Hyde Park resident Edward Alfred Campbell passed away peacefully at 102 years young with family at his side on February 7, 2018.
He was born in Butler, Indiana to Romaine and Maude (Craun) Campbell on April 3, 1915.
Campbell was a resident of Hyde Park for over 70 years having first lived at the old YMCA on East 53rd Street. He graduated in the 1945 class of the University of Chicago. Fifteen years later he went on to work there as an architect after he completed his degree in Architecture in 1949 from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Some of his work at the U. of C. was at the Lab School and the Brain Surgery and Research Building.
In 1950, he married Eleanor Warriner, a Certiﬁed Social Worker who was very active in the Ray School PTA and at University Church and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. Campbell and Eleanor had five children Christopher, James, Ann, Sara and Peter. In 1973 they found themselves with five teenagers in the home but Campbell always said that having kids was the best thing he ever did.
At the age of 54 Campbell took up running. Many locals, who may not have known him personally, regularly saw him running along the lakefront, which he did into his 80s. With his white beard and ponytail he was easily recognizable. He logged over 45,000 miles and completed 24 marathons including four in Chicago and the original marathon in Greece.
Campbell ‘s ﬁrst love was music and he began studying piano at the age of six. He enjoyed playing his beloved Steinway grand, which he purchased with a loan of $800 from the U. of C. in 1963, at home. He also played piano and organ at University Church, where he sang in the choir, and piano at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. As a pianist he was a member of The Golden Troubadours at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club where he was also the ofﬁcial pancake man for many, many years at the club’s annual Pancake Breakfast.
Campbell was active with the Hyde Park Historical Society as well. In 1985 at the age of 70 he earned a Master of Arts degree. His thesis was “Architectural Terra Cotta Ornament, Hyde Park-Kenwood, Chicago, IL”. In 1987 Campbell received the Hyde Park Historical Society’s Paul Cornell Award for his Terra Cotta study.
Campbell was a wordsmith and bibliophile and very much enjoyed volunteering as a tutor for Literacy Chicago from 1970-1998.
Traveling the world, usually without much of an itinerary, took him to Europe, Egypt, Japan, China, Tibet, Thailand, Australia, and Russia. He had many wonderful tales of his adventures with mishaps and unexpected delights. He also travelled throughout the continental US and had a special love for the Colorado Rocky Mountains where he loved camping and climbing the peaks including Long’s Peak the highest in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,254 feet.. He also loved visiting New York City where he would go see the opera, symphony orchestra, and dance performances including his beloved Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe. He continued to travel until he was 101. After that he remained at home where he loved the sun shining on his face in the morning, the tall trees in the yard, the sound of trains passing by, visits from friends and family, listening to music, books on “tape” and “something sweet” with his tea each afternoon.
Campbell was an architect, musician, historian, artist, photographer, sour dough bread baker, eclectic collector of bears, boxes, birds, books and all around Bon Vivant. His favorite color was paisley and he loved gooseberry jam, good cheese and a bowl of freshly popped white popcorn for a late night snack. He loved living, learning and making life long friends of all ages wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by so many.
He was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor Campbell, his brother John Campbell and his two sisters Mary Louise Campbell and Geraldine Miller.
He is survived by his five children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren as well as his brother-in-law Sanford Loyal Miller, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
There will be a Celebration of Life/ Memorial Service May 12, 2018 at 1 p.m. at University Church, 5655 S. University Ave. All are invited and encouraged to attend.
Donations may be made to Save the Children, Sierra Club Foundation, Literacy Chicago, The Music Academy of the West.