and talents, Bob also loved to cook. He made a self-proclaimed “excellent” spaghetti sauce and was the principal dough-roller during the family’s homemade pizza parties. The Campbell family takes their pizza very seriously, and Bob's favorite was a DiMaggio PSM. When not working on a home project, Bob loved to play golf. A good golfer, he regularly played at Milham Park where he built an amazing community of friends, who affectionately named him Bobbo. The nickname was adopted by his family when he became grandfather to Jack, and his requested “grandpa” name of Mr. Campbell was rejected by his daughter.
Bob enjoyed listening to classic rock and was an avid reader of all genres. His vast breadth of knowledge and gift for storytelling became the stuff of legend. Bob was a tremendous storyteller with impeccable recall, a flair for embellishment, a quick wit, and captivating delivery. You could often find him holding court around the cottage firepit, attracting neighbors like moths to a flame.
Though our days with him were far too few, Bob's legacy of love and laughter will continue to live on in each of our lives. With every walk we take on a beach, projects we confidently execute, trips we take with our beloved, stories we share with relish, and games of golf we enjoy with our friends, we celebrate the many ways Bob touched, moved, and inspired us. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others, as he so inspired us.
Robert Campbell, age 67, of Portage, died in the comfort of his home on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Surviving members of his family include his wife Carla; his daughter: Sydney (Ben) Welch, his grandson Jack, his sister Susan and his nieces and grand-niece and nephew. He was preceded in death by his sisters Carol and Marty and his brother Patrick. Cremation has taken place.
Please join the family at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Thursday, April 28, 2022, from 5-7 pm at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Special memories and a toast will be shared at 7 pm. Visit Bob's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, and photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association or Sky Foundation Inc.