Judy Campbell-Clark, a longtime member of both the artist and Spiritualist communities in Santa Barbara and achieving much success in both worlds, passed away in Cottage Hospital on September 7, 2015 after being diagnosed with and treated for leukemia. She was surrounded by loved ones, and her passing was very peaceful. She will be greatly missed by the many people who knew and loved her.
Born to James and Janet (MacKellar) Clark, Judy was proud of being a fifth generation Santa Barbaran and spent her whole life here in the city she loved so much. Her family history was very meaningful to her, and she spent many years living in the house built in 1925 by her architect grandfather, Alexander MacKellar. Even before graduating from Santa Barbara High School, she was drawn to working with leather and had apprenticed with a local craftsman. Before long, the combination of innate skills and a passion to discover her own talents as a leather artist led her to a life of creating beautiful and useful works of art. From the days of the first Yes Store through the era of the Renaissance Faires and beyond, Judy continued to construct her unique handbags and belts, all beautifully designed and cleverly engineered.
Eventually, she was accepted into all of the nation’s most prestigious craft shows, including the Smithsonian Show in Washington, DC several times. As dedicated as she was to exhibiting her work at these events, while there she always made new friends with fellow artists and customers from various parts of the country who were charmed by her beautiful spirit and joyous sense of humor.
It was at one such show in San Francisco in 1996 that she first met a jeweler, Greg Campbell, who would become her husband. They were married in 2000 and continued to work at their respective crafts, often traveling together to shows around the country. Judy was by nature a seeker and loved to travel to new places and experience the world around her. It was these very qualities that would allow her life to take a new direction.
While walking her beloved dog Seamus one Sunday eight years ago, she was invited into the Spiritualist Church Of The Comforter. She immediately felt that she had found her spiritual home and became very involved with the church. After a rigorous course of studies and exams, she became a licensed minister and was eventually appointed pastor.
In 2011, she was granted the titles of Ordained Minister and National Spiritualist Teacher by the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, and also recently became a Certified Medium. Both she and her congregation shared the joy, love, creative vision and uplifting energy that she brought to the church community.
Judy will always be remembered for her creativity and wonderful sense of humor and her great love of dogs, as well as for being a teacher, counselor and gifted medium.
She is survived by her husband Greg, brother Tim, her new dog Rennie, extended family and countless friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Spiritualist Church Of The Comforter,1028 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at a later date.