Woman was doing a good deed before fatal crash
October 25, 2002
It was a ritual, her mother said.
Every other Friday, Michele Campbell would journey to the south end of Carson City and pick up a woman who doesn’t drive. Campbell, a hairdresser, would take Thelma Bourgeois, 85, back to her shop, The Grateful Head, do her hair and then drive her back home.
Last Friday was one of those every-other-Fridays. It also turned out to be Campbell’s last.
“That is so like Shelly,” Francene Minter said of her daughter’s final task. “The greatest thing about her is her big heart, her kindness to everyone and her willingness to bend over backwards for anyone or anything.”
Talking about her daughter in the past tense is a difficult, Minter said.
Campbell, 39, was killed in a fatal pileup Oct. 19 that also claimed the lives of Jessica Gomes, 45, and John Veader, 26.
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According to the preliminary investigation, the 3:30 p.m. crash occurred when Veader’s northbound truck careened across the median and into the paths of two vehicles driven by Campbell and Gomes.
Minter, a former Gardnerville resident, said her daughter and son-in-law, Stuart, moved to Gardnerville in 1996.
The couple, who had met at age 13, married when Campbell was 22.
“They weren’t just husband and wife — they were best friends,” she said. “Shelley is the best. I’m not saying this because I’m her mom. She was the kindest, sweetest, most vivacious person ever. She was everybody’s friend. I bet you couldn’t find anyone who didn’t like her.”
“Shelley was a very happy person and a very sweet person always thinking of others first,” said Cindy Sturges, who worked at the station next to Campbell’s.
“Shelley was all Italian. She would talk with her hands and her whole body. You could tell she felt every word she said.”
“There was just nothing you could say bad about her,” said her boss, Irene Watson. She said Campbell worked for her for about nine months. “She was very giving, very supportive.”
Watson said helped her through a tough time in February when she lost her sister to cancer.
“You know how some people can be negative sometimes, well, not Shelley. She was always upbeat.
“The good seem to always die young. It always seems like the people that are special we lose.”
A celebration of life for Campbell is planned for 1 p.m. Nov. 2 at Walton’s Chapel of the Valley, 1281 Roop St., Carson City.
A memorial account in her name has been established to help with expenses. donation may be made to any Bank of American branch to account 004964713196.