Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell passed peacefully in his home on Vashon Island December 27, 2017, with his family beside him.

Richard and his wife Claudia moved to Vashon Island in 1975 with their five-month-old son Colin. Their daughter Hailey was born a year and a half later. Richard was a long-time employee of the Vashon Island School District, retiring from his position as facilities director in 2003.

Richard was born in Tacoma, Washington, on April 18, 1948, on his parents’ sixth wedding anniversary. From a very early age, as witnessed in the family’s home movies, Richard was taking things apart to see how they worked. He would then put them back together in a manner of his own choosing. He was an unpatented inventor, looking at a situation and analyzing that which was lacking. He would come up with something that would fill the need or bridge the gap, always with an eye to efficiency.

He had a love of all things drivable or ride-able. It encompassed classic cars, tractors, boats, and, especially, motorcycles. He was an active member of the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts (VME). He traveled with fellow VME members twice to the Isle of Man for the TT races. The highlight of his year was the Isle of Vashon TT ride and the Tiddler Tour. He drove his vintage tractor every year in the Strawberry Festival parade, and his London Taxi in the vintage car parade.

The man who loved and knew all things mechanical also had another skill. He could speak perfect Donald Duck. Beyond which he had an impressive Donald Duck collection amassed over his lifetime.

Richard was a good and generous neighbor, quietly maintaining driveways and clearing windstorm debris. Over the years, his yard slowly became a park. He had a love of gardening. To that end, and for the benefit of the environment, he became a beekeeper. He had an abiding love for animals, calling his chickens “his girls.” His final dog, Chuck E. was his constant companion, and left a hole in his heart when he passed in 2010.

His family was his greatest love. Survived by his wife of 44 years, Claudia; son Colin and wife Alyssa, granddaughters Mackenzie and Hadley; daughter Hailey and husband Michael, granddaughter Raya and grandson Gavin; sisters China, Candy, Pat, Carol and their spouses; brother Fred and spouse; Aunt Patricia White; six nieces; three nephews; and 11 great nieces and nephews. His parents, Duke and Vera Campbell, also of Vashon Island, preceded him in death.


Should you wish to make a donation, we kindly ask that you consider Should you prefer to keep it local, please consider the Vashon Fire Department/First Responders.

A celebration of Richard’s life will take place at the Vashon Sportsmen’s Club on April 7, 2018, from 1:00 to 4:00.

Please visit our online guest book at

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