Edith Marlene Campbell, 84, passed away on Monday, July 5, 2021 at Heartland Regional Medical Center.
Marlene was born to Frazier and Marie (Williams) Leonard on May 20, 1937 in St. Louis, MO and raised in East St. Louis, IL graduating from East St. Louis High School in 1955. Her work experience started as the Secretary for the First United Methodist Church in East St. Louis before she left to pursue training as a Registered Nurse at Alton Memorial Hospital (AMH), graduating in 1960.
In 1958, and while a student at AMH, she met her husband, Bob, who was also a student attending McKendree College. They were married on April 9, 1960 and have celebrated over 61 years of marriage. Marlene’s nursing career included roles as a Staff Nurse at Memorial, St. Joseph’s and Illinois State Hospitals, all located in Alton, IL. She was also a nurse in Belleville, IL and Shawnee Mission, KS. In 1967, she and Bob moved to Marion, IL where she soon became the Recovery Room Nurse at Marion Memorial Hospital.
Marlene was affectionately referred to as “Mother Marlene” during her tenure at Marion Memorial because of her loving and compassionate embrace of all with whom she interacted. Her nursing career offered her opportunities to volunteer as “the helicopter RN,” escorting patients to St. Louis and Springfield for specialized treatment. She also visited the United States Penitentiary on a monthly basis to review and recommend changes in the procedures used to treat inmate illness and injury. Upon her retirement from the hospital in 1992, she worked part-time in-Home Health Nursing for Williamson County Programs on Aging until 1996.
Marlene’s giving heart allowed her to reach out and help many people throughout her life, whether it be a phone call just to check in or an invitation to join her family for Sunday dinner. She was also a blood donor, giving over 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross. She was active for many years in the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, serving in all offices throughout her tenure.
A member of Marion First United Methodist Church for more than half a century, she participated in both the Lehrner’s and Pairs n’ Spares Sunday School classes. She was also a member of the United Methodist Women, where she served meals the UMW cooked for the Rotary Club meetings held at the church. When Marlene and Bob began spending the winter in Florida in 2015, she became an Associate Member of the First United Methodist church in Sebring.
Many treasured memories were created on several trips with Jim and Arnita Parker as they traveled to Florida, Texas and numerous other places. The Campbell Family Reunion, held every three years for the past 40 years, was always a fun time with extended family. She usually enjoyed attending Marion High School athletic events (unless the team lost) and always enjoyed the Fine Arts events at the schools.
An avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, she was the proud owner of Stan Musial’s actual autograph, obtained as a child while attending a baseball game in Sportsmen’s Park in St. Louis. She proudly wore the royal blue of Duke University and Coach K, as well as the purple and white of McKendree College.
Marlene dearly loved the beauty of nature as she lovingly tended to thousands of plants over her lifetime, often times transporting plants to and from Florida. Her love of flowers included Hydrangeas, Hibiscus, Roses and African Violets. Sitting on the porch in Florida, she relished hearing the birds singing. But Marlene’s greatest pride and joy was her family, which you could tell from the very loving way she took care of each one of them. There was little she wouldn’t do for them, especially her grandchildren. Her attendance at events for her children carried over to the events involving her four grandchildren. Her love grew even more as she enjoyed every moment she was able to spend with her four great-grandchildren. She was thrilled to meet her newest great-granddaughter upon returning from Florida this past May.
Husband-Robert H. “Bob” Campbell of Marion
Daughter-Susan Marie Whiting of Marion
Son-Jeff Robert and Lisa Campbell of New Baden
Rob and Amanda Campbell of Edwardsville
Tyler Campbell and fiancé Emily Phipps of Winter Garden, FL
Daphne Whiting and fiancé Rhakeem Thomas of El Paso, TX
Luke Whiting of Marion
Lochlan Campbell of Edwardsville
Evelyn Campbell of Edwardsville
Ahren Campbell of Edwardsville
Tresslynn Campbell of Edwardsville
Sister-in-law-Geri and Dan Jones of Edwardsville
Brother-in-law-Bob Stephens of Collinsville
Cousins-Judy McBride and Donna Sue Pasley
Special friends-Jim and Arnita Parker of Marion
Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 12, 2021 at 10am at Blue Funeral Home in Marion with Rev. Allen Rhein and Rev. Victor Long officiating. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be on Sunday, July 11, 2021 from 3pm-6pm at the funeral home.
We encourage casual, comfortable and colorful attire as we celebrate Marlene’s life and legacy. We consider this to be a celebration of Marlene’s life as she loved colors and all things beautiful. So, rather than wear black and be sad, we prefer color in an effort to more up lifting.
The most fitting memorial tribute to Marlene would be that you mirror her actions in your encounters with others. If you wish, monetary memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church of Marion or any charity of your choice that shows passion to others in the manner she did throughout her life.