June 19, 1956 - August 5, 2020
Greg passed away on August 5, 2020, after a year long battle with esophageal cancer and complications arising from it. He was home, surrounded by his loving family. He was 64.
Greg was born to John and Sherma Campbell in Afton, WY. He was the first born (later to become one of his band names) of five children. He doted on his younger siblings, carrying them, leading them, giving them horseback rides and of course, teasing them during their many family outings of picnics, camping, hunting, fishing, and zoo visits. He spoke fondly of fishing and hunting trips with his Grandpa Dewey, and summer visits to aunts, uncles, and cousins houses.
His family moved to Jackson Hole, WY, when he was eight. Greg graduated from high school there, while helping his family build their home, and following in his Grandpa Dewey and his father, John's footsteps, by becoming a journeyman electrician, working for his father's electrical business.
Greg often told others that his father gathered everyone together to watch the Ed Sullivan show when the Beatles were on, saying he wanted to see what the big deal was. After the show his father, John, was not impressed but Greg knew right then what he wanted to do. His true passion was music and he immersed himself in it completely. Family members recall that after he got his first guitar, at about age 10, he spent hours and hours in his room listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and many others while he taught himself how to play their music. By high school, he was asking music loving classmates if they wanted to start a band with him. He became known as "Gregdale" and his first band was called "Black Forest" His audiences loved him and they began getting gigs in local venues and school dances. One of his first bands consisted of all the oldest children of their families and was called "First Born".
Greg's skills and love of playing music grew and he took his talent to Salt Lake City, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming again. He loved all kinds of music and challenged himself by learning to play Country Western, the Blues, and a little Jazz. Many band members from over the years have shared that Greg was their mentor, he taught them so much, was patient, considerate, and caring. He loved playing music and inspiring others to do the same!
On a trip home from Montana, while helping his father, he fell from some scaffolding and injured his back. He had back surgery in 1986, and was soon introduced to the love his life, Sandy, by mutual friends, as she too had had back surgery that year. Their first date was January 3, 1987, and they were inseparable from that day on, marrying on March 3, 1989. Due to their back injuries they applied for and were accepted in to the Wyoming Rehabilitation Program. They attended Northwest Community College in Powell, WY, and he earned his Associates of Arts, prodigious awards for his artwork, too numerous to list, and the Presidential Award Scholarship which allowed him to attend the University of Wyoming for four years on a full ride. There he earned his Bachelor's of Art Degree with the view of teaching art in Afton, Wyoming's high school. He studied history and a variety of subjects the extra year while Sandy worked to earn her Master's Degree. He often stated that he could be a professional student. He loved learning about everything.
Greg and Sandy moved back to Star Valley, although Greg was not able to get the Art teacher's job. He worked for Aviat Aircraft. In 2003 Sandy was asked to come to Grand Junction to care for her aging father, which Greg readily agreed to. After moving to Grand Junction, Greg went to Mesa State College and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, enabling him to become a graphic artist. He worked for The Daily Sentinel for 11 years before he became sick and had to retire.
Greg had a clever sense of humor and was very intelligent. He was always able to quickly retrieve information about things he had just casually read, watched on TV, or heard on the radio, along with all the different subjects he studied. Of course music was his specialty and casual friends and family almost dreaded playing Trivial Pursuit with him. He loved playing Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy, and any other quiz show. He challenged himself by listening to Sirius Radio while playing cards in the evening with Sandy by stating the year the song was released while she checked it. He was correct many more times than not! Family members didn't "Google the facts," they always said "Ask Greg." Greg often told Sandy "I just want to entertain you" and that is the way he approached life and social interactions. He was charming, witty, and a joy to be around.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, and father, John. He leaves behind his loving wife, Sandy; mother, Sherma Campbell; sisters, Holly (Mark) Weston, and Teresa (Chris) Maraseck; brother, Justin Campbell, and four nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held Friday, August 14, at Sherwood Park, at 5:00 p.m. We will have a semi-formal program, followed by food and live music. Dress is casual, even wear your Desert Moon t-shirts, if you have one.
Memorial donations, in Greg's honor, to HopeWest Hospice, or to a music program of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gregory J Campbell, please visit our floral store.