Frederick Campbell Jr., better known to many as Rick Campbell from Julian, passed away peacefully on June 3rd, 2022 at the age of 71. After experiencing a series of health issues that spanned the course of four years, Rick was moved to Hospice care, where he was able to be surrounded by loved ones.
Rick was born in Newton Massachusetts on August 16th, 1950, to Fred and Alice Campbell. Being the first born, followed by two sisters, Rick prided himself as being a leader.
He fondly remembered spending his summers on Cape Cod, where he managed a gas station in Truro, MA. In his downtime, Rick drove the coastal roads of the Cape in his beloved blue 1967 Mustang.
As the story goes, Rick made his way to California after watching a Chargers football game.
As he looked out the window to the inches of snowfall that were coming down, then back to the TV where touchdowns were being made on that 75 degree sunny day in California, he thought, “that’s where I want to be.”
Rick eventually landed in San Diego in 1974, living out his hippie dreams in Ocean Beach before making his way up to the mountains. Rick fell in love with the landscape and the small town feel of Julian, and was soon taken in by Bud Farmer, where he worked the apple press at the beloved Farmer’s Mountain Vale Ranch.
Rick, as many know, had an entrepreneurial spirit from the get go, and always dreamed of owning his own business. In 1980, he bought the local Feed Store, which in its lifespan would be housed in three different locations around town. Rick loved animals, and if he wasn’t behind the counter talking to customers and their furry friends, he would be seen delivering hay to the farmers, ranchers, and cowboys on the mountain.
In 1980, Rick met the love of his life, Brenda, along with her two boys, Ryan and Cory, whom he cared for as if they were his own. A year later, they were married and in 1986, his first and only daughter, Keely, was welcomed into the world.
Rick loved everything to do with running a business, and at one juncture, he and Brenda ran a total of three businesses at once, proving that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. Rick, however, was all about reinvention and soon became inspired to close down the other businesses in order to birth a new passion project.
“The Birdwatcher” would be a store that catered to the avid birder, as well as the general public, to teach and inspire people to engage with the nature that was right outside their front door. The building, and business, was built from the ground up, and in September 1997, “The Birdwatcher” officially opened its doors. It soon became a destination for visitors near and far and became one of the most successful businesses in Julian.
“The Birdwatcher” served the public for 21 years before closing shop, opening the doors for Rick and Brenda to enter into a well-deserved retirement.
Rick loved his small town. Over the years he acted as President of The Chamber of Commerce, a member of the local water board, and volunteered for many organizations and events.
Most days you could find him at the coffee shop connecting with locals, or meeting new friends, welcoming them with open arms. He loved to engage in conversation and banter, and would do just about anything to make someone laugh. He was a seeker of knowledge, a man of many questions, and a person who lived by the philosophy of ‘give and you shall receive.’ He truly was one of a kind with a heart of gold and will be missed by many. He leaves behind his wife, Brenda, three children, four grandchildren, and kitties.
Rick requested that no service, or memorial, take place, but that his friends and loved ones simply remember the good times they shared.
If you’re inspired to show your love and care, you can make a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org), a cause that he was very passionate about.
Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is assisting the family.