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

New festival celebrating Croatian culture to be held in Victoria

CROfest will be held May 4 and 5 at Croatian Catholic Church of St. Leopold Mandíc

High of 14 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Tryouts underway for Oak Bay High golf team

Cool April weather brings a chilly start for school team

Junior Shamrocks’ season openers this weekend

Ter 1 B squad plays Saturday at home while Junior A is off to Maple Ridge for a road game on Sunday

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Canada, international allies butt heads over focus on white supremacism

Freeland she singled out white supremacy as the greatest security threat facing the world

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Many police departments are prioritizing investigations related to drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read