Donald M. Campbell ’57

Donald M. Campbell, 89, of New Smyrna Beach, passed away peacefully at 6:20 AM Saturday, June 22, 2024 at his home in New Smyrna Beach. Don was born November 20,1934 in Winchester, Virginia to Clyde and Anna Campbell. He graduated from Boyden High School in Salisbury, NC in 1953. He then attended Davidson College in Davidson, NC on a football scholarship. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in business and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in the Armor Corps. He also earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Tulane University in 1970.

He served in the Army for over 27 years, retiring in 1983 at the rank of Colonel. He demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to his fellow Soldiers, earning many commendations for outstanding service including, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He also earned the coveted Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

He was a Vietnam Combat Veteran, serving there from 1967 to 1968 while assigned to the First Cavalry Division. He served around the world in Germany, Iran and multiple assignments stateside. He commanded the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry from 1973 to 1975. He culminated a brilliant 27 plus year career in 1983 as the Program Manager Training Devices for the United States Army at the Orlando, Florida Navy Training Center. 

Following retirement from the Army, Don briefly worked for the St. John Lutheran Church in Winter Park, FL. He then became the President of Pulau Electronics, now Pulau Corporation, based in Orlando, FL. Based on his success and ties with industry, he became the Executive Director of the Training and Simulation Consortium in Orlando, FL. Using his leadership and organizational skills he grew that organization tremendously and was known for his innovation by the simulations community. He finally retired for good in 2005 in New Smyrna Beach, where he loved to boat, golf, play racquetball and host family and friends. He also loved to travel with his wife Gaye to Maine where they visited with family and friends.  

In New Smyrna Beach he was a proud member of the New Smyrna Beach Yacht Club and the Anglers Yacht Club, where he contributed many hours doing charitable work in the city and Volusia County. 

He is survived by his wife, Gaye Arthur Campbell of New Smyrna Beach, and predeceased by Sylvia Bennett Campbell; also survived by his brother Richard R. Campbell of Mount Pleasant, SC, three sons, Donald M. Campbell, Jr., Kure Beach, NC, Richard Ross Campbell II, Jacksonville, FL, Stephen L. Campbell, Saint Johns, FL , a stepson Jeff McClellan, China, Maine, six grandchildren, Craig, Leslie, Kaysee, Karlee, Brittney and Ryan, and two step grandsons, Matthew and Ryan and eight great grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date, contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.