Janice Eakin Campbell, 85, a passionate advocate for children—her own and thousands of others—died on July 24, 2017.
Ms. Campbell, born in 1931 in Butler, PA, the second child of Earl and Esther Jane Wilcox Eakin, grew up in the small town of Prospect, PA, and in her teenage years worked for the nearby United Presbyterian Home for Children in Mars, PA, which, interestingly, was managed by her future in-laws, D. Rayburn and Marion Campbell.
She graduated with a degree in English and education from Maryville College in 1955, and was teaching school in Pennsylvania when she married James Coleman Campbell, her childhood sweetheart just returned from a stint in the Army. They returned to Tennessee and in the next year were joined by their first child, David, and soon thereafter two others, Jim and Mary Esther.
Janice loved children. She extended that love beyond immediate and extended family to include the children she taught in school, encountered at church, cared for in running a variety of child care centers and the East Tennessee Head Start Program. She never forgot the lessons she learned from watching her future in-laws at the Children’s Home. Their loving yet firm approach to raising orphans and others left adrift by bad fortune was a part of everything she did. Janice finished her career as director of the Children’s Center in Knoxville and retired after directing the Alcoa School Systems’ preschool program “Games” in 1996.
Tragedy was part of her life. Her mother died when she was three years old. Her daughter, Mary Esther, died of cancer when she was a young child, a grief Janice carried all her days. Her lifelong love Coach Jim Campbell died nine years ago.
Through it all she touched so many lives with small and large acts of kindness. She was a loyal member of New Providence Presbyterian Church for over 50 years, serving on session several times and teaching Sunday school. She supported her alma mater Maryville College on a variety of committees over the years, and was a mentor to students. After retirement, she particularly enjoyed the working with the local chapter of the P.E.O. and its scholarship programs for young women.
Janice is survived by her son David, his wife Mary Lynn Tobin, of Davis, CA; and their son Christopher Tobin-Campbell (and wife Allison); son Jim and his wife Priscilla, of Oak Ridge, TN; and their children Elise Campbell Aragones (and husband Michael), Amelia Campbell and Claire Campbell.
She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law Ronald and Nita Eakin of Manassas, VA, and sister Susan Must, also of Manassas; and a number of nieces and nephews from their families; sister-in-law Mary Beth Eakin of Amelia Island, FL; and G. David and Peggy Campbell of Maryville, and Jerry and Charlotte Campbell of Houston, TX, along with nieces and nephews from their families. Her older brother Jim Eakin passed away nine years ago.
The family wishes to thank the exemplary staff of Shannondale of Maryville and its residents for making the last years of her life, challenged as they were medically, so enjoyable.
Janice’s memorial service will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville. The family will receive friends at the church from 3:45 to 4:45 before the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Maryville College or New Providence Presbyterian Church.