Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - June 10, 2011

Deaths

Phyllis Campbell

Phyllis Campbell, 95, a 50-year resident of Palo Alto, died June 2, 2011.

She was born in Oakland in 1915. She spent her early childhood in Hughson, a town just outside of Modesto on a 20-acre fruit farm. After a few years, her family moved to Downey, a town in Southern California, where she taught choir at Downey High School, the school from which she graduated.

She attended the University of Southern California, where she studied music and met her future husband, Dick Campbell. In 1937, Dick Campbell, a pilot, moved to Florida. She moved with him and they were married.

They spent a majority of their early years of marriage moving around and, during this period, their first two children, Ann and Richard, were born. Her husband was then deployed to serve in World War II and their youngest son, Peter, was born.

After the war, they moved to Menlo Park. The Campbells divorced five years later and after the gradation of her first two children from high school, she moved to Palo Alto with her son Peter.

In Palo Alto, she directed the choir at the First Congregationalist Church and soon was directing multiple choirs. In the mid-1960s, she moved to direct the choir at First Presbyterian Church. She stayed as the music director for 20 years and worked as a music teacher in Portola Valley elementary schools while giving private lessons in her home.

She is survived by her children, Ann, Richard and Peter. A memorial service was held June 3.

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