Drusilla Campbell, 1940-2014

Drusilla’s Death


(Written by Art on 27 October 2014)


At 3 a.m. on 24 October 2014 Dru peacefully stopped breathing. According to her wishes, she expired at Crickety (her home), without pain, dying in my arms, with her son Rocky beside her. My last words to her were, “I love you, but you must feel free to let go of your riddled body. Wherever you go, I’ll find you.” Also as she wished, I bathed and dressed her body before consigning it for cremation. When her body was carried from Crickety she had one arm curled around her first doll and the other embraced a childhood toy koala. God be with you, my Timeless Bride and Queen of Joy.


Drusilla’s Obituary


(Written by her Family)

 Portrait of Drusilla Campbell in Black and White


Drusilla Campbell, a best-selling novelist of controversial characters, died peacefully in her husband’s arms on 24 October 2014 at “Crickety,” her home in Bay Park, San Diego.


In San Diego she was noted for annual Labor Day parties at “Crickety,” where she feted some of the liveliest minds in the writing and teaching community.


Born in Melbourne, Australia, and raised in Los Gatos, California, Dru was abruptly  diagnosed with stage-four lung-cancer five months ago.  The blogs she wrote about her sudden life-changes and fluctuating emotions were called “staggeringly honest” by the San Diego Union-Tribune.


After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose University, Drusilla spent two years hitch-hiking around the world, stopping in Australia and England to teach school when she ran out of money.


In the early 1970s Dru produced and narrated various radio shows for WAMU-FM, a PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., including weekly broadcasts on science fiction and ecology.  She simultaneously graduated with honors from American University’s Masters Program in Communication.


Moving to San Diego in 1976, Drusilla began a writing career that included seventeen published novels, two of which—Blood Orange and The Good Sister– became nationwide best-sellers.


Eager to help other writers and share her skills, Dru taught novel-writing at UCSD Extension and at scores of seminars throughout California.  She was a steadfast instructor at San Diego’s Writing Center from its inception nearly two decades ago.  Later, as President of its latest form — San Diego Writers, Ink — she spearheaded its move to new quarters at Liberty Station.


Married 45 years to law professor and writer, Art Campbell, Dru helped raise two sons, Rocky and Matthew Campbell, along with assorted birds, cats, hamsters, dogs, and horses.


A gourmet cook and avid gardener, Dru never gave up her wander-lust.  She took many merry trips cross-country with her children and husband, traveling by railroad and SUV.  Some of her most joyous and creative times were spent camping with her husband and dogs in a secret site in the Sierras, accessible only by canoe.


Dru also loved international travel with her husband and spur-of-the-moment road trips throughout the Southwest USA.  When together, the two of them were never at a loss for conversation, especially when shopping or visiting coffee shops where they amused themselves by making up stories and imagined histories about whomever passed by.


Drusilla is also survived by her brother Christopher Green; her sister Margaret Green; her mother Patricia Ness; and her three grandchildren, Isabelle, Grayson, and Adalynn Campbell.


A celebratory memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego at 11 a.m. on November 29, 2014.  Drusilla loved, and was loved by, many.


Read Drusilla’s Gratitudes


In lieu of flowers, Drusilla’s family asks that you consider making a donation in her memory to:


The Drusilla Campbell Scholarship at San Diego Writers, Ink




The Drusilla Campbell Writing Fund at the San Diego High School Foundation

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4 Responses to “Drusilla Campbell, 1940-2014”

  1. Celeste Greene says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Drusilla at our Kappa Alpha Theta book club in Norfolk, VA last October. She was extremely engaging and full of life. It’s still hard to believe she is gone. She shared some stories about what inspired her in her writing. I feel fortunate to have met such a warm,generous, and inspiring person. Rest in peace Drusilla. My thoughts and prayer are with your family.

  2. Daniel Charles Thomas says:

    What a bright shining light and excellent human being. Such a loving, devoted inspiration to all of us. Bendita y muy amada Drusila, quien en paz descanse.

  3. Marlene Blas says:

    When a remarkable woman departs from this earth, she never truly leaves. Drusilla is still alive in our hearts and minds, and through us, she lives on. My deepest condolences, Art. Drusilla will not be forgotten.

  4. Drusilla Larson says:

    I have met a few other Dru’s in my life, but Drusilla Campbell seems the best. I hope your next life is the funnest!