Cancer claims life of champion charity worker Edna Campbell

Former Wollongong Lady Mayoress Edna Campbell died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

Mrs Campbell, who was known for her charity work during her eight years as lady mayoress, was remembered by those who knew her as a warm, friendly person.

Former Wollongong City Council general manager Rod Oxley said he had got to know Mrs Campbell quite well during the time her husband David served as lord mayor.

"She was a very down-to-earth person who will be sadly missed by her family and friends," Mr Oxley said.

"I travelled with her and David on many occasions and I always found her to be one of those people who were the salt of the earth.

The late Edna Campbell with her husband, David Campbell, in 2007.

The late Edna Campbell with her husband, David Campbell, in 2007.

"The illness that she's had over the last several years has been so debilitating for her and I know she will be sadly missed by David and her family."

Wollongong City Councillor David Brown knew Mrs Campbell when he worked with Mr Campbell in the office of former Cunningham MP Stephen Martin.

"I'm glad to call her my friend," Mr Brown said.

"She was just very warm and genuine, that's how I always found her."

Keira MP Ryan Park, who was Mr Campbell's chief of staff when he held the same state seat, said she would be "greatly missed".

"Edna was a courageous woman and a great support for David," Mr Park said.

"She always put her family first. She was someone who will be remembered as a very loving mother and grandparent.

"She also will be remembered as a great friend and someone who fought a really, really hard battle against this insidious disease and probably showed all of us what real courage is all about."

Mrs Campbell was born in Coledale on February 21, 1955, and married David Campbell on April 2, 1977.

When Mr Campbell became Wollongong lord mayor in 1991, she took on the role of lady mayoress and used the position to raise money for worthy charities.

That year, she launched an annual luncheon which raised money for children's charities in the region, such as Barnados.

Her last luncheon was in 1999, the year Mr Campbell stepped down to take up his duties as member for Keira.

"We started the luncheon as Wollongong had been without a lady mayoress for so many years," she said in 1999.

"Those at the luncheon always have a great deal of fun and they can feel satisfied that their money is going to a good cause."

Over the eight years of the luncheon, more than $21,000 was raised.

She had also arranged, and played in, the Lady Mayoress Cup at Russell Vale golf course and was proud to be a selector at the Woonona Bowling Club.

In 2010 Mr Campbell paid credit to the support she had given him while he served as Lord Mayor and Keira MP.

"She's supported my public life very strongly. She's responsible for the two sensitive young men who are our sons," he said.

She is survived by her husband and their two sons Ross and Grant and grandchildren Ava and Hamish.

A funeral will be held at Northern Illawarra Uniting Church in Bulli at 11.30am on Wednesday.

People are asked to wear bright colours, and donations to the Leukaemia Foundation are requested in lieu of flowers.


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