Obituary for James Campbell

James L Campbell born in 1937 in Bisbee. He was welcomed as the youngest child of Claire and Pete Campbell and by two brothers and two sisters. His father was killed in a mining accident when he was 5 years old and his mother packed up the family and moved to California.

As a child, he loved the beach and exploring his neighborhood. He enlisted in the Army after school and went to basic training and then to cook school. He met and married his wife, Rose, when he was stationed in Germany.  He loved Germany and traveling around the country. Jim and Rose had two children while in Germany, daughter Nancy and son Pete. The family came back to California in 1958, where their third child, Kathy, was born. Jim was quickly stationed in Korea. This was a difficult time because he knew Rose did not speak English and would be home with three young children and not be able to navigate California. Korea was his least favorite set of many orders he would receive in his military career.

He arrived back stateside. Several years later he was sent to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, his daughter Cindy was born. She would be 6 months old before he was able to see her in person.  The family was then relocated back to Arizona, where the youngest child, Susan, would be welcomed by the family. With their family complete, Jim and Rose loved spending time with family and enjoyed traveling together.

In his military career, he started working in the mess hall and eventually became the personal cook for Post Commander while stationed at Fort Huachuca.  He later would run the mess hall as the Mess Sergeant.  This would be the longest post he would be stationed.  Eventually, he returned to Vietnam, serving two more tours of duty. With the children growing, Jim received orders to relocate to Germany. He was very excited to take his family back to Rose’s birthplace, where the family was able to tour and sightsee. He enjoyed his job running the NCO and Officers Club on base there. The whole family really loved Germany.

James Campbell

Eventually, they found themselves traveling to Okinawa, Japan, where Jim was now running the Officer’s Club which he loved. This was also a great new adventure for the whole family.

After 22 years and so many moves, Jim retired and moved to Fort Grant, where he ran the food service department for the state prison for five years. He met many lifelong friends and really enjoyed living at Fort Grant and the Bonita area.

Their dream was always to own and run a restaurant, and they bought the Branding Iron Restaurant and ran it for 25 years. They worked very hard and met many people that became lifelong friends.

In well-deserved retirement, Jim and Rose continued to travel and enjoyed visiting and seeing new places and visiting their children that live out of state. He loved playing cards and going to the casino. He taught all his grandchildren to play cards. He loved to tease and harass his children, grandchildren, and many people he had employed over the years. If he gave you a hard time, he loved you.

Jim is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Rose; children, Nancy (Bill) Tomlinson, Pete (Tracy) Campbell, Kathy (Joe) Fox, Cindy (LaVerl) Pearce, and Susan Fink; grandchildren, Billy (Michelle), Michael (Mallory), and David (Jenna) Tomlinson, Heather (Justin) Wood, Amber (Steven) McClain, Summer Campbell, Brooke (Wade) Allen, Ryan Fox, Tyler (Haley) Pearce, Kayla (Colton) Morris, Sydney Pearce, Jared (Lauren Fink), and  Kylie (Jessie) Willis, and 11 great-grandchildren, Kayla, Tristan, Bryce, Dylan, Hunter, Aurora, Isabelle, Beckett, Sawyer, Sage, and Oaklie. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Pete and Claire Campbell; his siblings, Mary, Peter, Bob, and Maureen, and his son-in-law, Bebo Fink.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will have a private service and a celebration of his life will be held this spring.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at