Born on Sept. 15, 1908, in Memphis, Tenn., Campbell moved to the Atlanta area to marry her childhood friend, Wilbur Campbell. Their relatives, who had married each other reintroduced Wilbur and Campbell, who were both widowed at the time. Although Wilbur had seven children from his first marriage, Campbell never had children.
“These kinfolks thought we needed each other,” Campbell said, chuckling. The couple was married 16 years when Wilbur died.
Campbell, who has always made God a focal point in her life, said, “Every time the church doors are open, I’m there.” She attends Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Acworth. On occasion, the Kennesaw resident still plays the piano there.
“I was raised in a good Christian home. I was taught to be a Christian. I always tried to do good and fair towards everybody,” said Campbell, who lives with her nephew, Thomas Green.
“I guess it was just the Lord’s will that I’ve lived this long,” she said.
Campbell said keeping her mind engaged and active with a needle and thread is another key to her long life.
“What I do is sit here and crochet those little doilies,” she said. “Anytime I find someone I haven’t given one to and they find out how old I am, it’s a joy for me to reach in my purse and get a little doilie and give it to them.”
Campbell, who owned a 335-acre farm with her first husband in Marianna, Ark., said working is important part of living.
“My first husband wanted me to work with him, not because he needed me, but so I’d know what the farm work meant. If anything ever happened to him, I’d know how to operate the farm,” she said.
Campbell never shied away from work: “Not back then and not now, I’m not afraid of hard work,” she said.
“Do you know where I can get me a job?” the spry Campbell quipped.