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James F. Campbell

James F. Campbell Obituary
James F. Campbell, 1930-2010 Hall of Fame Speed Skater and Ice Hockey Innovator. For over sixty years, Jim Campbell had a passion for all things related to ice skating. First as a competitor and later as a coach and administrator, he loved being connected to skating. Mr. Campbell, 80, died of natural causes Saturday August 28 after a brief illness. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Mr. Campbell became captivated by speed skating. He trained under Olympian and Hall of Famer Eddie Schroeder and skated for the Pierce Skating Club. By the mid-1950's, Mr. Campbell was one of the top speed skaters in the country, winning both Illinois state and national championships, including the 1953 National Indoor Championships. In 1955, he won the prestigious Chicago Silver Skates competition. He went on to win both the North American Outdoor and Indoor Championships in 1957 and 1958, respectively. He was elected into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 1983. He later managed and operated many different ice rinks throughout the Chicago area, including the Glen Ellyn Ice Skating School, the Elmhurst YMCA, the Winnetka Arena, and the Westmont Arena. In the summers, he ran one of the first ice hockey summer camps in the United States at the Wagon Wheel Resort in Rockton, Illinois. He was one of the pioneers of teaching "power skating" to young hockey players to improve skaters' efficiency and skating skills. He helped expand youth hockey in Illinois, serving as the President of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois for four years from 1969 to 1972. In 1982, Mr. Campbell moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. There he became an avid mountain biker and long distance runner, racing in both the Chicago and Boston marathons. Returning to the ice, in 1997 he created the Campbell Hockey League. The League quickly became popular, providing adult hockey leagues for players of all skill levels. Mr. Campbell continued to teach power skating to young players. Mr. Campbell is survived by his wife Phyllis, his sister Peggy Powers, and his seven children, Susan, Mark, Beth, Jim, Meg, Amy and Sean. Open house Memorial will be held at the Elmhurst Y.M.C.A. ice skating rink lobby, 211 W. 1st Ave., Elmhurst, Il. on Sunday, October 10 between 2:00 and 5:00. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Published in Central DuPage News/Leader/Post/Press on Sept. 30, 2010
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