Local radio announcer Rick Campbell passes away at 58

The voices of the Yellow Jackets, Rick Campbell (left) and Stan Lovett, had been broadcasting Williamsburg athletics together since the mid 1990s. | File photo

WILLIAMSBURG -- A long time radio announcer whose voice could be heard over the airwaves announcing Williamsburg and Whitley County games passed away Saturday.

Rick Campbell, 58, of Williamsburg was a radio announcer for WEZJ with Whitley County Broadcasting.

His son Jamie Campbell posted on Facebook Sunday:

"It breaks our heart to post this. Yesterday, on a beautiful Saturday day, my Mom and Dad went on a hike that they had been planning for weeks. During that hike, my Dad became ill and passed away next to his best friend and love of his life. Our family appreciates the outpouring of love and condolences. We also appreciate the help and assistance of the Laurel County Rescue Squad, the Laurel County Sheriff's Department, and two motorcyclists that helped with the efforts. Rick Campbell is our hero and a friend to so many. He will be missed."

Owner of Whitley County Broadcasting David Estes said on Monday that Campbell made a lasting impression on everyone he met and that he was a special person.

"He was one of the smartest and most talented people I had ever met," Estes said. "He could master almost anything. And he was the best radio guy I had ever been around."

"He was a friend that I will miss dearly," Estes added.

"Today has been a very devastating day," Rebecca Conn, production manager at The Times-Tribune, said on Sunday. "I am completely heartbroken over the tragic and sudden loss of Rick Campbell. I had the awesome privilege of working with him for several years at WEZJ during my college years. He taught me so much about what it takes to work in the media industry. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is a job that I still love doing some 15+ years later. He was an incredible individual, coworker, mentor and friend. The City of Williamsburg has lost a true icon. The radio waves wont be the same without him. I send prayers out to his family. May God give them the strength and courage they need to help them thru the days ahead. RIP Rick!"

Williamsburg City School also put out a statement:

"Williamsburg Independent School District is saddened by the passing of Rick Campbell. Rick served for many years as the color analyst for Yellow Jacket football and was a fixture at Friday night football games and those who followed our football program through the radio. Rick was one of a kind and a genuine supporter of our school. Our thoughts and prayers are with Alma, Jamie, Todd, and the entire Campbell family."

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