Dorothy C. Campbell

Date of Death

July 20, 2018

Dorothy Campbell passed away peacefully July 20th at her home in Carpinteria. Born in 1922 to Victor and Ella Conquest and raised on the south side of Chicago, Dorothy went to Iowa State University, majoring in journalism and home economics and graduating in 1943. Here she met Foster, who she married and who became her life-long partner. In the midst of WW II, with Fos a radar operator on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific, Dorothy went to New York City with no money, stayed at the YWCA, and found a job in journalism. This self-confidence and can-do spirit was a life-long characteristic. After the war ended, Fos and Dorothy moved west from Cambridge, Mass. to Pasadena, where Fos worked in the emerging electronics industry and eventually started his own business which became Kilovac Corporation. Dorothy was busy raising 4 kids, leading scout packs, involved in PTA, and writing a column for the Pasadena Star News. In 1969, sick of the smog and looking for a place where the business could expand, the family and the business moved to Carpinteria and found a welcoming community. Dorothy helped start a girls club (now Girls Inc. of Carpinteria) so that the young girls whose moms worked at Kilovac would have a place to go after school. She also worked as a scout for Better Homes and Gardens for 17 years, traveling around California finding unique gardens and collaborating with the photographers and editors to produce magazine articles. In 1982, she was honored as “Carpinterian of the Year” by the local chamber of commerce. Her strong belief that the Carpinteria community could raise millions of dollars in just a very few months to purchase the Carpinteria Bluffs open space turned out to be correct and, with the hard work of many, the Bluffs is protected forever. The Dorothy Campbell Trail honoring her efforts can be found there today. Dorothy was also involved with the local League of Women Voters and enjoyed many friendships through her participation in the League.

A proud grandmother of seven and great grandmother of four, Dorothy loved her time with the little ones as well as traveling the world with Fos. Home stays in Japan and England were special experiences they shared. Thanks to the help of a team of strong women caregivers led by neighbor Leslie Saenz, Dorothy was able to live out her life in her home with its shady brick patio and flower gardens. She is survived by her husband Foster; her sons, Doug, Don, and Steve, all living nearby, and daughter Kathy (Bressler) from Wilson Wyoming; her grandchildren Foster, Rosie, Jason, Lauren and Erin Campbell, Matt Urias, and Jenny Carr; and her great-grandchildren, Tosh and Chloe Carr and Charlotte and Oliver Campbell. No date for a memorial service has been set as yet. Those wishing to honor Dorothy are encouraged to make a charitable donation to the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.


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