Dick Campbell's post music bio.
Alot of you have heard a little about Dicks musical career,and what he was up to before and during this period. But not many know what he was doing after this. After Dick's long and fruitful music career,Dick started his own film production buisness in the early 70's which was fairly successfull while at the same time he continued to write songs and work with differnt artists in music. Dick sold his film production buisness and retired early in the late 80's due to health reasons. Dick started to experience difficulty breathing and had trouble getting around in the late 80's. Doctors atributed this to the fact that Dick had been a smoker for many years. Finally in the mid 90's after several doctors opinions and continued severe deterioration of his lung capacity, Dick discovered that he had a genetic disorder called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein that is made in the liver. The liver releases this protein into the bloodstream. Alpha-1 antitrypsin protects the lungs so they can work normally. Without enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, the lungs can be damaged, and this damage may make breathing difficult. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that causes low levels of, or no alpha-1 antitrypsin in the blood. Dick's system produced zero alpha-1 which caused his lungs to slowly deteriorate from the day he was born. As the condition progressed the deterioration went faster and faster. By the time Dick discovered that he had this disorder and that there were treatments such as alpha-1 replacement therapy which can slow down the progression of the deterioration of the lungs, his lung capacity was under 25% and Dick would get exausted by evan short walks. Dick started weekly transfusions which puts donor alpha-1 into his system and went onto the lung transplant list at UCLA medical center in the mid 90's. While this slowed down the progression, it did not stop it or repair the damge already done.
Dick spent the later part of the 80's and most the 90's traveling. Dick had visited all the continental states and any historical war sites or points of interest. Dick would spend half the year in California and half the year in Florida with trips in between. It would not be unusual for Dick to leave L.A. and travel up into Canada and zig zag north and south to the east coast then south to Florida and then zig zag back to California, driving more than 12,000 miles in a matter of six weeks. Dick liked to stop at all bars and resturants that had the online trivia that allowed you to play trivia live against thousands of people across the country and the world at which he rarely lost. Over the course of a couple years Dick read his complete set of encylopedias from cover to cover as light reading. Dick had a vast collection of books and music and films. Dick was an Early Times (bourban) and coke man but liked a good martini or a fine cianti or whatever he had never tried before. Dick would try anything at least once. I remember once we went out to a little hole in the wall authentic Mexican restaurant once between Hollywood and Los Angeles and Dick tried the cactus salad made from real cactus. He didn't care for it much but said he was glad he had tried it although he would not order it again. Yet he ate it all.
Dick continued to live in Los Angeles and then Mission Veijo, Ca. When not in Florida or traveling until 2000 when he moved back to Wisconsin to be with his children and many grandchildren and was switched from UCLA medical center's lung transplant list to the University of WI. hospital list. Dick spent many birthdays and holidays with the familys of his three children, visited with many of his old friends he hadn't seen in over 30 years, and was always out for rides through Wisconsin visiting historical places of interest or just going out to eat. Dick had since the 70's been involved in historically accurate play by mail and later email war games with people from all around the world. Dick always had a passionate love of history and especially the history of war. Dick had a full life without being able to be very mobile and was as sharp as a tack until the day he passed away. Dick was in constant contact with hundreds of people either through his game or with old and new friends and told almost no one that he was sick or incompacitated. Most people never knew anything until he passed, not evan his closest friends whom he talked with 5 times a week or more.
Dick was the funniest and most intelligent person I have ever known and I hear this from most everyone he ever came in contact with. Dick would still perform occasionally and people would come from all over if they new he was going to play and sing. He only got better at the guitar as he aged. Dick could hear anything on the radio and reproduce it after one listen, with his own additions of course, and make it sound fuller and fancier than the origonal. He would play it the way it sounded once and then play it again and make a whole different song out of it with his own flair to it. Most of Dicks music through the years would be played on the fly while creating and changed very little from the origonal piece to the finished product. It was like he knew in his head before he ever played what he wanted to do for a certain song and had the talent to play what he wanted the first time.
Dick was called in Feb of 2002 and was told that there was a lung available for him and he was to report to UW Madison asap for his transplant. Dick went for his transplant and was surrounded by his entire family. While being preped in various ways for the surgery, Dick constantly joked which had everyone laughing and caused some strange looks from the hospital staff. The night of Dicks transplant there were two donors. The two transplant surgeons on duty that night performed two heart, four lung, two livers, and a kidney transplant that night with Dick being the last one to be operated on. Dick was to have one lung transplanted while keeping one bad lung. This was decided because the survival rate is increased over a double lung transplant. While operating Dick's other lung that was to remain was punctured and caused complications. Dick went into cardiac arrest several times during over 10 hours of surgery and was transfused with more than double his blood volume in blood. Dick survived the surgery but never fully recovered conciousness. Dick was on full life support but continued to deteriorate with various complications. About three months after the surgery on April 25th 2002 dick passed away surrounded by his children, granchildren, mother, extended family, and many friends present.
Dick was an amazing man in many ways. He was a singer and songwriter, a producer and publisher, a director and artist, a writer of plays, short stories, poems, and screenplays, a coniseur of good food and fine drink and an accomplished chef in his own right. Dick was a renaissance man who constantly yearned for new experiences and to learn all he could about the world and its past. And because of Dick's love of life we all benefit through his music, stories, films, and our memories. As his Campbell family crest tells us all, NEVER FORGET.
Dick is survived by his mother, three children, and 10 grandchildren. Dick Campbell's Final resting place is in his family cemetery in Oakley Wisconsin about 10 miles north of the Illnois border.
D.C. you are idealized and mourned and never forgotten.
Gary CampbellBack to Home.
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Web page created by Gary Campbell 8/5/2003.
------------ last updated 6/11/2004