Mary Ella (Rye) Campbell, 87, of Russellville, formerly of Dover, graduated to her heavenly home on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Arkansas Hospice River Valley Home. The daughter of Charles, Sr. and Bethel Lee (Shambarger) Rye, she was born July 16, 1932, in Russellville.
Mary Ella was a proud graduate of Russellville High School Class of 1950 and graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. For more than 30 years, she was a teacher in the Pottsville and Russellville school districts. Students whose lives have been touched & influenced through her teaching career number in the hundreds with many still living and raising their families in the River Valley.
One of her favorite slogans was, “I spent 30 years in the first grade.” She was loved by her students, inspired her fellow teachers, and was respected by her colleagues in school administration. Friends and colleagues alike agreed that Mary Ella had a special knack for getting them to do things.
In 1968, she began teaching first grade students at Sequoyah Elementary until her retirement in 1985. Mary Ella was part of the first open classroom concept implemented in the Russellville School District. Throughout her teaching career she was a member of both the National Education Association and the Arkansas Education Association, and became a lifetime member of the Sequoyah Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
She enjoyed a good game of bridge, and was an avid reader. It was rare to see her without a book in her hand. She and her husband, Robert, were members of the Dover Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Mary Ella was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Charles Emmett Rye. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Robert Campbell; a brother, Stephen Rye (Katherine) of Houston, Texas; and a loving family of nephews and nieces, which include: Mary Carol Lindsey, Beth Balzraine, Frank Rye, Charles Rye, David Rye, Joshua Rye, David Rye, Daniel Rye and Lori Campbell.
A visitation will be at 9:00AM, Saturday, January 25, 2020, at Humphrey Funeral Chapel, and will be followed by a memorial celebration, beginning at 10:00AM at the chapel. Pastor Mike Galloway of the Dover Cumberland Presbyterian Church will officiate. A private committal service and burial will be held at McFadden Cemetery at Dover.
Memorials may be made in Mary Ella’s honor to the Arkansas Hospice River Valley Home, 220 John Babish Lane, Russellville, AR 72801. Internet obituary and on-line guest book are available at www.humphreyfuneral.com.
You may view the full memorial service for Mrs. Campbell at this link on our Humphrey Funeral YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dImpoZNI7Zg
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