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Mary Cole Campbell 1950-2021

FAIRLAWN — Some people say love is a verb; for Mary Cole Campbell, 70, who passed away at her home Friday, June 11, 2021, love was her vocation. Whether for her family, patients, coworkers, students, friends or neighbors, Mary practiced her life’s work with kindness, generosity, careful thought, dedication, humor and joy, even when loving was hard or exhausting.

Born to Ruth Pratt Cole and Francis “Buzz” J. Cole in Crawford County, Pa., Aug. 31, 1950, Mary grew up on her family’s farm in Conneautville, where six generations of her family had lived and worked before her. It was her greatest wish to return there and will be her final resting place.

As a young child, Mary wanted just two things: to be a nurse and to be a mother. She accomplished both with her characteristic enthusiasm and clear-eyed purpose, raising five children while working full-time as a nurse and attending school, eventually earning a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees. Mary worked as a nurse in Warren for nearly 50 years, later turning her experience and enthusiasm to training the next generation of nurses.

Mary briefly attempted retirement, but after making all the decorative wreaths and flower arrangements she could imagine, she quickly returned to work as a school nurse and suicide prevention educator and advocate. She continued doing the work she loved until she received her final diagnosis of terminal brain cancer in July of 2020.

Mary’s greatest joy was bringing people — especially her family — together. She was the hands-on matriarch of a large family who did the important work of building and maintaining relationships and keeping family ties strong. She instilled in her children the importance of working together to solve any problem or task, and celebrating any and all occasions with a house full of people, dogs and food.

She would say that her most important work was that of raising her children and grandchildren to be kind, generous, adventurous people who followed their dreams, worked hard and believed they could accomplish anything they set their minds to. In that, she was very successful. Her intense love of her children notwithstanding, no one could fault her for having to run through all their names before landing on the right one because, in her words, “There were just so many of them — and they just kept coming!”

Mary is survived by her daughters, Tami Newberry of Warren and Beverly Brown (Scott) of Newton Falls; and sons, Rodney Schofield of Fairlawn, Kevin Schofield of Warren and Justin Hartley (Krysta Curl) of Akron; and stepson, Chris Hartley (Kelly) of Atlanta. She is also survived by grandsons, Trevor, Mikey and Nathan Newberry, Joe Muscardelli, Evan Brown, and Kenneth and Frederick Hartley; great-granddaughter, Alexa Newberry; as well as her brother, Andrew Wylie Jr. of Irvington, Va.; and much-loved nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, William Cole of Little Rock, Ark.

Mary was known to threaten her ex-husbands, with whom she shared lifelong friendships, that if they didn’t take care of themselves, she would move back in to make sure they did. Knowing full well she meant what she said, Mary leaves behind three former husbands, Frank Schofield, Rick Hartley and Skip Campbell, all in (relatively) good health.

A woman with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life, Mary could not stand to be idle. She was an avid bird watcher, enjoyed traveling, crafting, reading, collecting house plants and Pyrex, was a champion knitter, and was always ready for new adventures. She loved Elvis and Reba, and listening to her sons play music. Despite her Western Pa. roots, Mary was a lifelong Browns fan and was thrilled she got to watch them beat the Steelers in the playoffs before she died. Mary abhorred unbalanced checkbooks, swear words, watching people brush their teeth, and most definitely, too much fussin’.

Mary’s greatest gift to us was teaching us how to love fully by truly seeing the people we love, keeping our hearts and minds open, and choosing forgiveness, humor and joy each and every day.

Visitation is scheduled 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at McCauley Funeral Home in Conneautville, Pa. A service, with the opportunity for family and friends to share their memories of Mary, will begin at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Flowers may be sent in care of McCauley Funeral Home or donations in Mary’s name can be sent to the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio at www.bfcohio.org or P.O. Box 31238, Independence, OH 44131-0238.

(special notice)