|Birth: ||Nov. 3, 1922|
|Death: ||Mar. 24, 2006|
Robert Kenneth Campbell Sr., 83, of Richmond VA, died on March 24, 2006. He was best known for his involvement in motorsports for almost 60 years, starting with the midget races at City Stadium then stock car racing at Royall Speedway (now Southside Speedway). He partnered with Paul Sawyer at the old Fairgrounds Raceway at Strawberry Hill, and later served as Vice-President of Public Relations as the track grew from half-mile dirt to its current ¾ mile paved configuration known as Richmond International Raceway. The media center at RIR was named The Kenneth Campbell Media Center at his retirement in 2001. He was among the pioneers of a sport that grew from a basic shade-tree operation to the billion dollar business it is today. He was responsible for bringing the ABC Television Network to Richmond in the 60's to tape a race segment for "Wide World of Sports" when NASCAR was in its infancy and had little to no national exposure. He worked for CBS Television at NASCAR races at Daytona Beach, FL and Talladega, AL. A member of NASCAR for more than 52 years, he drove the pace car during major events at most of the NASCAR tracks. He originated advertising on the NASCAR cars by having an auto dealer put the first advertising sign on Richard Petty's car. He was a great friend and well respected by NASCAR drivers, fans, media and promoters. In addition to stock car racing, he promoted, befriended and traveled with many top entertainment stars, such as Lawrence Welk, Guy Lombardo, The Statler Brothers, Glenn Campbell, Jerry Reed and Lynn Anderson, Barbara Mandrell up and down the East Coast. He also was a regional promoter for the Royal Lipizzan Stallions and Harlem Globetrotters, as well as Roller Derby. Mr. Campbell also owned and operated the The Campbell Co., as a real estate broker. He was a member of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and served as president of the Chesterfield Kiwanis Club. For 20 years, he and his wife Lois were antique dealers in Richmond.
Born in Lunenburg County, VA, Mr. Campbell was long time resident of Chesterfield County, VA. He was a 1942 graduate of Manchester High School, joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942 and served in the Asiatic Pacific Area during World War II as a Tech. Sergeant. He later received a Bachelor of Science degree from The Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary (now Virginia Commonwealth University) in 1949. He and his wife were members of Weahterford Memorial Baptist Church.
Mr. Campbell is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lois Maria Gronlund Campbell, a daughter, Deborah "Dodie" Campbell Ortland, son Robert Kenneth Campbell, Jr., granddaughter Amanda Campbell Ortland Beissel, grandson Henry Christian Ortland, son-in-law Bertram Beissel, twin great-grandsons Lucas and Eliot Beissel, sister Wanda Campbell Brinkley, brother-in-law James Brinkley, brother Garland Campbell, sister-in-law Marcella Campbell, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father John Hardin Campbell, mother Era Atkins Campbell, and an infant brother Richard Hardin Campbell
A memorial service was held on March 31, 2006 in The Kenneth Campbell Media Center, located in the infield of the Richmond International Raceway. .
John Hardin Campbell (1896 - 1980)
Era Hazel Atkins Campbell (1897 - 1988)
Richard Hardin Campbell (1921 - 1921)*
Robert Kenneth Campbell (1922 - 2006)
Virginia Veterans Cemetery
Amelia Court House
Plot: SECTION CB1 ROW E SITE 68
Created by: dodiesart
Record added: Dec 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62700944