BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — Patricia Ross Campbell passed away at her Block Island home on August 30th, 2022 at the age of 90.
She was visited and cared for by her three daughters, Audrey, Suzanne and Bethany, and long time family friend, Diane.
Born on March 17, 1932, Patricia “Pat” Ross grew up in Rye, N.Y. Here she met her husband of 58 years, John Barrow Campbell.
In their early years as a couple, they relocated many times to England, Kentucky, Siesta Key, Fla., and Pound Ridge, N.Y. For some moves it was John’s Air Force career and others out of an adventurous draw.
In 1963 they bought a house in Oxford, where they raised a family and lived for 30 years. Pat held a successful career in advertising at Voices Newspaper, then located in Woodbury.
Outside of being a mother and a “working woman,” she, John and the family developed many active hobbies that added to the rich liveliness of the household. Some included horseback riding, ice skating, tennis and sailing.
Pat was quite the hostess who held many festive parties, whether planned or impromptu. She could put on a spread and have a drink at the ready even on short notice. “I’ll get you your first and you help yourself after that,’’ gave way to a welcoming and light atmosphere that was natural to her and many still remember.
The Campbell family began sailing to Block Island in the mid 1960s on an Alden Schooner with the name of Pieces.
After many years of sailing and returning to Block Island, she and John decided to “pull up the anchor and throw out the clock.” In 1993 they purchased a house on Spring Street and became residents of the island.
At the house she continued to hold court with a welcoming and entertaining spirit where many memories continued to be created.
She and John contributed to the island by volunteering at the Mary D Race and giving tours at North Lighthouse.
They also provided Crystal Spring water business to the island. During the “off-season” she enjoyed participating in the island bird walks with the “Crazy Coots.”
She was fondly given the name “Ma Chowda’’ after continuously cooking batches of her famous New England chowda and sweet chili at her daughter’s year-round restaurant, Bethany’s Airport Diner.
In her personal time she wrote poetry. If you were fortunate enough, she would recite one for you by memory. She was an avid reader and could always take you by surprise by how fast she read a book.
Pat was a wealth of knowledge and was a resource we all called upon. You could always learn something new from her or have conversations on any given subject.
She was also good for advice, asked for or not; often taken, always considered. If knowledge wasn’t being shared, then a colorful story was.
Quick-witted, smart, resourceful, creative, a woman of timeless class and inviting spirit were some of the ingredients that made Pat Campbell.
Her passing is a loss, but she was an honor to have had as our friend and matriarch of our family.
Patricia Campbell is predeceased by husband, John Barrow Campbell, and son, Ross Barrow Campbell.
She is survived by her daughters, Audrey Barrow (Steve) Rostkowski of Oxford, Suzanne Ross (Jim) Ellis of South Kingstown, R.I., and Bethany Ross Campbell Coviello of Block Island, R.I., and by her seven grandchildren, Cara and Amy Rostkowski; James, Bruce and Brian Ellis; Campbell and Gwenneth Coviello.
A service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mary D. Fund, P.O. Box 323, Block Island, R.I. 02807.