Julie Campbell
Julie Campbell
Julie Campbell
Julie Campbell
Julie Campbell

Obituary of Julie Campbell

After an intriguing, fascinating, and adventurous life, Julie (Juliette) Campbell passed away on Saturday, July 22nd after suffering a severe stroke the day before as she dashed to get her hat and to join her walking club friends for the Friday coffee morning.

Julie lived life to the fullest. She had infinite boundless energy, seemingly indestructible through near death encounters with Dengue fever, septicaemia, and being hit by a motorcycle aged 85 while cycling solo through Laos, among other near misses. She was a self-described, self-educated nomad; an amazing woman with many diverse talents. She was keen photographer, published writer, lecturer, Reiki healer, superb cook who loved to entertain, hosting dinners and larger parties for her family and friends, always in front to lead the hiking/walking group, kayaker and gardener. Forever inquisitive and widely read, she was interested in people, learning new things and loved nothing more to discuss and debate on a broad range of topics, politics and the news She had a curiosity and a passion for the unknown; the unknown projecting her from one life adventure to another. Julie loved to be involved and gave so much of her time volunteering with dedication, hard work and sunny disposition, cooking for the homeless, picking fruit, gardening at the Botanical Gardens, and at 90 serving at the Monday lunch for “senior” people, and more.

Julie was beautiful, dynamic, striking with her red hair, bright blue sparkling eyes and wide smile. Whether in her gardening clothes, with one of her brightly coloured scarfs casually draped around her shoulders falling down her back or dressed in her finery and lovely shoes, Julie exuded elegance. Renowned for her many silver bracelets cascading down her arms, she never failed to cause a stir in airport security and setting off alarms which often happened being the intrepid traveller she was.

She was born September 7th, 1932 in England, possibly, probably London or thereabouts. She was an orphan and circumspect about her early years, very little is known – mysterious and dramatic from the start. From age three or was it four or five, sickly, undernourished and with Rickets, she was taken in and brought up by her “Aunt”, a spinster and music teacher, who lived with her elderly mother, somewhere in London. Life was very difficult during the war years as not having a birth certificate and her “Aunt” not being able to prove Julie’s existence, she was not granted a ration card nor was eligible to be sent to the north of England when all the other children were evacuated. Moving to the country, Woodham Ferris, Essex, the few memories she shared was watching the German doodlebugs fly over, before dropping their bombs on London and the enormous burning glow in the night sky from the ravage of London.

Julie’s love of travel started early at age six when she devoured the encyclopaedias her “Aunt” kept hidden in boxes showing her a world of adventure. She vowed then that she would travel the globe, learning about different people and their cultures; promising herself the adventures which she knew she could and would seek. Her love of travel became a reality in her twenties where she joined BOAC and East African Airlines as a stewardess, flying throughout the Middle East and East Africa. It was on a plane where she met William H. Lang, a petroleum geologist working in Oman. Three weeks later they were married.

Dining, dancing and admiring the stars as they honeymooned on the QEI from the UK to the US, before starting a new life in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It was there her daughters, Suzette Lang and Yvette Einczig-Lang, were born. The family moved to Westbury, New York and finally settled in Glendale, California. Here, Julie worked as a primary school teacher, specialising in mentally gifted minors and emotionally handicapped children.

After divorcing Bill, Julie returned to the UK where she met Malcolm Campbell, another a petroleum geologist. They were married in 1980 before moving to Jakarta, Indonesia for Mal’s work. As expatriates, life once again became very adventurous with new experiences, emersion in multicultural lives of people from all over the world and new places to explore. And did they ever explore! throughout Indonesia, Southeast Asia including Myanmar, or Burma in those days, China, Australia and further afield to South America.

With Mal working, Julie realised that the life of a typical expat wife was not for her and after reading Robert Mitcham’s book “The Lost World of Irian Jaya”, she knew that she wanted to experience for herself the peoples and land he had written about 10 years previously. She first visited Irian Jaya in 1985 and made 25 trips for periods of up to six weeks, living with the Dani and other tribes, exploring the country from the rainforests of the Asmat swamps, through the mountain valleys, up to the alpine regions of Pea Trikora. Often the areas she visited were closed to the outside world, although she has succeeded time and again in obtaining the permission of the Indonesian authorities to venture where few – sometimes none – had gone before.

