Richard Ayers ‘Dick’ Campbell


Richard Ayers ‘Dick’ Campbell


Dick Campbell
Dick Campbell

Richard Ayers “Dick” Campbell died peacefully on April 6, 2016, marking the end of a full life for a wonderful man.

The fourth of five children, Dick was born in Midwest, Wyo., on Jan. 16, 1927, to Malcolm and Reta Campbell. The family moved to Story, Wyo., and Dick graduated from Sheridan County High School, where he excelled on the football field. As a soldier in the U.S. Army of Occupation, Dick served in Japan from 1945 to 1947. After being honorably discharged from the army, Dick accepted an athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Wyoming.

While at U of W, Dick met the love of his life, Jean Peters, and they were married in the Bighorn Mountains on Aug. 20, 1949. Jean was his biggest cheerleader as Dick captained the championship Cowboys during an undefeated season in 1950 and Gator Bowl win in 1951. The football team was inducted into the Wyoming Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, and Dick was personally honored as an inductee in 2012.

Following a professional football stint with the Washington Redskins, Dick and Jean moved to Billings, where he was employed as a Petroleum Landman for Clark Drilling Co. and later Ajax Oil Co. In 1964, Dick and C.A. “Tib” Biggs entered a partnership and formed Sawtooth Oil Co. After Tib passed, Jack Starkweather became Dick’s partner in Sawtooth Oil.

Dick and Jean were joined by sons Dennis and Tyler and daughter Kim. There was always a dog (usually a beloved black lab) to complete the family.

After being stricken with polio in 1954, Dick was left with paralysis of his right leg. Although no longer able to run or ski, Dick continued to enjoy the outdoors with a passion for camping, hunting and fishing. He looked forward to going to “hunting camp” every year with dear friends. Dick also enjoyed fishing trips to Panama, Colombia, the Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico, as well as in Wyoming and Montana.

Dick and Jean enjoyed great times with many friends on the golf course, at high school sporting events, U of W football games, travels to warm places, camping and at the cabin in Story. The kids and grandchildren were always excited to be included in an outing or vacation. Dick and Jean built a new home on their beloved Piney Creek and retired to Story in 1990.

Dick was a member of the Montana Association of Petroleum Landmen, American Association of Petroleum Landmen, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, and was the governor’s appointee to the Interstate Oil Compact Commission. He was appointed chairman of the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, on which he served for 15 years. He was a director of First Interstate Bank, director and chairman of Sawtooth Biotech, Inc., and director of Roundup Resources, Inc., and also served on the Foundation Board of the University of Wyoming.

Being a social man, Dick enjoyed his memberships at the Yellowstone Country Club and Billings Petroleum Club. He was a great host and loved sharing Jean’s legendary meals. Dick’s generosity to friends and strangers helped many through difficult times, as he was quick to give from his pantry, his garage and his wallet.

Dick was preceded in death by his daughter Kim and son-in-law Kelly Christianson; his parents, Malcolm and Reta Campbell; brother Bud Campbell; and sisters Edna Wilcox, Dorothy Wing and Carol Hayter.

Dick is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Jean; sons Dennis (Sue) and Tyler (Carolyn); and grandchildren Dr. Caitlin Campbell (Dr. Matt Burgess) and Cody Campbell.

Unfortunately, Dick suffered a debilitating stroke in 2012. The Campbell family is very appreciative of the wonderful care and love provided to Dick by the staff at Fischer Cottage on St. John’s campus in Billings.

A celebration of Dick’s life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Shiloh United Methodist Church, 1810 Shiloh Road, with a reception to follow at the Yellowstone Country Club.

Contributions may be made to the University of Wyoming Athletic Scholarship Fund or a charity of your choice.

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0 thoughts on “Richard Ayers ‘Dick’ Campbell”

  1. Ty, Denny, Jean and Family,
    I’ve always thought a lot of your Dad – His encouragement as a little guy football coach, his encouragement to Ty & me in those early years… He is also the only other person that I’ve know to share the birthplace of Midwest, WY with which I always thought pretty cool !
    With My Sympathy,

  2. L Galuska-Rodriguez

    I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Campbell’s passing. He was a good friend of our family. The heavens are surely rejoicing with a new angel, that is for sure! My thoughts and prayers to the family. God Bless.

