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William "Wes"'s Story

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William Wesley Campbell, better known as "Poppa" or Wes, was delivered by Dr. Mae Warton to Lee Odis and Ersa Emmaline Price Campbell, the third of eight children in Cumberland County. His grandfather William (Uncle Billy) Campbell helped raise the whole family and helped them survive the Depression by teaching them to sell animal pelts, clear land and make and sell moonshine.
He served in the Army infantry from 1944 to 1949.
In 1949 he hitchhiked to Dayton, OH, and took up housebuilding and cement contracting. Also in '49, he met and married Ruth Castle and started his family of four children.
He went back to war from 1952 through 1954 in Korea. His rank was 1st sergeant and he accumulated many medals, most notably three Bronze Stars.
He was honest, trustworthy and believed in doing whatever his country required. He was a true patriot, always faithful to God, country and corps.
He drag raced for about 10 years consistently winning. When he moved back to Crossville and started his business here, he took up bass fishing, winning many trophies.
Losing his wife, Ruth, at the age of 60 in 1993 changed his life. He started losing interest in life. A massive stroke in 2007 and continuous mini strokes took their toll. He always pushed to keep going and eventually retired at the age of 84 when his hearing and eyesight diminished.
He was affectionately called "Poppa" by his family, friends and all those he adopted into his family. He was a good man and will be sorely missed.
He was saved at the age of 83 and on June 30, 2017, went home to heaven.
He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Mary and Bill Koch, Debbie and Billy Frazier, and Patricia Ball; grandchildren, Jason and Erie Campbell, Wesley and Jesse (Emily) Wyrick, and Amy Cowan; great grandchildren, Tristan Helton, Conner Cowan and Ida Mae Wyrick; sisters, Jean Barnes and Lucy Anderson; plus numerous step-children and step-grandchildren up through great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandfather, wife Ruth, son Gary (Tiny) Campbell, grandson Joshua Ball, great grandson Nathaniel Hicks, sister Mae McCormick, and brothers Carson, Frank, Henry and Jay Campbell.
Graveside services were performed by the Honor Guard.
Pallbearers were Jake Campbell, Jesse Wyrick, Tristan Helton, Bill Koch, Rex Tanner, Marcus Davis and Billy Frazier.
The family would like to express gratitude and appreciation during the passing of their loved one to LifeCare Center for their care till the last moments of Wes' life, Bilbrey Funeral Home, and all those who sent cards and flowers, called, or lent an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Special thanks to Bro. David Wilkerson of Harmony Baptist Church and to the Honor Guard who performed the graveside service for their hero.
Published on July 12, 2017
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