Her personal visits were mixed with missions of mercy distributing medical supplies donated by the American Women’s Association of Jakarta. She was a lecturer, guide and translator for various groups visiting the country, such as a National Geographic photography team (1987), Kew Gardens of the National Council for the Preservation and Conservation of Plants (1989), the Young President’s Organisation (1989) and a radio team from WJHU John Hopkins University (1990) which produced a two-part programme on Irian Jaya, co-edited by Julie. Her own photography and book, “Irian Jaya, the timeliness domain, was extremely well received. All this was achieved in addition to being a primary school teacher at the Jakarta International School and teaching English as a second language.

After Mal’s retirement, they returned to North America spending half the year on Quadra Island, British Colombia, Canada, living in their beautiful house they had built overlooking the inland passageway. The other half the year they spent living on the big island of Hawaii. All this time, Julie continued contributing her expertise on Irian Jaya having been appointed by British Petroleum as the cultural and social advisor for their liquefied natural gas development project in Tungue Bay. She was also a consultant for other major mining and oil and gas companies, writers, photographers, botanists and researchers.

They relocated from Hawaii to Santa Barbara where they joined the newcomers group, getting involved in a multitude of activities such as volunteering for the film festival, making many new friends and taking advantage of the adult educational opportunities at UCSB. Quadra island remained their second home where they embraced the natural beauty of the Discovery Islands, kayaking, boating, fishing, hiking, indulging in the fresh seafood and, as always, involved in many activities on the island and enjoying their time with their many friends. For most people, that would be enough activity but not for Mal and Julie. They loved nothing more than packing their backpacks and heading off for another adventure in a far distant land; laughing and as excited as children.

After her soul mate and partner in adventure passed away in 2008, Julie continued to travel extensively using Santa Barbara as her base and Quadra Island as her second and spiritual home. Be it through Laos, Cambodia and many times into Myanmar, heading to its outlying areas where most foreigners still do not go, Julie continued to explore either cycling, using local transport, or being guided by her adopted Inle Lake Myanmar family. During each and every trip Julie was learning, absorbing and photographing the ever-welcoming people, never a stranger in their midst. She invited her daughter, Suzette, to accompany her on one of her trips. Together they experienced the Inle Lake festival, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, where sacred Buddha images are paraded between villages on a royal barge accompanied by brightly dressed men who powered the traditional long boats by hooking an ankle around the oar while they stood up to row.

In between travels she and Mal, and then just Julie, loved to stay with her daughter, Yvette and son-in-law, Steve, in their Malibu or Southold, New York homes; hiking nearby trails, relaxing and reading (very unusual for her) in the shade by the water, and especially enjoying watching Yvette ride her horses at the barn and competing in horse shows to much success.

Coming out of the COVID period in Santa Barbara, Julie decided that she wanted to come “home”, back to England, where for two years she lived in Lymington close to her daughter, Suzette, and son in law, Simon. Adventures however did not stop as at the age of 90 as she scrambled into Simon’s small zodiac boat one June evening for a late- night picnic on the water. Sitting on the Solent, they all

balanced and bobbed, as the “super moon” rose above the Isle of Wight, burning from strawberry red to a brilliant orange as it rose into the sky.

Her motto true to that day and her life, never too old but ever ready for adventure.

Goodbye Julie, now you can join your soulmate, Mal, for more adventures albeit in a different realm. You will be hugely missed by your family, Suzette Lang and Simon Iliffe; Yvette Einczig Lang and Steve Einczig, and friends and many more besides, but thank you for being extraordinary and bringing such energy, joy and wonderment to our lives.

With MUCH love always – your daughters Suzette and Yvette Please contact Suzette (suzette_lang@hotmail.com) for details on her Celebration of Life

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at McDermott-Crockett & Associates Mortuary
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