On July 31, 2018, Jeanette Campbell and her three young grandchildren were passengers in a van being driven by Jeanette’s daughter, Laura Oswald. They were on their way to a park for a day of swimming when they were broadsided by a dump truck which ran a red light at a speed of over 50 mph. Jeanette was killed on impact and one of her grandchildren seriously injured, requiring a transfer to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The light had been red for at least 18 seconds yet, the truck driver never braked. He had been talking on his cell phone while also listening to music.
Jeanette was the dedicated wife of Charles Campbell Jr. for 47 years, a loving mother to her children Christina, Laura, Andrew and Colin and a caring grandmother, aunt and friend. She shared her heritage and love through the meals she cooked. Jeanette was generous to a fault when entertaining guests. Everyone would have seconds before she took her seat at the table.
“First as an early childhood educator, and later as a caregiver to the elderly, her compassion and care comforted, taught and inspired those around her,” Campbell’s son Andrew Campbell wrote. Jeanette made time to sit at the bedside of patients in hospice during their final moments, so they wouldn’t die alone. “It wasn’t her job, but her way,” says Jeanette’s daughter, Laura.
Jeanette also loved to garden, travel, sew, and knit. She had a calm and kind character, who always gave warm hugs, belly laughs, and welcoming smiles. Her grandchildren dearly love the pajamas that Jeanette sewed for them. Sewing clothing for others, and especially pajamas, was another way that she expressed her love.
Jeanette’s daughter Laura has started a fundraiser in memory of her mother called Pajamas for Trauma. Pajamas for Trauma provides local emergency rooms with children’s comfort bags. “Jeanette would have done anything to comfort a child in need. It is in her honor that we assemble care bags featuring children’s pajamas and other comforting items. What we are trying to do is live how she lived her life, and focus in on all the good memories and not let a crash define her life,” says Laura.
View the FOX 29 Philadelphia TV news clip about Laura and her Pajamas For Trauma work.