BRUNSWICK- Rita Mae Campbell, 96, of Country Way and a longtime resident of Pittstown, entered into eternal life Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn after a brief illness (non-COVID-19 related). Born in Nortonville, she was the daughter of Leighton and Sylvia Holbritter. She graduated from Lansingburgh High School in 1942 and went to work at the former Marine Midland Bank in Troy before finding her true calling as a school teacher during WWII from 1944-1946.
In 1946 she married her husband, Willis (Bill) Campbell, and together they lived and raised their five children in Pittstown until Bill’s passing in 1995. Rita and Bill were the owners and operators of Campbell’s Auctions and Antiques, widely known throughout the Capital District and New England. In addition to the love of her family, antiques, baking, crossword puzzles, novels, and chocolate, Rita will be remembered for her work and devotion to her community and church (Pittstown United Methodist Church), where she organized fund raisers, church suppers, bake sales, musical variety shows and pageants as well as serving as youth choir director, pianist, lay speaker, and a continually active member of the Pittstown United Methodist Women. During her children’s school years, she worked at Parker Elementary School and was involved in parent committees.
Predeceased by her daughter, Joan Smith, son in law, David R. Hansen (Barbara Hansen) and brothers, Carl and Ronald Holbritter, she is survived by her beloved children, Lynne Adelman of Los Angeles, Sheila Campbell (John Gebauer) of Groveland, MA, Gordon Campbell (Rosemary) of West Sand Lake, and Barbara Hansen of Raymertown. She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Brian Austin, Stephen Austin (Jennifer), Jennifer Cardin (Greg), Kecia McDonough (Jeff), Paul Ciccotti, Deanna Baker (Brian), David Hansen (Shannon) and Heather Hansen. She was also a great grandmother of eight, as well as aunt to several nieces and nephews. The family extends a heartfelt thanks to the many staff at St. Peter’s Hospital, who were so helpful, and especially the Hospice Inn staff… true healthcare heroes and angels.
At almost 97, Rita was still living on her own while frequently visited by her family. She had many friends at the Rouse Senior Apartments, where she resided, and often made the social and birthday gatherings fun with her stories and games.
An intimate burial ceremony will take place at the Norton Cemetery as weather permits. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held later in the year when all friends and family can safely gather. In Rita’s honor, a scholarship fund, available to community high school and college students, will be established in her name facilitated through the Pittstown United Methodist Women’s Group, 57 Old Route 7, Valley Falls, NY 12185.