Paso Robles’ business community will honor Don and Gail Campbell, longtime staples in community outreach, as its 2012 Citizens of the Year.
The Campbells will be recognized tonight at the annual Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Dinner and Awards Gala, held at the Paso Robles Event Center.
The couple, married in February 1963, will celebrate their 50th anniversary in less than a month. The husband and wife are ages 71 and 69, respectively.
Don Campbell first moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1959 to attend college.
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He met his wife through 4-H, and their history of giving in Paso Robles started in 1964 when Don Campbell graduated from Cal Poly and the pair moved to the El Pomar area east of Templeton, where they remain today.
“Our office and most of our activities have been centered around Paso Robles,” Don Campbell told The Tribune. “I love it there, it’s a great place to live. A great town and good people.”
Together, the couple has been involved in farming and ranching, including raising purebred Suffolk show lambs for more than 30 years. The pair also served together as 4-H leaders for more than two decades.
“Over the years we’ve done everything together,” Don Campbell said. “We’ve been a team through all those things.”
Don Campbell worked in machinery, ranching and with the Farmer’s Alliance before getting his master’s degree and teaching agriculture at San Luis Obispo High School. He taught there for seven years and later focused on ranching real estate.
Gail Campbell worked in the banking, ranching and real estate industries while raising their family and giving time to St. Rose Catholic Church, Paso Robles Public Schools, local election campaigns and community planning committees, among other roles. Some of her community work focused on bookkeeping.
Don Campbell’s community leadership ranges from being 48-year member of the city’s Pioneer Day Committee to serving as a member of Paso Robles Rotary for 34 years. In 1983, he became one of the founding members of Heritage Oaks Bank, where he continues to serve as vice chairman and stands as the only founding member left on its board of directors, he confirmed.
Together, the couple has three daughters and seven grandchildren.