R. Keith Campbell, a member of WSU’s pharmacy faculty for 45 years and a national leader in pharmacy and diabetes research died Nov. 11, 2017.
Born Sept. 24, 1941, Campbell lived a remarkable life, both personally and professionally, and had a positive impact on hundreds of students and colleagues as an educator, pharmacist, family member, mentor and friend.
He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was eight years old. His decision to face the challenges of his chronic condition, and his desire to help others, became the driving force of his life. Despite being told that he would be blind by age 30, and dead by age 40, Keith lived with diabetes for more than 68 years — a testament to his strong spirit.
Campbell graduated in 1964 from WSU’s Pharmacy and earned an MBA from WSU in 1972. He dedicated his professional life to the College of Pharmacy and was an avid Cougar fan. During his career, he advanced through the ranks of academia as a professor, associate dean, and Distinguished Professor in Diabetes Care and Pharmacotherapy. He received numerous teaching awards, honorary doctorates and published over 630 manuscripts, 14 books, and 55 book chapters; and made more than 1,500 professional presentations.
He was a Certified Diabetes Educator who lived daily with an insulin pump for more than 30 years. At the College of Pharmacy’s Crimson Gala just three weeks prior to his death, Keith received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the college and it was announced that the award will be named the “R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award” in perpetuity.
Campbell’s achievements in pharmacy and diabetes education extended beyond the classroom. He was a predominant figure in the pharmacy community. He received numerous awards including:
- The American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Paul F. Parker Medal.
- The National Community Pharmacist Association’s Outstanding Pharmacy Administration Professor.
- The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Outstanding Health Care Educator in the Field of Diabetes.
- The American Association of Diabetes’ Distinguished Service Award.
He served on the board of directors of the ADA, Washington State Pharmacy Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, an organization he co-founded. He consulted with companies that developed products for diabetes patients, and helped to invent and market a home infusion pump. Despite his numerous accomplishments, Campbell said that his greatest joy was advising, teaching, mentoring and befriending students and young faculty. He was known to say “now go make me proud” to his students. Before social media there was R. Keith, his network was vast and connecting others was a passion.
Campbell also was known for his witty sense of humor, photographic memory, extraordinary ability to analyze. There wasn’t a problem too formidable for him to tackle, especially helping loved ones navigate seemingly impossible situations. His ‘fact first, fear never’ approach got many friends through difficult times. His ability to empathize and then give generously of his time will be greatly missed. Keith’s emotions ran as deep as his intellect and once you were in his heart he was fiercely loyal. His ability to provide comedic relief in any situation was a rare talent that brought many to tears.
He adored his three grandchildren and kept up with their lives on a daily basis. He loved spending time with them at the lake, teaching them to fish and sharing his love of hunting. He believed one of his greatest accomplishments was marrying Patricia Mary Campbell, the most beautiful and kind woman in the world. He always felt blessed by the miraculous birth of his youngest daughter Nicole Patricia Campbell, both of whom we lost too soon. Keith was also preceded in death by his parents, Walter H. and Mildred Campbell; his grandparents Edwin and Ada Glasgow and Flora Campbell; and his first wife, Sharon Vogt.
He is survived by his daughter Kimberlee D. Campbell (husband Jim Pappas); his son Lance K. Campbell; his grandkids Marcus James, Mason Keith, and Ava Margeaux Campbell Pappas; his son-in-law Frankie Frears; his in-laws Don and Pat Beaudoin (and family); brother Ron Campbell (wife Judy); his niece Michelle Saunders; his nephew Scott Campbell, Cousins Doug Dutton and Connie Sullivan; and many close friends.
A celebration of Keith’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 322 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, Wash. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the R. Keith Campbell Naming Fund for the Applied Patient Care Laboratory, which is being named in remembrance of Keith at the WSU College of Pharmacy, P.O. Box 1495, Spokane, WA. 99210-1495. Condolences may be sent to his family at 7511 Greenwood Ave. N. Unit 11, Seattle, WA 98103.