    Lorrie Galuska-Rodriguez

  3. I was sad to hear of dick’s passing. I grew up across the street on Alderson Ave from Dick, Jean, Denny and Ty. I was the boys babysitter. The Campbell’s were such a wonderful family and as I read, still are. I know Dick will be missed and again I am so sorry for your loss. May the many wonderful memories make you smile when you need it most.
    My love and prayers to all
    Margi Norick Popp

  4. I am sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. I met him many years ago and looked forward to talking to him every chance I had. I later went to college at Wyoming and was able to see him at the football games several times. He was an amazing person with so much to offer everyone who met him. He will be missed.

  5. Jean, Denny,Ty & families:
    Please accept my deepest sympathy upon reading of Dick’s passing. I lived on Alderson Avenue in Billings when the boys & Kim were small; what a wonderful time it was for me to take care of them while Dick & Jean enjoyed golfing and camping. I was made to feel a part of this family; Dick taught me to drive and when I broke my leg, he came to the hospital every afternoon with a treat and just to visit. They entrusted me with the care of their children and I like to think it made me a good mother to my three. What a handsome couple they made; Dick will surely be missed by Jean & rest of family and friends. Remembering many good times with all the Campbells.
    In sympathy,
    Barbara Sanderson Wuertz

  6. Jean,Tyler and Malcolm,
    Dick always felt like a second father to me when we were growing up.I always looked up to that man.

  7. Janey Wing Kenyon

    Dear Aunt Jean, Denny, Ty and families, Sue wrote to me of the sad news of Uncle Dick’s passing. We would love to come to his memorial, but unfortunately, we are out of the country and won’t be getting back to Story until the end of May. Please accept our condolences. If any of you come to Story this summer, please stop by. We would love to see you. With sympathy, Janey and Tupelo (Wing) Kenyon

  8. Jean, Ty, Denny and family,
    Please know my heart is heavy with the news of Dick’s death. Once or twice a year, he and the other hunters would come to the farm at Lucerne, and it wasn’t until much later that all of us realized they were not all relations…….but life long friends. Dick always made us young children feel special. When LeRoy and I moved to Spearfish for school, the “hunters” called and invited my little fellows and I over for dinner at the Game and Fish Cabin on the Sand Creek. It was there they were introduced to both hunting and a wonderful band of men. Dad was gone at this time and it meant the world to be included in their “fraternity.” Later, when son Ron was living in Sheridan, he and his family were re-introduced to Dick. We would make a drive to Story to visit Dick and Jean, always feeling so welcome. I want to say thank you for sharing your wonderful father with both my Skelton and Hayes families. Whether at a University of Wyoming game, or just a short visit, from the time I was small, I received the same big bear hug and warm smile. God Bless you all during this time. Lily Skelton Hayes

  9. To the Family of Dick Campbell;
    I met up with Dick while performing as President and CEO of Security Bank. Dick was asked to join the Board of Directors when the name changed to First Interstate Bank. He was always a loyal member of the board for years afterward.
    I was invited to join fishing and hunting groups and always enjoyed being included. One year Dick put together a group of people to ride up to his camp in the mountains. My wife Sarah and I signed on for this adventure, a ride of about 10,000 feet on a mountain nearby. We were furnished horses,equipment and food. We rode for about 10 hours going up to camp and were greeted with a large campsite, sleeping quarters, Jean and a very large white dog(Helped to guard against the bear)! The fishing was superb as well as the abundant food and drink. Going down the mountain to leave was much faster! So memorable, this was just another successful outing with the Campbell’s.
    Being always interested in investments, Dick would frequently include me in coal-oil deals from South Dakota. Dick’s company was was very informed in those markets and would usually have a deal to sell. On one occasion he asked myself and a few others to join him in an oil well deal. I managed to gather my money and invested with a rather large holding. The phone rang soon after to tell me I must get out of the deal because Dick’s company had obligations to another party.As you might know it was a “Very good deal”, gave forth lots of money and my share had to go to another fella. I lost around $ 50,000 on this venture!
    Jean cooked many large and delicious meals for all of us ~ she was a “pro”!
    I maintained a close friendship with Dick during the years at the bank, I remember this was also the time when his son Dennis built a new house on their site in Story, WY.
    Wonderful memories ~ what a friend he was!!!!
    With sympathy and sorrow for his passing, prayers for all of you.

    Richard “Dick” Kjoss

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