Dutton-Dunwich pays respects to 'role model,' who died of COVID-19
DUTTON-DUNWICH, ONT. -- It is fitting that on a breezy day, the man they called "Breezy" is being laid to rest in Dutton-Dunwich.
Don Campbell, 91, passed away from complications of COVID-19 on Sunday.
A traditional funeral was out of the question, but many, inside their cars, lined the side of the streets in Dutton as a hearse with his body passed by shortly after 2 p.m. Monday.
Although advising caution, the community is in mourning and people want to pay their respects, says Bob Purcell, the town’s mayor, who was emotional during an interview with CTV News.
"He represents our community. He was a farmer all his life, but he was involved with the community all the time."
From serving as a politician, to three decades as a Lions Club member, Campbell was known by all for his community dedication and generosity.
Perhaps his greatest legacy, the mayor says, came last summer, when a campaign to build a splash pad - at no cost to the municipality - was successful.
"Frankly, it was Breezy‘s idea. He’s got lots of grandchildren and he said, ‘We got to have a splash pad,’ and it just took off.”
For his efforts, and for those he’d already made to Dutton-Dunwich, the splash pad was named "Breezy’s Pad," with a sign posted alongside it.
Campbell was diagnosed with COVID-19 after arriving at a hospital with other symptoms, his grandson Andrew Campbell, tells CTV News.
He says his death marks the end of his era in a community he cared so much about.
“When you see somebody like that, just somebody who genuinely wants to know how you’re doing and wants to connect with you, it really opens up as a role model for so many of us.”
Dutton-Dunwich has now had two deaths from COVID-19. The mayor says there are others in hospital from his community.
"Frankly it’s worse than you might realize," he told citizens in a communication Monday.