Please join us for a potluck celebration of Jim’s Life on Saturday, September 23, 2023, Belfast Boathouse, 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
Jim died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack on June 20, 2023, while running — something he loved to do.
Jim left this world much too soon. He leaves a legacy of friendship, community service, commitment to democratic principles, and a community radio station, WERU, of which he was a principal founder. He was radioman, media professional, librarian, athlete, scholar, patron of the arts, avid reader, deep thinker, and fierce advocate of freedom of information and the right to privacy. Jim was a teacher, mentor, community volunteer, colleague, loving father, grandfather, brother and friend. His passing leaves a deep hole in the midcoast community and in the lives of many.
Jim Campbell’s Obituary:
Jim Campbell, of Belfast, died Tuesday June 20, 2023, of a heart attack. James Joseph
Campbell was born in Philadelphia August 22,1946, to James J Campbell and Margaret
Maguire. He grew up an exceptional person with many accomplishments including Honors
Student, National Debating Society, and athlete. Jim graduated from St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey
City, New Jersey, and LeMoyne College in Buffalo NY, and earned an M.A. in American
Civilization at New York University, working under a Lehman Fellowship. Later in life, he earned
a master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in
Spatial Information Science and Engineering at UMaine.
Jim loved radio. He served as General Manager for WBFO public radio, at SUNY-Buffalo, and
later was the first General Manager for non-commercial radio station WXPN in Philadelphia.
After moving to Maine, Jim helped bring WERU Community Radio station in Blue Hill on air.
Since then, he regularly supported WERU as an on-air and off-air volunteer, program host, show
producer, volunteer trainer, and mentor. He produced and aired many special broadcasts,
including his own series, Notes from The Electronic Cottage to explain developments in
technology and their implications for people and society.
Whether it was working with his two brothers to co-found Praxis Media, Inc., a full-service
communication consulting and production company that worked with Fortune 100 companies, or
volunteering to help a small non-profit with grant writing or media needs, Jim was always ready
to help move good ideas forward. He wore many hats in service to others and was a fierce
advocate of protecting and enhancing free access to public information and the right to privacy,
and their importance to democracy. He was an active member of the Maine Library Association,
and the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. He often wrote and spoke about how legal,
economic, and technical policies affect the progress of science, the societal use of technologies,
and the advancement of humanity. He leaves a legacy of quiet contribution, deep democratic
values, and caring friendship.
Jim is survived by daughter Caeli and her husband Joaquin, granddaughter Lucia, brothers
Chris and Peter, many close friends and colleagues in Maine and up and down the eastern
seaboard — and a community radio station, WERU.
● WERU Radio tribute to Jim. https://weru.org/jim-campbell-rip/
● Jim’s last interview with Amy Browne on Maine Currents
● There are also some wonderful remembrances about Jim on the Maine Libraries
Discussion List https://lists.maine.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=MELIBS-L
In lieu of flowers, consider supporting WERU or the Belfast Soup Kitchen, two organizations Jim cared deeply about.
Posted earlier in July:
WERU’s Jim Campbell died suddenly and unexpectedly on June 20 of a heart attack. He was 76 years old. We are shocked and saddened by his passing. Jim was a true giant in the history of WERU, one of the main founders and the first voice to be broadcast on 89.9. He was the original Morning Maine host, long-time host and producer of Notes from the Electronic Cottage, and volunteer who made countless behind-the-scenes contributions. He was a good friend and advisor to many at the station, and will be terribly missed. Listen to Jim’s last interview with Amy Browne on Maine Currents here.
“Jim’s voice was the very first voice heard on WERU when we first went on the air in May of 1988. We had set up a stage in the parking lot of the Henhouse and Jim was up there in front of a mic. He was wearing headphones waiting to hear his own voice come through them. He was talking to the crowd and all of a sudden he stopped and said “Ah. Here we are.” And we were on the air. It was just after 10:00 in the morning on May 1, 1988. Jim’s voice was clear and relaxed and completely unlike the usual voices heard on commercial radio in Maine. He spoke for a few minutes and then handed the mic over to David Snyder and the two of them set the tone, that day, the tone of Community Radio. Jim was a guiding light in the early days of WERU. He and David took an unorganized mob of initiates and turned them into competent DJs. He was one of the first Morning Maine DJs and set the tone for that program. WERU is what it is today, to a great extent, because of Jim Campbell.” – Phil Norris, one of the founders and host of Folk Music with Cousin Phil
“Jim was a wonderful person, dear friend, and tremendous advisor from whom I learned more about Community Radio than from any other source. Losing him is immensely sad.” – Matt Murphy, General Manager
“I’d go so far as saying that WERU might not have come into existence without his thoughtful guidance and way-above-and-beyond support. We all owe him so much! There’s no doubt in my mind that he was absolutely an angel sent at just the right time when a floundering, rag-tag group of radio enthusiasts needed a helping hand in order to make a dream come true! He’ll be greatly missed to say the least.” – David Snyder, one of the founders and original leaders of WERU
“As one of the founders of WERU, Jim was a knowledgeable gentle giant who clearly shared with listeners his insights on electronics and explained the digital world on Notes from the Electronic Cottage, which was highly valued by so many listeners.” – Pat Pugh, Board of Directors President
“I didn’t always understand Notes, but I always felt smarter after I had listened to it. And I always had great respect for everything he did for the station.” – Lynn Soucy, Board Member and Past President
“Jim was Mr Radio to me. Early Salt Air newspapers reveal he was responsible for urging Kay Gardner to bring Women’s Windows to the airwaves – important inclusivity in 1988.” – Linda, host of Women’s Windows