Johnye Shelton Campbell died Saturday, June 24, at Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville, Arkansas, from injuries suffered in a car accident on Wednesday, June 14. Her first words to everybody in the hospital were “It wasn’t my fault,” and she was right.
Johnye Campbell was born, in Driggs, Arkansas, between Paris and Magazine, on January 31, 1929, to parents Justin and Helen Shelton, the middle of nine children. Along with her cousins, she attended elementary school in Driggs, and she went to Paris for her upper grades, graduating from Paris High School.
She married Jerry Campbell, also from Paris, in 1948, and during their marriage they moved frequently, living in several cities in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Illinois and Ohio. From the mid-1950s on, these moves were to advance Jerry’s career with General Motors. During this time, Johnye maintained continuity and stability at home, raising their two daughters, Cindy and Leigh. While keeping a spotless house, in each new city Johnye had to find a new grocery store, dentist, doctor, and more important, a new school and church. Jerry retired in 1976, and they moved to Rogers, Arkansas. They joined Bella Vista Baptist Church where Johnye loved serving children in the nursery, and over the years, she was always delighted whenever she met them again as adults. She also volunteered for many gratifying years at Saint Mary’s Hospital before it became Mercy’s.
Johnye’s husband Jerry died in 2012. She is survived by daughters Cindy Campbell Earnest of Bloomington, Minnesota, and Cindy’s sons Andrew and Matthew, along with Matthew’s wife Maegan and their daughters Isla and Norah; and Leigh Campbell Hale and her husband Pete Hale of Lafayette, Colorado, and their sons James, John, and Benjamin and Ben’s wife Caitlin Millard. Johnye is also survived by her brothers in California, Kermit and Don Shelton and Don’s wife Donna, and her sisters in Arkansas, Martha Kelley and her husband Charlie, and Fern Callan and her husband Tommy, and many nephews and nieces. Since 2012, Johnye has lived in assisted living at Innisfree in Rogers, and especially faithful in their visits to her during this time have been her beloved sister-in-law, Patricia Campbell Wright of Bella Vista, and her niece Suzy Tusing of Springdale.
Johnye Shelton Campbell will be memorialized at a private service at Innisfree for her friends and caring staff there. She will be inurned beside her husband at Benton County Memorial Park.