Industry sales professional William James Campbell dies at 87

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario — Longtime furniture sales professional William James “Bill” Campbell died here on June 1 surrounded by family. He was 87.

Born in March 1936, he grew up in Noranda, Quebec and lived out his childhood years, building a lifelong passion for sports including hockey and curling.

William James “Bill” Campbell – 1936-2023

He and his wife, Ginny, were married for 59 years, starting their family in Montreal. She preceded him in death in the spring of 2022.

Described as an “incredibly kind, generous and thoughtful soul” with a passion for coaching and mentoring, he worked in sales for all his professional life, starting after graduating from Sir George Williams (now Concordia) University in his early 20s. He worked for companies including Dupont, Galtex, Deilcraft, Dylex, Levcam, Dorel, England Corsair, Najarian, Leather Living and his own company, WJ Campbell Sales.

“To Bill it was all about the people – from manufacturer to dealer to retailer to consumer – to whom he dedicated his energies,” an obituary prepared by his family read. “And this made him happy – because, for Bill, sales was not about some trivial making of a deal. Instead, for Bill, sales was about relationships; how people worked together to meet needs. Bill’s symbiotic approach to sales – putting people first – may not have made him a financial fortune, but this approach made him richer in so many other ways, and, crucially, it made him timeless.”

“Bill was a lover of all manner of sports, with a particular fondness for the Canadiens, the Jays, and the Raptors,” his obituary went on to note. “He was also an immense appreciator of jazz, and especially an aficionado and supporter of Canadian jazz, spending many an afternoon with Ginny at the Rex on Queen or the Pilot in Yorkville or Biddles in Montreal, and with Jazz FM continuously playing in the kitchen at home. Regardless of how he spent his time, other people always people were at the fore for Bill. Whether he was making a sales call, cheering on a grandchild playing hockey, listening quietly to jazz at a club, or simply sitting in front of the TV with friends and family, Bill was always engaged in making people feel comfortable. He loved their stories and sharing his own stories with them, and he was quick to laugh at the pleasure those stories brought him.”

He is the father of Malcolm (Joan Ouellette) and Andrew (Claudia Sanmartin); the grandfather (“Zaidy”) of Callum, Tessa (Matt Tersigni), Connor, Samuel, Rebekah, and Joshua; and great-grandfather of Gwendolyn and Archer Tersigni. Other survivors include his sister-in-law Florence Graham (late Keith), nieces Ruth (Dave Szabo) and Sarah (late Nigel Armstrong), and his nephews David Graham (Heather) and Paul Graham (Sandy Savage), as well as his cousin James “Jimmy” MacMillan and wife Esther, their children Gordon and Tom MacMillan and their families.

In lieu of flowers, and in keeping with his wishes, those wanting to memorialize Bill can do so by contributing to one of his favorite charities: Cambridge Memorial Hospital (, Grand River Freeport Hospital ( or St. Mary’s Hospital Kitchener (

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