Memorial Service to Honor Local Artist

Former Ann Arbor resident Jean Campbell had connections to Dexter and Saline.

A memorial service for local artisan Jean (Fox) Campbell, who died of cancer in January at the age of 80, will be held at 3 p.m. June 12 at the United Methodist Church, 1200 N. Ann Arbor St. in Saline.

Campbell has many connections to the Dexter area. A native of Iowa, she grew up in Ann Arbor and had relatives in Dexter, where she and her family and cousin Duane Devlin’s family loved to play softball.

“The families would have picnics at a Dexter park and totally dominate the softball diamond with just their families alone,” wrote her daughter Liz Nickell in a tribute. “Young and old alike were invited to play.”

After Campbell’s father died of a heart attack when she was 12, her mother took her and her three sisters to live with their grandmother in Dexter. Campbell was a member of Dexter United Methodist Church and graduated from Dexter High School in 1949, where she gave the welcome speech.

“Mom was always a take-charge person at her school and at her church. She organized plays and lots of other special events. People always looked to her for help, guidance and direction,” Nickell wrote.

Campbell was also active in the school district growing up.

“Mom was very active in school plays, organizing events, was a cheerleader, and enjoyed family reunions in Dexter,” Laurie Campbell Nunez of Chicago said. “A lot of her family still live in that area today.”

The financial strain on her grandmother became overwhelming, and Campbell and her sisters were split up and sent to live with different relatives. Campbell’s Aunt LuVerne and Uncle Mearl became her surrogate parents.

After meeting her future spouse at a dance in Hamburg, Campbell married in 1949 and lived in Ann Arbor before moving to Saline in 1964, where she and her husband raised five children: Andy, Liz, Pete, Laurie Jo and Chris.

Campbell was well-known at local craft shows for her porcelain dolls and she also enjoyed flower arranging, sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, making wreaths, bow making and ceramics. She also sewed costumes for many area organizations.


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