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Remembering Ken Campbell

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Ken Campbell — Photo courtesy of the family
Ken Campbell — Photo courtesy of the family

How do you describe someone's life in a short paragraph, especially when it's Ken Campbell? Growing up as Ken's little sister, life wasn't anything but less than ordinary. So many stories to tell...

Photo courtesy of the family  

One of many: Our mom's BFF at the time swore she would never have children due to Ken and me (mostly Ken) — [once] while she was babysitting us, she took us to the mini-mart, [where] Ken proceeded to tell the cashier that she was going to rob him; he got scared and yelled for us to leave.

Ken was always full of jokes and fun. Never a dull moment when being with Ken. Ken, if you knew him as an adult, sums up him as a kid: he never grew up.

Photo courtesy of the family  

I always looked up to him. He was very talented and had such a creative mind. Ever since I can remember, he was either playing with action figures or reading a comic book, or had a pen and paper in his hand. In high school he was voted most likely to be a game show host. He was in show choir. He dreamed of becoming an actor (he did do a horrible commercial once) or a cartoonist for Disney. There's so much more to Ken than his artwork.

Our grandma once told him that he better be nice to me cuz one day I'd be his best friend. Ken told me that she was right. Well, he became mine as well. Ken never gave me bad advice, and he was always there when I needed to talk. Ken was also very proud of his niece Dominique and nephew Alex. Ken loved his family and friends very much.

So many stories and memories to share!

You'll forever be in my heart big brother.

Your lil sis

Photo courtesy of the family  

You were always making the room laugh with your corny and dirty jokes. I remember you telling me jokes I didn't even understand, but you would have one right after that that I would.

You were extremely artistic and creative, and I'm trying to understand how
I never got that gene since my mom says we hold a pen and write the same. You would even do some digital artwork for me for school.

I'll always remember all the jewelry, artwork, and ornaments you made for us, especially the dick-and-balls ornament you made for our Christmas tree year, or when you made poop out of clay and set it on the table during Thanksgiving at Grandma Bertha's house! You were always there for me if I needed you.

I remember when you lived with us. I thought there was a ghost because my glass of lemonade started sliding toward me, and I ran to your room and you told me it'd be okay!

This doesn't feel real, and I wish it wasn't. You'll always be the coolest uncle!!!

Your coolest nephew, Alex

To try and describe you in a paragraph would be worthless, because you were larger than life, with your dirty, yet hilarious jokes, your ability to make us all laugh no matter how serious the situation, your creativeness and talent — and yet you were still so much more.

You were always the highlight of the holidays. I always knew I'd be getting a gift from you that was handmade, which made it that much more special. Anyone can buy a gift, but not anyone can make beautiful jewelry or ornaments or whatever else it was that you would make us.

And you'd always be down to help us pull some Christmas pranks on Grandma or Mom. Anything to make them want to pull their hair out and chase us around.

All of my friends in high school adored you, especially when you lived with us. You might have scarred them a bit with your bizarre yet hilarious poem about Louis's butthole that we accidentally found, which we still laugh about to this day, but I think that might have made them love you even more.

Like I said, you were always larger than life, and I believe you will continue that legacy in heaven. That is, if you're even allowed in there, with all your dirty jokes. We will love and miss you forever!

Your favorite and only niece

Photo courtesy of Louis Latsis  

What can I say? Ken changed my life to such an extent it's impossible to imagine him not being here anymore. Sure, we definitely had our issues, but his actions never left any doubt as to how important I was to him. No one else made me feel so important, thought of — in the most random and creative ways, no doubt — and just simply loved.

I miss ya, Kenny. Thank you for putting me before everyone else. Thank you for involving me in your family's Thanksgiving and Xmas get-togethers when mine wasn't around.

Thank you for making such a sturdy home for my tortoises that 7 years in, they haven't been able to destroy the damn thing despite sleeping in it every night, and at times charging up against it and flipping it over.

Thank you for celebrating my birthday. Every. Fucking. Year. I don't even celebrate my birthday!

Thank you for never growing boring even after almost two decades of knowing each other. You showed me more fun than I thought possible. Like that one forgotten time you helped me corner and grab a non-flightworthy duck (you read that right) that somehow managed to walk across all the lanes of Aurora Avenue during rush hour without getting creamed and bring it back across Aurora to Green Lake whence it (presumably) came. The expressions on everyone's faces were priceless.

But memories are all we've got left of this amazing guy. Oh, wait. We've got his artwork, too. And jewelry. It looks like he did a good job of ensuring he'll never be forgotten. And with a guy as awesome as him, that's exactly the way it should be.

You were the first person I fell in love with. Thank you, Kenny, for letting me get to know you, and then for loving me as fiercely as you did. I'll never forget it.

Louie <=P

Oh, Kenny Campbell... You were my constant friend, confidant, counselor, and fellow mischief-maker for nearly three decades.

You left us with an enormous legacy of creativity and invention. I like to think that a little piece of your soul is embedded in each of your finished works, like Horcruxes. Therefore, I will forever cherish and hold dear all the pieces you bestowed upon me.

I am so very grateful for all of the memories we created together and all of the laughs we shared. You are irreplaceable. I will always remember you and love you.