Constance Campbell, RSCJ

Constance Campbell, RSCJ

Birth: Sept. 4, 1919
Profession: July 30, 1951
Death: November 13, 2014

Religious of the Sacred Heart Constance Campbell, a woman of great common sense and wonderful judgment, died Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California, after a prolonged illness. An educator in both the classroom and administrative offices, she was gracious always and in all ways to everyone and was much loved by many. She will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s retirement community in Atherton, California on Saturday, November 29 at10:00 a.m. Burial will be at the cemetery at Oakwood.

Constance (Connie) Campbell was born in Valentine, Nebraska on September 4, 1919, one of four children of Marguerite Haley and Harry Lee Campbell. She was preceded in death by her parents and her stepmother, Vina M. Campbell, as well as her brothers Harry E. Campbell, Robert W. Campbell and John N. Campbell; and her sisters Susan M. Campbell, RSCJ and Marie K. Heth. She is survived by her brother Richard L. Campbell of Denver, sisters Sharon C. Melchior and Anne E. (Mrs. Robert L.) Marshall of Omaha and sisters-in-law Joanne L. Campbell of Calgary, Alberta and Joan L. Campbell Foote of Lincoln, Nebraska, numerous nieces and nephews and her sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Connie was educated in public schools until, following her sister Susan, who would also become a Religious of the Sacred Heart, she attended Duchesne College, Omaha, run by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Following graduation, Connie worked as secretary-receptionist for the Chamber of Commerce, then as registrar for Creighton University School of Nursing in Omaha, and later as a corporate secretary while attending alumnae and Children of Mary Sodality meetings at Duchesne. She eventually realized that God was calling her to religious life and she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood, in Albany, on July 2, 1943.

Following her first vows, on January 6, 1946, Sister Campbell was assigned to Duchesne Academy in Omaha, where she taught, while completing a Master’s Degree in history at Creighton University. In 1951, she went to Rome, where she made final vows at the motherhouse on July 30, 1951.

Sister Campbell’s next assignment was the boarding school in Lake Forest, Illinois. Two years later she began work on her doctorate at Saint Louis University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology in l956. Her next assignment was San Francisco College for Women, where she spent seven happy years as freshman counselor and department head and professor of sociology, journalism and English.

In August of 1962, Connie was called back to Omaha to serve as president of Duchesne College, her Alma Mater. There she spent five grace-filled years before returning to Lake Forest, to serve as local superior at Barat College. After three years, she became a member of the provincial team for the Chicago Province, responsible for communications. She continued in that ministry, along with serving as assistant to the president of Barat College, until 1976. From there she succeeded her sister Susan as director of Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco.

In 1979, Sister Campbell took a sabbatical year at the Institute of Spirituality and Worship at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, while at the same time being part of a national task force to plan for the merging of five provinces in the United States. When the merger was complete in 1982, she returned to Duchesne Academy, Omaha as director of alumnae.

Sister Campbell moved to San Diego in 1987 when she began a new ministry in spiritual direction at the Spiritual Ministry Center and assisted with a history of the Society in the United States. She also became involved in literacy work under Project Read. Here she was happily reunited with her sister Susan, who lived in the same community.

In September of 2000, both Susan and Connie Campbell moved to Oakwood, the retirement center of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Atherton. In April of 2007, the two of them were among RSCJ who moved to Our Lady of Fatima Villa in Saratoga, California, where Susan died the same year. In 2009, Sister Campbell returned to Oakwood for good. Her beautiful smile and gentle disposition touched everyone who dealt with her, and she will be missed by residents and staff alike.

Sister Campbell is remembered for her genuine interest in each person she met. She would say, “Now tell me, how are you?” and listen quite carefully to the response. As her family says, “she expected the best and a little bit more.”


Submitted by Patricia Byrne, CSJ on

This note is to acknowledge the help beyond measure that Connie provided in her meticulous transcriptions of more than 180 of the interviews conducted toward the recorded history of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States. I personally owe Connie a debt of great gratitude for her profound humanity, her candor, kindness, and unfailing support. Indeed "she [gave] the best and a little bit more."