Dr. Ella Campbell, a community leader for many years in Baltimore County, with a focus on the Liberty Road corridor, died on Sunday, May 15, 2016, due to complications of cancer. Dr. Campbell requested that her remains be contributed to the Howard University School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy in Washington, DC, to increase scientific research opportunities to benefit the African American community and scholars seeking to become medical doctors.
Dr. Campbell was born in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. She came to Maryland with her mother and father Heyward W. and Lee Pearl Cooper who were both seeking advancement opportunities for employment, housing and better schools for their children to attend. Following the death of her father Hayward, her mother, was left to struggle with the arduous task of raising their daughters alone. While her mother worked, Ella was thrust into watching over her young siblings.
Ella was always an academic leader in her classes and was a scholar throughout her elementary, high school and college years. She attended elementary school and later went to the Historic Wiley H. Bates High school, where she became a part of the debate team; the Marching Band; and graduated at the top of her class. Ella survived an early marriage and was determined to finish her education. She went on to Morgan State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and continued her education, earning Degrees from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland and subsequently, a Doctoral Degree.
Walking in the footsteps strategically placed by her mother and father, her journey put her on a successful path to change lives and set thousands of young people on a path to success while serving as a middle school teacher in the Cherry Hill area of Baltimore City. She was so impressive in the community, and worked so well with the young people she was asked to take the leadership of the Cherry Hill recreation Center.
Dr. Campbell continued to be a trailblazer in her field and began teaching English in Baltimore City Public Schools. From teacher Ella moved to the head of the English Department and furthered her career to become an Assistant Principal. She was known as a master of the English language and designed a special curriculum for students that increased the test scores of hundreds of students in Baltimore City. Later she was appointed to the Baltimore County School Board. Dr. Campbell believed strongly in education. She believed, unless we put all of our resources into education, society is doomed. A good education prevents a lot of social problems. If children are satisfied with who and what they are, they have a positive image of themselves and excel.
A Drum Major for the Community
She was the Founder of Camp Fire Girls of Cherry Hill; President, Cherry Hill Coordinating Council; President, Gwynnvale Civic Association; President, Liberty Road Community Council; President, Liberty Randallstown Coalition; President, Stevenswood Improvement Association and Founder, Randallstown N.A.A.C.P. Working in the capacity of Executive Director, Liberty Road Community Council, Ella strove to provide ample access for her fellow neighbors to the highest quality of life environment with the best schools, recreational facilities, transportation, public infrastructure, libraries and other resources. She was tough, but prepared!
The Baltimore Sun reported that Dr. Campbell was in the vanguard of leadership for obtaining $1 Million for implementation of the Liberty Road Streetscape Project which improved the appearance of older Baltimore County communities and uplifted the façade of the Liberty Court Shopping Center. “Liberty Road sets the tone for the community” Dr. Campbell said. “When the corridor is aesthetically pleasing, it gives the signal that the rest of the community is that way.” Campbell said it is vital to keep the well-traveled corridor of Liberty Road in good repair and booming with businesses, the heartbeat of the community. Ella was a gregarious gogetter, who was not afraid to take action to better her community. Campbell lead the charge to stop area flooding and her subsequent testimony in Annapolis and Baltimore County helped lead to the Red Run Dam project. Ella’s satisfaction came from knowing that she helped somebody somewhere along the way. She has received numerous awards for outstanding service to the community of Gwynn vale, outstanding service to the Cherry Hill Community, outstanding service to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Second Mile Award from the Minister of Tourism of Grand Bahama Island. She was also listed in Who’s Who in The East. Who’s Who in America and Community Leaders of the World.
During her life, Ella loved to entertain her family and friends. Gatherings at her residence often overflowed out into a poolside party, as guests enjoyed her splendid hospitality. Holidays were often occasions where children were asked to play instruments and perform songs, poems, dances and otherwise display their talents.
Dr. Campbell was a devoted mother who engendered pride and self-confidence in her children Deborah Williams Turner and Delbert Andre Williams, both of whom preceded Dr. Campbell in death. She leaves to mourn her loving and devoted husband Charles Campbell; two sisters: Ramocille Johnson and BJ Douglass; a devoted friend Mary Pinckney; one Daughter Brenda Brooks of Richmond, VA; three devoted grandsons: Robert Turner and Joshua Turner of Bridgeport, Connecticut and Kahlil Talley of Baltimore, Maryland; three grand-daughters: Dominique Turner of Bridgeport, Connecticut; April Talley and Chenayi Brooks of Richmond, Virginia. She also had two great-grandchildren; Isaiah Bush and Vivian Gammon of Bridgeport, Connecticut; her loving cousin Maxine A. Cunningham and a host of other relatives and friends who supported her throughout her illness and her journey through life.
A Memorial Service will be held for Dr. Campbell on Friday, June 10, 2016, 1:00 PM, at Epworth United Methodist Church; 3317 St. Lukes Lane on the corner of St. Lukes and Liberty Road. Flowers should be sent to Epworth United Methodist Church.