The Hendersonville community is mourning the loss of Ward 2 Alderman Pat Campbell who died unexpectedly early Tuesday.
Hendersonville police received a call to assist EMS at Campbell’s home at a little after 5 a.m., according to HPD Commander Scott Ryan. A cause of death has yet to be determined.
Campbell, 56, was elected to the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 2014, and ran unopposed in 2018.
“Every day, Pat showed his love for his family, church, and city,” said Mayor Jamie Clary. “I am grateful for Pat’s presence and the gifts he shared with us. He will be missed by many.”
Ward 3 Alderwoman Arlene Cunningham called Campbell’s death a devastating loss for the city – a sentiment shared by several others.
“He loved our city and he always wanted to do the right thing,” she said. “I’m still in a state of shock.”
A Hendersonville native, Campbell attended Lakeside Park and Walton Ferry Elementary Schools, Hawkins Jr. High and Hendersonville High School, where he was a member of the Commando football team.
After graduating from HHS in 1984, Campbell attended Nashville State where he studied electronics.
Through his youth, Campbell played on the city’s ball fields, and later coached baseball, football, softball and fastpitch on those same fields. He also served on the Fastpitch board as a member and as President of the league.
“He was just a Hendersonville guy through and through,” said former Ward 6 Alderman Matt Stamper. “He was just a caring, good-hearted man.”
Campbell first campaigned on improving the city’s infrastructure and remained true to that goal throughout his time on the board, arguing for more funding for fixes to Sanders Ferry Road just a few months ago.
Campbell served as chairman of the city’s Public Safety Committee and recently sponsored legislation to create a Do Not Solicit registry that allows residents to opt out of door-to-door sales calls.
Stamper said that Campbell diligently researched different sides of an issue, and was always willing to hear different viewpoints.
“There was never any constituent that he wasn’t willing to give his full attention to,” Stamper recalled. “He represented what it meant to serve a variety of views. He would listen to everybody.”
“I feel like the community has lost a great advocate,” said Julie White, executive director of the Hendersonville Senior Citizens Center.
White said that Campbell was a constant figure at the non-profit’s activities, and supported several other local causes as well.
“He was always very eager to help with what we needed,” White added.
In the city’s sometimes vitriolic political environment, Campbell remained respectful and kind, says Cunningham.
“He was very respectful, even though people were not as kind to him as they should have been sometimes,” she said. “We lost a good one.”