(A Celebration of Life for Mr. Berlester Campbell Sr.)
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” ll Timothy 4:6 – 7
Mr. Berlester Campbell was born on April 1, 1947 in Robeson County, North Carolina. He was called from labor to reward on Friday, September 28, 2018 at his home in Fairmont, North Carolina. Berlester was reared by his parents the late Sylvester and Ida Ruth Byrd Campbell.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Tressa Miller, grandson, Michael Miller and his brothers, Eugene Campbell and James Sylvester Campbell.
Berlester prepared himself for this day by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at an early age. He was a lifelong member of Antioch Baptist Church in Proctorville, North Carolina. His parents were strong church and community leaders and Berlester followed in their footsteps. Through his Christian journey, he served in many ministries of the church; sing on the choir, usher, and later became a Deacon. He loved his church members. Each one held a special place in his heart. He was affectionately called Uncle “B” and daddy by many.
Berlester attended and graduated from Proctorville High School, class of 1965. Upon graduation Berlester enlisted in the United States Army and served three years. He served two years in Vietnam. He was a disabled Veteran.
Berlester returned home and attended and graduated from Robeson Technical Institute (now Robeson Community College) Lumberton North Carolina; and Central Carolina in Sanford North Carolina. He was employed by West Point, Acme Electric Corporation and Graphic Packaging International in Lumberton, North Carolina; where he retired in 2009.
In an effort to provide support to the people of Robeson County, Berlester pursued and committed himself to politics. In 1989, he was 1 of 15 members appointed to the newly merged Interim Board of Education for the Public Schools of Robeson County. He served 6 years.
In 1992, Berlester was elected to the Robeson County Board of Commissioners and served until 2002. He returned to the Board in 2014. During his 14 years as a Commissioner he served on several county boards: Personnel, Budget, Finance, Jail and Robeson County Department of Social Services. He held the position as Vice-Chairman.
Berlester was a member of many civic groups and organizations in Robeson County and across the state of North Carolina. Those groups include Lifetime member: Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign War (VFW); Board member of Robeson County Schools – 4 years; Robeson County Commissioner – 14 years; Member of Antioch Baptist Church-Proctorville North Carolina, Deacon; Member: Gaza Lodge #427 Fairmont, North Carolina- Past Master; Ouda Temple Maxton, North Carolina; Past Potentate; Royal Arch-Lumberton, North Carolina; Royal Select-Lumberton, North Carolina; Knight Templar-Lumberton, North Carolina; Queen of Hope Chapter #5221-A1 Fairmont, North Carolina.
Berlester was a devoted husband; father, brother, uncle and friend to those who knew him. On February 19, 1972, he was joined in Holy Matrimony to the love of his life, his beautiful wife Pauline Hill. They shared a life and love for 46 years together. Family was a very important part of his life. He loved his family dearly.
Surviving is his wife, Pauline Campbell: sons, David Burnette, of Orrum, North Carolina; Larry Burnette, Gary Burnette, and Berlester Campbell, Jr. (Tanielle), of Charlotte, North Carolina; three daughters, Twyla McDonald, of Fairmont, North Carolina; Jacqueline Gatewood, of Lawrenceville, Georgia; and Francina Murphy (Dan), of San Diego, California; twenty-two grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren; four sisters, Shirley Wilson, of Silver Springs, Maryland; Loistine Winningham and Ernestine Hill, of Orrum, North Carolina; and Debra Jackson, of Lumberton North Carolina; three sisters-in-law; Gwendolyn Campbell, of Houston, Texas; Hazel Graham (Eddie), of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Joyce Webb of Orrum, North Carolina; one aunt, Earlene Currie, of Fairmont, North Carolina. He also had a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, family and friends that he cherished deeply. “To know him was to love him.”