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Joseph Campagna, Jr.

January 14, 1938 January 20, 2018
Joseph Campagna, Jr.
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Obituary for Joseph Campagna, Jr.

Joseph Campagna Jr. died January 20 from the effects of a massive stroke. He was eighty years old. Joe was born on January 14, 1938 in Plainfield, NJ to Joseph and Maria Theresa (Taddei) Campagna from Castelmezzano, Italy. He graduated from North Plainfield High School in 1955, and joined the U.S. Air Force that year, later retiring after twenty years of service. During his service he was stationed in Turkey, Greece, Pakistan, and Thailand, as well as Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and along the nuclear highline in North Dakota and Montana.

After his service, he returned to Montana where he made his home in Great Falls and Missoula. He received his B.A. from the College of Great Falls in Criminal Justice. Always a gifted athlete, Joe played end for North Plainfield and was “lightning fast.” He also played softball and baseball with the Air Force, where as a pitcher his speed and his knuckleball were renowned. He could hit both left and right-handed. He inspired generations of athletes by coaching throughout his life and also worked as a football referee in Montana’s six and eight man leagues. He knew two ways out of many Montana towns. He was a devoted fan of the Montana Grizzlies. For over 50 years he was a member of the American Philatelic Society and also was a member of the Garden City Stamp Club and the Norman Stamp Club. His collection of Montana covers was among the very best. A member of the Sierra Club, Joe loved the wilderness and wildlife. During his years in Montana, he hiked extensively in the Rattlesnake and the Bob Marshall and the peaks of the Bitterroot Valley, and later in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. He made lasting friendships everywhere he went and had an abiding love for the people and cultures of the places in which he lived, including a close association with the Blackfeet Nation.

Joe spent his later years in Norman, Oklahoma and Allenspark, Colorado. He was a good man with profound faith-a Catholic. When, on his 80th birthday, he was asked to reflect on which had been his favorite year, Joe replied, “All of them.”

Joe was predeceased by his father and mother, Joseph Campagna and Maria Theresa (Taddei) Campagna. Survivors include his longtime companion, Megan Benson, Norman OK; son Carman and his wife Dawn Campagna and their children Caitlin and Jack Joseph of Lubbock, TX; Carman’s mother, Lou Anne Conder; daughter Giulia Valluzzi of Scottsdale, AZ; daughter Paola Campagna of Missoula MT and her sons Antonio and Vincent Coyan; son Mark Campagna of California; and their mother Marilyn Gray; brother Philip Campagna of South Plainfield, NJ; and sister Maria Antoinette Moleski of Goldsboro, NC.

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