David S. Campbell


David Scott Campbell, 25, of West Tisbury died on October 7.

Born on a sunny September 13, 1988, in Worcester, he was the third child of Scott and Ruth (Manley) Campbell. He was the adored brother of sisters Rose and Colleen who gave him the competition he might have longed for in a brother, yet fostered the sweetness and gentleness not often found in a competitive athlete. They referred to him as The Prince.

Davey’s “band of brothers” increased with every team he played on until his last day.

A child born of two athletic families, his athletic grandfathers and uncles loved helping him discover a new sport, his beating them, and then cheering him from the stands or the field. Davey loved the game — any game. Even as a toddler his favorite words seemed to be “one more time?”

Summers and school vacations were spent at the farmhouse in Hardwick. Soccer and basketball camps, family croquet and tennis games, swimming and picnics turned days into evenings at “the cottage” with aunts, uncles, and cousins. He loved to jump off the railroad trestle into the cool, clear waters of the Swift River at the “Secret Spot.”

He pledged his allowance for the rest of his life, if his parents would let Tinkerbell, his little Sheltie dog, join the family.

His dad, Scott, eagerly agreed to be a stay at home Dad, while Mom took a position to teach Art at The Tisbury School, and their days were filled with discoveries — seining with hand made nets at Seth’s Pond, sailing homemade boats in puddles, fishing, and all the joys of being.

He waved goodbye at the airport to President and Mss. Clinton.

School was exciting for Dave. It meant more brothers, more games, and an opportunity to write, for although he was a good reader, he loved to hear a story, listen to a teacher tell a story from history. After attending Island Children’s School, he progressed to West Tisbury School for magical trips to watch whales, climb high on the Shenandoah, and publish his first book, “My Trip to the Dentist,” which explained the amazing spit-sucker.

During his elementary years, he became one of the original players on AFC, a premier travel soccer team coached by friend and mentor, Mark Taylor, assisted by his dad, Scott. He stayed with AFC until early adulthood, and traveled to Florida, Nevada, and Virginia Beach, as well as many neighboring states for tournaments.

As a founding member of Vineyard Youth Tennis in third grade, he and the Brothers and Grace Bocccicio, his coach, lobbied for and eventually came to see The Vineyard Youth Tennis facility built. He was lucky to squeak a win out out of Zack Sylvia, his most brother of brothers to win the VYT trophy. They were neck in neck in competition through high school..

While he played competitive tennis and soccer outside of school sports, being a West Tisbury Hawk gave him his first taste of interscholastic competition.

Pitching the last game to win the All-Island baseball championship was a special thrill, for the brothers, and his much-admired coach and teacher, John Custer.

An auditory learner, he could memorize and retell lessons from history, lengthy jokes, segments of comedy, Greek myths and especially music of all genres, which he loved passionately. Self-taught on the guitar, Dave had a strong singing voice, and the ability to mimic anything he heard. He was a highly accomplished whistler.

And as a spot-on mimic, Davey brought to all a laugh, smile, and hysterically funny moments. This was apparent early, when as a toddler he went to see Cinderella at the cinema, and weeks later came downstairs half-dressed, claiming in a sweet lisping voice he “had nothing suitable to wear.”

With, middle school ending, feeling typecast as a ‘jock’, he was accepted to Cushing Academy, in Ashburnham, hoping to find out if was smart academically, which he did. Two years at Cushing brought more brothers in soccer, golf, and hockey, but he may have been happiest being the school’s unbeaten ping-pong champ. Cushing is known as a feed school for professional hockey, and he counted among his friends several present day hockey professionals. Delighted to be on Cushing’s golf team with Chris Bourke, Dave enjoyed Having proven himself academically, as well as athletically, he joyfully returned to finish high school At MVRHS, taking his place back on the field or ice with his brothers. Championships, a special girlfriend, and family gave him a satisfied finish to high school. With both sisters at college, he got to be an only child for a while.

Recruited to attend college at Merrimack, a Division 1 school in Andover, Dave was a fast, accurate and strong athlete. He was not tall, or large of girth. He did however get to play varsity soccer, as well as hockey and varsity tennis.

He transferred to Bridgewater State University as a sophomore to become roommates

with his sister Colleen, and as a Bear, he played varsity soccer, hockey, and tennis, playing First Singles, to win Little East.

At Bridgewater, he played many games, but perhaps his favorites were fierce croquet competitions with brothers, roommates, and tough competitor, sister Colleen.

Especially proud of his Scottish heritage, and dreaming of St. Andrews, Davey got his first and only tattoo; the Campbell Clan crest, and began to dream Golf.

Before graduating from Bridgewater in 2012, he had a new roommate called

Bell, another Sheltie, successor to his beloved Tinkerbell. He also had another

special girl.

Back at home after graduating from Bridgewater, he took up working again at Vineyard Golf Club, where he maintained greens for four summers.

Of all his sports, golf had won his heart, and he took special pride in mowing the greens as perfectly as possible, and then photographing them. In his extra time, he would often

help his sister Rose on the heavy work for her gardening business.

A favorite Dave-story was when he had just completed mowing a green and saw President Obama approaching. He lifted the blade and, while he pretended to mow, watched the President putt 15 feet from him.

He apraised the President as “a decent golfer, but he needed to improve his putting.” The reward for a long day of working on the greens at Vineyard Golf, was to be able to play the course. He would often race home to change into his golf clothes, to again return to the course to play 18. The links-style course was breathtakingly beautiful and challenging to him, and he walked all 18 holes most often alone, understanding that golf

Is a game you play against yourself. Friends and family were not surprised

to learn that of all sports, golf was to be his passion.

Davey had decided to pursue the long PGA course to becoming a professional golfer, working to break 70, feeling a “hole in one” was getting closer. He was working to earn enough for his “war chest” to go on the road.

Long before this Davey had had been fortunate to play some of the best courses

in the U.S., with his mentor, Mark Taylor, and dear friend Jeff Taylor. A Communications major at Bridgewater, Davey had begun planning a co-authored series of golf guides with his Mother, brainstorming which top clubs they might target.

Following his death, resulting from the terrible automobile crash on October 7 one street from his home, his memorial service was held on a particularly beautiful October day (great golf weather) at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. .

As a tiny boy Dave and his Dad had hammered in a few shingles at this same place, and on October 13, friends, family, and community gathered to say goodbye, beautifully led by Rev. Cathlin Baker, of the West Tisbury Church.

Lauren Keaney Serpa, beloved teacher, spoke of his youth, sisters Rose and Colleen of his love of family, and Jeff Taylor returned from California to speak for friends and team. Songs from Tom Rush and Coldplay were spaced between speakers.

A wonderful slide show and musical tribute was created by family friend Mariah Carroll and her band. As the barn doors opened and the service concluded, Island bagpiper Tony Peak played a mournful “Going Home.”

Joey Cappabianco organized the gathering and cooked for all, assisted by many helping hands and contributions of food from friends and Island businesses.

David leaves behind his mom and dad, Ruth and Scott Campbell, his sisters Colleen and Rose, a grandfather, grandmother, many aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and brothers and Bell.

The family is so grateful to first responders, who were so respectful and gentle; for many kindnesses of food, friendship, cards, hugs and flowers; and donations in his memory to the M.V. Arena, and prayers.