Reverend Percy Miller Campbell
Reverend Percy Miller Campbell, age 96, retired United Methodist minister, made it Home and met his Lord and Savior face to face on Thursday, April 14, 2022.
Born in Terry, MS on September 15, 1925, to Annie Harper Campbell and Percy Theodore Campbell, Percy was just four years old when his father died in a car accident. His mother later married Charlie D. Keyes with whom Percy developed a very close relationship, affectionately calling him “Papa” the rest of his life. When Percy returned from serving in World War II, one of his friends introduced him to his sister, Emma Gene Albright, who quickly became the love of Percy’s life. They eloped on December 21, 1947, never looking back, and spent the next almost 53 years loving each other and serving others together.
Noted by all who knew him for his listening ear, generosity, joking nature, and integrity, Percy’s faith in Christ sustained him throughout his life, and he lived out his faith in every aspect of his life.
Percy was a scout in World War II, proudly serving under General George Patton in the 3rd Army. He fought for over two years in battles throughout Europe, most notably in the Battle of the Bulge. When the war ended in Europe, Percy’s unit was on a ship bound for Japan when they got word that the war in the Pacific was over. Therefore, this ship became the first ship to dock in New York City after the war officially ended. Percy “literally kissed the ground” before hitchhiking his way back home to Terry.
Percy and Emma Gene made their home in Ridgeland, where Percy became a supervisor with MS Products. He then owned and operated Ridgeland Feed and Seed and Cotton Gin. Percy’s children have many memories of spending time with him there and helping him with the business.
Percy’s calling in life was to serve God and others, and he truly lived this calling out daily throughout his life. The Campbell family faithfully attended Ridgeland Methodist Church where Percy and Emma Gene were active in many areas and where Percy served as a Lay Leader for many years. Percy was also instrumental in helping start the Contact Crisis Center and served on the Board. In his late fifties, Percy began attending Candler School of Theology at Emory University in the summers. He went on to graduate and became an ordained United Methodist minister. From there, he served at various churches throughout Mississippi including Burns UMC, Holly Bush UMC, Andrews Chapel UMC, and returning to First United Methodist Church Ridgeland where he served as an associate minister. Percy loved each of his congregations and was grateful for each parishioner and what they meant to him. Even well after retirement, Percy continued serving and ministering to people by leading Bible studies in nursing homes and support groups at the VA, by visiting the homebound, and by serving in his home church FUMC Ridgeland. He also served with the MS Development Authority.
Next to his love and service for the Lord, Percy was devoted to his family and loved them all immensely. He faithfully prayed for each family member by name daily and could be counted on to be there for them at any time. Percy took great delight in spending time with his family and often remarked that he was one of the richest men in the world because God had blessed him with such a fine and wonderful family.
Percy is survived by his children Joyce Campbell Perry (Don), Sandra (“Sandi”) Campbell White, and Ralph Stanley (“Stan”) Campbell; his grandchildren Angie Perry Smith (Greg), Donald “Keith” Perry, Karen Ann White, Kristi White Stuckey (Alan), and Kevin James White (fiancée Melody Amanda Frusha); siblings Christine Keyes French, Maxine Keyes Butts, and John Keyes (Josie); 12 great grandchildren; and several close nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife Emma Gene Albright Campbell; his parents Percy T. Campbell and Annie Harper Campbell Keyes; his stepfather Charlie D. Keyes; his siblings Fredia Mae Campbell Whittington, Elsie Lapearl (“Sis”) Campbell Maddox, Gladys Campbell Teasley, Charles Keyes, Patsy Keyes Harris, and Velma Keyes Kirk; his son-in-law James (“Jim”) M. White; and his granddaughter Faith White, who died in infancy.
Percy’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Ms. Dorthy Toler, Ms. Ethel Bailey, and Sta-Home Hospice for the excellent care they provided him the last few months of his life. We cannot thank you enough for the way you loved him and us during this time.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at First United Methodist Church Ridgeland at 11:00 am, with visitation beginning at the church at 10:00 am.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church Ridgeland, 234 W. Jackson Street, Ridgeland, MS 39157, or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, www.givenow.lls.org.