Donald Campbell (1940-2019)

An appreciation.

Donald [‘Donnie’] Campbell died on 21st May following a fall after the village quiz in his adopted home of Garsington in Oxfordshire.

A native of Scotland, Donnie was born and raised in Grangemouth. After taking a B.Comm. in Glasgow, he went on to complete a degree in psychology at Edinburgh University. In the late 1960s he moved to Oxford where he trained as a probationer clinical psychologist under May Davidson at the Warneford Hospital. He was one of the first to take the BPS Diploma in Clinical Psychology, in which he gained a distinction.

Following an MRC-funded post as a research neuropsychologist in the Churchill Hospital, Donnie took up a clinical psychology post in the NHS neurology department with Sue Oxbury where he worked for many years, first at the Churchill and then at the Radcliffe Infirmary. In the latter part of his career he worked as a clinical psychologist in the Elms Clinic, Banbury, a small psychiatric unit serving adult mental health needs in the north of the county. Donnie was a much valued and sought after clinical supervisor on the Oxford Regional Training Course in Clinical Psychology. A highly skilled and experienced clinician he supervised a great many trainees, keeping in touch with many of them long after they had qualified. He retired in 2005.

Donnie was a lovely, warm and empathic person who made friends easily and kept those friendships over many decades. He was a man of the highest integrity, a socialist and a staunch supporter of the principles of the NHS. For almost 50 years he rented a small, modest cottage on a farm that sat on an open ridge at the edge of Garsington. From there he participated fully in village life, enjoying the company of others and forging friendships with people from all walks of life. An active sportsman Donnie played cricket, squash, tennis, badminton and golf; he continued to play the latter two sports right up to his death. He organised a legendary annual trip to the Varsity Rugby match that required of those joining him the ability to drink copious amounts of wine and beer. A lover of music, both classical and jazz, Donnie went regularly with friends to classical music concerts in Birmingham, Oxford and London, and to jazz gigs in the pubs around Oxford. Donnie enjoyed life to the full and he shared his exuberance and joy of life with his many friends. One friend recalls an evening walk through the village when he stopped and remarked, “Look at the sky, the clouds, the moon. Isn’t the natural world wonderful?” It epitomised Donnie’s love of and zest for life. 

In Scotland Donnie was married briefly to Anne, a renowned Gaelic singer. After their divorce he formed a long-term relationship with Diana. There were no children by either relationship. Donnie is survived by his a nephew and three nieces, and by his many friends.

- John Hall and John Marzillier

A celebration of Donnie’s life will be held at 3pm on Saturday 27 July at the Three Horseshoes Pub, 16 The Green, Garsington, Oxfordshire, OX44 9DF. All welcome. Contact Mary Marzillier on [email protected]

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