Long-time Eldridge resident Richard Campana passed away peacefully on Nov. 27, 2018, surrounded by people who loved and cared for him and his stockpile of Hostess cupcakes, Twix bars and Pepsi. Richard (Dick) was born to Frank and Jennie Campana (Palmisano) in Rock Island on Feb. 26, 1933, as the youngest of five brothers. His brothers all served in WWII and Dick carried on the tradition of military service by enlisting in the Navy after graduating from Alleman High School in 1951. His 20 years of service involved multiple tours of duty in the Mediterranean and Pacific serving on the USS Boxer, USS Oriskany, and USS Ranger, among others. He retired in 1972 as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) and returned home to the Quad Cities where he subsequently graduated from St. Ambrose College with a degree in teaching in 1975. His passion was history, and he particularly loved teaching at the elementary school level.
Richard married Patricia Porstmann (Buffalo, Iowa) in 1956 and they shared 60 wonderful years together until her passing in 2017. They were members of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Long Grove, enjoyed camping, their extended family, and were lifelong dance partners sharing their last public dance at Grand Haven in 2016. They exchanged caregiver roles through his two heart surgeries, one stroke and then her memory loss.
Richard was a left-handed pitcher in high school, passing along his knuckleball technique to his sons, and loved all sports, especially golf. He is believed to have pioneered the concept of ESPN’s multifunction trailers as he was frequently found in his chair with an earpiece to an Alleman radio broadcast, an eye on the TV, and the sports page on his lap with saltines and a glass of milk close at hand. In his youth, he caddied at the Arsenal golf club (“I don’t think the heavy stuff’s gonna come down for quite awhile”), later volunteered at the QC Open, and played golf into his 60s. Among his many talents was the ability to deposit his ball in a water hazard from any direction, at any distance, regardless of club selection and statistical probability of finding the water. This led his children to believe that, besides earning the golf moniker of Zorro, his quick and abbreviated backswing was an attempt to get the inevitable splash landing over with as soon as possible. His love of the game led him to post-retirement employment at Glynn’s Creek golf course, where he served as a starter for many years.
Richard was preceded in death by his brothers and their wives, Frank (Anna Beth), Charles (Mary), George (Marie) and Tony.
He is survived by Tony’s wife (Eileen) as well as sons Steve, Bill, and Mike (Angie) and daughter Connie, three granddaughters Sarah (Mike) Nelson, Molly (Tom) Hein, and Megan (Tom) Knight and two grandsons, Anthony and Brian Campana and six great-grandchildren.
The Campana family is grateful to the staff at Grand Haven Retirement Community for their loving care of their parents during the last three years. They were also blessed with the support of Heartland Hospice who have been involved since their mom’s passing.
Funeral services to celebrate Richard’s life were held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport. Private burial was in the Rock Island National Cemetery-Arsenal Island. Visitation was Thursday from 4 until 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Heartland Hospice or St Ann’s (Long Grove, Iowa).
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Mr. Campana’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.