2018-03-07 / Obituaries

MARY ELOUISE CHENEY CAMPBELL

RAYMONDVILLE, TX- Mary Elouise Cheney Campbell was born March 24, 1919, in Woodsboro Texas. Her family moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1922 and settled in Willacy County. In 1939 she married the love of her life, Byron Campbell who passed in 1968. They started their family of three girls, Gael Ann (Smith), Tamsen (deceased), and Jenny Lynn (Wiggins) and two sons, Scot and Bruce (deceased).

Elouise was never content to leave things undone. Her early motto was “when I see something that needs to be done, I always want to do something about it.” And she saw much that was needed. She organized the Junior Service League in Willacy County because she saw the need for a medical service for the laborers from Mexico and instigated health services for the children by forming an equipped clinic including doctors. She started the Willacy County Cemetery Beautification Program through the Raymondville Womanís Club. As president of the American Heart Association in Willacy and Kennedy counties she conducted CPR seminars and helped secure donations for heart surgery satellite clinics throughout the Valley for underprivileged children.

Elouise organized the Lower Valley Cotillion Club and held office in state and Valley Federation of Women’s Clubs. She served on the Valley Zoological Society board and was a founding board member of the Willacy County Historical and Community Center and served on the board of the Friends of the Library in Harlingen. She also served as regent for many years of the Lieutenant Thomas Barlow Chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution.

She established the International Friendship Garden working though the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs and, with the help of Senators and Congressmen in Washington, she secured the funds and grants for the International Friendship Garden Pavilion in Brownsville. She was an accomplished artist and exhibited and won awards including one for her paintings “Little Kitchen Saint” which was used on the cover of the magazine Composers, Authors and Artists of America.

Elouise founded the Panamanian Education Foundation which helped Panamanian students earn college degrees. She was awarded Panama’s highest honor, the Decoration of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, and was appointed honorary consul for the Republic of Panama to the United States by President John F. Kennedy and Panamanian President Chari, serving in that position for twenty years.

Most important to her was her work as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Elouise served as a missionary, Stake missionary instructor giving presentations of “Ancient America Speaks” to conventions, clubs, and schools.

Elouise is survived by her daughters Gael Smith of Chicago, Ill, Jenny Wiggins (Scott) Bountiful, Ut., her son Scot Campbell (Caroline) Harlingen, TX, sixteen grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren whom she loved dearly.

The family will have a private burial service in Raymondville. The Memorial service will be held in Harlingen at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2320 Haine Dr. on Saturday, March 10th at 10:30 AM.

The family is appreciative and grateful for the kind gestures of love shown through personal expressions, phone calls and cards. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sunny Glen Children’s Home, Gladys Porter Zoo or Friends of the Library.

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10-1TC

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