Marshall LeMar Campbell

Marshall LeMar Campbell passed away at age 94 on Nov. 14, 2013, after a courageous battle with pneumonia. He was at home under hospice care with his two daughters and family by his side.

LeMar was born on Feb. 12, 1919, in Bement, Ill., to Cassius Melroy and Bessie Pearl Campbell, and spent his childhood in Decatur with older brother, Lyle. He then attended Millikin University in Decatur for two years. On March 13, 1939, he married his first wife, Mary Elizabeth (Peg) Wand. They were married for 53 years and had two daughters: Cecily Derrel and Rebecca Challys. During WWII, LeMar was a member of the Enlisted Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army, serving as Flight Training Supervisor for both Navy and Army Air Corps pilots. He began flying at 15, and it was a lifetime passion. After the end of the war he became a pilot for Pan American Airways.

In 1949 LeMar and his family moved to Denver, Colo. He became a CPA and began working in real estate, becoming a broker with his own business. Among many pastimes he enjoyed was International Amateur Radio (call sign WB0LFN). He was a charter member of the Colorado TEN-TEN Chapter. LeMar loved being in the Colorado Mountains. In the 1950’s the family spent most weekends for several years building by hand a large mountain cabin on Elk Creek, designed by LeMar and Peg.

LeMar married his second wife, Pearl Estella Gilbert, on April 16, 1997. They moved from Sun City West, Ariz., to Cortez in 2003, both enjoying their retirement years with family members in Dolores and Egnar. They joined the First United Methodist Church and welcomed many visits from various branches of their family from Washington State, Denver and Chicago.

LeMar’s legacy to his family is boundless, and he instilled in us values that we all try to follow. He was humble, while being an incredibly talented man. He was honest and fair, kind and gracious–a born gentleman, with a quiet, wry sense of humor. He enjoyed his evening bourbon with whoever was lucky enough to join him for a review of the day’s activities; and, if we were fortunate, he would recount early adventures, dispense advice when needed, and reflect on a life that began 15 years after the KittyHawk flight and ended four days before the latest blastoff to Mars.

Surviving LeMar are his wife, Pearl; his daughter and son-in-law, Cecily and Phil Abel; his daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Hank Samson; and his stepchildren, Jim Gilbert and Priscilla Good. Also surviving LeMar are five grandchildren, David Abel, Glenn Abel, Kathryn Abel Lein and husband, Jim, Irene Samson Perler and husband, Bruce, and Challys Samson; and eight great-grandchildren, Megan and Steven Abel, Samson and Arthur Lein, Sarah and Wesley Boone, and Campbell and Brighton Brett.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Friday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m. Contributions may be made in LeMar’s memory to Hospice of Montezuma or the First United Methodist Church of Cortez.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.