Mourners remember Alex Campbell

Loyal, generous founder of Thrifty Foods celebrated at Sunday memorial in Victoria

Jo Campbell gives a hug to a guest at a celebration of life ceremony held for her husband



As the dramatic voice of Ken Lavigne flooded the hall, an emotional Jo Campbell stood and embraced her children and grandchildren.

Lavigne sang “Time to Say Goodbye” to conclude a celebration of the life of Thrifty Foods co-founder Alex Campbell Sr. on Sunday afternoon, evoking tears from not only Campbell’s family, including his wife, Jo, but a vast number of the 1,200-plus people who attended.

The crowd mourned a man described as an intelligent entrepreneur, an avid boater and a father with a sense of humour by speakers at the event – friends and business associates who got to know Campbell over many years.

Campbell died Oct. 11. He was 70.

CTV Vancouver Island news anchor Hudson Mack hosted the celebration. Lavigne’s four songs drew many tears from the audience, especially “Danny Boy,” which was one of Campbell’s favourites. Local piper James Troy’s music brought out tissues as well.

Held at the Victoria Conference Centre, the celebration was decorated by large arrangements of white orchids, irises and roses. Before the hall filled for the 1 p.m. event, people stood and talked, many hugged each other and made introductions to new acquaintances.

The celebration was just as Campbell would have wanted it, Mack said, with laughs along the way. Friends remembered failed fishing feats with Campbell, who was nicknamed “the smile in the aisle” for his presence at his Thrifty Foods stores.

Mack read from his speech that Campbell’s three children were “proud of his honesty, integrity and confidence.” Campbell wasn’t one to lose his cool in business or at home, he didn’t make rash decisions and was unfailingly loyal.

Having lost his own father at a young age, Mack shared a personal note: “Death can end a life, but it can never extinguish love or end a relationship.”

The Campbell family left the celebration after dozens of hugs from friends in the room, all of whom had come to pay respects to a generous philanthropist and successful business owner who touched countless lives on the Island.

ecardone@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich firefighters save Remembrance Day ceremony at retirement home

The flag cord broke and crews worked to get it back up in time for the ceremony

Christian minister accused of transphobia draws small audience, protesters in Sidney

Art Lucier is ‘100 per cent’ sure would-be audience stayed away because of perceived controversy

Victoria women’s program in critical need of household items for women

Everything from dining sets to beds is needed to keep their programs running

Peninsula Panthers face nemesis Victoria Cougars Friday night

Cougars are the only Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team to have beaten the local Cats twice

New Kiwanis club is official for West Shore

Ten members in 10 days hits the mandatory mark for new service club

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Vancouver Island substitute teacher said he wanted a student to ‘whack’ two others on Grade 8 field trip

Campbell River teacher-on-call suspended three weeks after November 2018 incident

Disney Plus streaming service hits Canada with tech hurdles

Service costs $8.99 per month, or $89.99 per year, in Canada

Trudeau’s opponents: One gives him an earful, another seeks common ground

PM meets with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

Rona’s ‘truly Canadian’ ads are inaccurate, watchdog says

Ads Standards points out U.S.-based Lowe’s acquired Rona in 2016

Most Read