Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend Ronald Kenneth “Ken” Campbell of Lakeland, Florida, died December 12, 2020 at the age of 72 years. Ken was born on October 21, 1948 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Bonnie and Al Campbell.
Ken and his family moved to Lakeland, Florida in 1958. He graduated from Lakeland High School in 1967 and was a lifelong supporter of his Lakeland Dreadnaughts. He then joined the United States Air Force and was assigned to the Security Force Division. He was responsible for missile security, defending air bases, and law enforcement. He was a Veteran of the Vietnam War, and during his career with the Air Force he attained the rank of Sargent. Ken was a true patriot who loved his Country, his fellow Veterans, and the American flag. In 1981 at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida, he married the love of his life, Karen, and they spent 39 happy years sharing their lives together and raising a family. Family was the center of his life, and in addition to happily raising his daughter and son with Karen, he found immense joy spending time with his two granddaughters. Family gatherings always included campfires and incredible food that Ken helped prepare. His boiled peanuts and smoked fish pate recipes are perfection!
Ken had a great sense of humor and would regularly share funny stories about his life or one of his many off-color jokes. As his daughter recently wrote, “he was inappropriate and carefree.” Whenever you saw that twinkle in his eye and smile on his face, you knew you were about to hear a good one! He was an avid traveler, having had many adventures all the way from Alaska to Key West and many places in between. He also spent many memorable moments fishing, surfing, and napping on Florida beaches. When not travelling, on the weekends you would find him cheering on Gator and Tennessee college football and enjoying music. One of his favorite songs was “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum. It carried such a special meaning for him that Ken even wrote Mr. Greenbaum a letter telling him so.
An avid photographer and graphic artist, Ken was a much-loved employee of the Florida Department of Transportation District One (FDOT D1) in Bartow, Florida. As the only Computer Graphics Specialist in the District, Ken worked with nearly every department taking photos and developing graphics and videos for hundreds of transportation projects. Over his 28-year career with FDOT D1, he became an invaluable historian and created an incredible archive of images, maps, and videos.
Ken is survived by his wife, Karen Campbell of Lakeland, Florida; daughter, Lendi (Dustin) Cochran of Parish, Florida; son, Mac Campbell of Lakeland, Florida; grandchildren Paige Cochran and Chloe
Cochran of Parish, Florida; and brother Barry (Jean) Campbell of Lakeland, Florida. He is proceeded in death by his mother and father – Bonnie and Al Campbell, and brother, Alan
Ken will have a military service funeral at Florida National Cemetery, located at 6502 SE 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Florida, on February 2nd , 2021 at 1 P.M. Following the service, family and friends
are invited to a Celebration of Life at Ken and Karen’s home, 4715 Drane Field Road, Lakeland, Florida 33811.