Doris Elizabeth (Lane) Campbell, aged 89, died in Concord, Massachusetts on December 30, 2016. She was born in Boston, MA on March 8, 1927 and grew up in Medford, MA. She was the daughter of the late Martin James Lane and Katherine Elizabeth (Fothergill) Lane. Doris was the third of six children, being survived by all her siblings, except for her older brother, Martin. Doris attended the Dame School, the Hobbs Junior High School and graduated from Medford High School in 1944, where she acquired secretarial skills.
It was as a child in Medford that she met her future spouse, Bill Campbell. The two were close friends as children, but didn't date until Bill returned from his service in the Navy during the Second World War. They were married on December 14, 1946, a marriage which lasted 67 years, until Bill's death in June of 2013. Theirs was a story of remarkable love and devotion. During the early years of their marriage they followed a somewhat typical path for couples in their day. Bill was a salesman for Raleigh Bicycle and Doris was a stay-at-home wife. Three boys arrived on the scene in fairly short order, Scott, Steve and Glenn, and they moved from Medford and out the suburbs in Billerica. They became active in the Wilmington Methodist Church where Bill began to feel a call to the ministry. In 1957 he quit his job and the whole family moved to Kentucky where Bill attended Union College and Doris put her secretarial skills to use to support the family. Between her salary of $40 a week and the supplemental income Bill earned from serving two small country churches, the family survived, sometimes wondering where the next meal was coming from, but never doubting the call to serve.
After three years in Kentucky, the scene shifted to the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York. Here, Doris was again at home with the boys while Bill spent Monday through Friday at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He would come home on weekends where he was pastor to three small churches. Although she loved the community in Fleischmanns, it was difficult for Doris to be without Bill for so much of the time during those years. Nevertheless, her conviction that the sacrifice was worth it never wavered.
In subsequent years, the Campbells moved back to Eastern Massachusetts where they served congregations in Medford, Beverly, Dedham and Wakefield, before retiring to Winthrop, Maine. While in Beverly they adopted Lorna (Oi Wah Yip) from an orphanage in China, one of the earliest such adoptions in the United States. It was also in Beverly that they brought Robert Ryan into their home as a kind of foster son. During the Dedham years Doris took a job as the periodicals librarian at the Wellesley Free Library in Wellesley, MA, a position that she enjoyed immensely. Her outgoing personality and warm, caring nature made her a favorite with the patrons.
After twelve years of retirement in Maine, during which Bill served a number of years at the part-time associate minister at the Winthrop United Methodist Church, Bill and Doris moved back to Massachusetts to take up residence at the Deaconess Homes in Concord. As their health declined they both moved through the wonderful array of continuous care services offered there, Bill preceding Doris in each instance by a couple of years. In many ways it was during her years at both the Memory Gardens and the Rivercrest Nursing Home that Doris really came into her own. She was unfailingly cheerful and appreciative to everyone with whom she had contact. She was a favorite of the staff and even those who came to visit other patients. She never complained about her lot, but was quick to smile and ever-ready with a quip. Even as her short-term memory disappeared and even as the older memories were harder to reach, she never lost her sense of humor or her affection for those who cared for her. She forgot many things, but she never forgot the love that she had for the people God had placed in her life.
Doris is survived by her children and their spouses: Scott and Lin of Paris, Maine; Stephen and Muriel of Winthrop, Maine; Oi Wah and Marshall of Vero Beach, Florida; and Robert and Tanya of Lisbon Falls, Maine. Her son, Glenn, predeceased her in 2002. She is also survived by her sisters Francis Kearney of Medford, Elizabeth O'Connor of Bridgewater and Regina McClain of Hamilton, Ontario, and her brother Richard Lane of Burlington, MA. She had eleven grandchildren and more than a dozen great grandchildren. She was also beloved by the many nieces and nephews she had on both sides of her family.
It goes without saying that Doris will be greatly missed by all who knew her. But it is equally true that even as she is sorely missed, a smile will never be far behind as her memory is recalled.
A Celebration of Doris life will be Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 10:30am
in the Duvall Chapel at Newbury Court, 80 Deaconess Road in Concord, MA.
Donations may be made to: the New England Deaconess Association at the same address.