R.I.P. Laurence ‘Campy’ Campton


From The Mountain Mail (Arlene Shovald):

“Dad had goals,” his son Chuck said. “He wanted to make it to the anniversary and Mom’s birthday. Her birthday was April 12 and we lost him April 13. He considered anything past the anniversary to be a bonus day. He was a blessing and a patriot.”

The Camptons were married March 28, 1937.

He was a veteran of World War II, and during the Battle of the Bulge he was taken prisoner of war in Germany and spent 91 days in confinement. He weighed about 90 pounds when he was released on their eighth wedding anniversary, March 28, 1945.

In the early years he was active with FIBArk, both as an organizer and a competitor. He won the down-river race in 1959 and shared his passion for the down-river event with son Chuck, who raced in the 1960s, and his grandson Christen, who raced in 2007. In 2011 Campy was named to the FIBArk Hall of Fame.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

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