Dr. Esther Luther Campbell passed away peacefully on December 6, 2021 at the Heatherwood nursing home in Newport.
Born in Bristol Rhode Island on April 19, 1927, she was the daughter of George Edward Luther and Amelia Green Luther. She spent her early years helping her parents on Ferry Cliff Farm in Bristol and then moved to the family home in Swansea, Massachusetts.
While working as the secretary to the president of RI Trust Bank in Providence, her desire to be a teacher took over. In her mid-30s she attended night school at Rhode Island College and received her degree. She then moved to Newport where her first position was at Oliphant School in Middletown. While working there, she continued night school and received her Master’s degree.
Esther then took a position in Andover, Ma where she was the facilitator of the Andover Individualized Reading System that eventually became a national reading program. Still wanting to continue her education, in 1980 she drove her green AMC Gremlin to the University of Tennessee where she obtained her doctorate degree in two years while also teaching at the school. She returned to Rhode Island to become the superintendent of the Block Island School for seven years, during which time she helped the school grow academically as well as adding a gym and a library to the one-building school.
When not at the school she could be seen doing paperwork in the harbor on her small sailboat or sailing it around the Island. Esther’s next position was the superintendent of schools for Tiverton, RI. Even after retirement, she couldn’t stay away from teaching children and in her mid-80s she taught at the after-school program at the Sunset Hill Housing Development in Fall River.
Her main enjoyment in life was being on the water in her sailboat. She was at her most content sitting in the harbor, sailing around Block Island, or sailing down the East Coast. She retired to her family home in Swansea where she loved to garden and spend time in her yard.
She is survived by her son Kevan Campbell and his wife Cathy of Middletown, and her true joys and loves of her life her grandchildren Casey Campbell, Ryan Campbell, and Shannon Campbell. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers George E Luther II and Rev. N. Gordon Luther and her nephew Nelson Luther.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, at 10:00 AM in First Baptist Church, 21 Baptist Street, Swansea MA. Burial will follow in Thomas Cemetery, Swansea.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Dr. Campbell’s name to The Potter League For Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown RI 02842
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