He was born Sept. 6, 1923, in Lumberton, to the late William Colin Campbell and Flora Wishart Campbell and was the grandson of local merchant and tobacconist J.H. Wishart. His sister, Jean Campbell Russell of Cynthiana, Ky., preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Adkins Campbell, whom he married on Christmas Day 1944, of the home; his children, John Wishart Campbell Jr. (Judy) of Manassas, Va., Leigh Campbell Pope (Grady) of Shallotte, N.C., Lisa Campbell Stuart (Bob) of Raleigh, N.C., and “like-daughters” Kathy Bryan Smith (Steward) of Huntersville, N.C., and Rene O’Neal Campbell of Manassas, Va.; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Additionally, Betty Nye held a special place in John Wishart’s life, professionally as well as personally.
A graduate of Lumberton High School in 1941, he attended Davidson College prior to entering military service in 1943, and completed additional course work at Mississippi State University while on active duty. At the conclusion of the war he continued undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina, then entered and completed UNC Law School and was awarded a LLB degree in 1949.
John Wishart took his oath in 1949 before Superior Court Judge W.C. Harris, for whom the annual Robeson County Bar meeting is named. During his career, he was a partner in two Lumberton firms, Britt, Campbell & Britt and later Johnson, McIntyre, Hedgpeth, Biggs and Campbell, before establishing a sole practitioner office in what was his grandfather’s Chestnut Street store. He later was partnered with the Raleigh firm of Teague Campbell Dennis and Gorham, LLP.
The recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout his legal lifetime, including Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; President, North Carolina State Bar; North Carolina Lawyer’s Hall of Fame, his renown as a trial lawyer is legendary. He retired at the beginning of 2013 having served the citizenry of Robeson County and across the state as an Attorney-at-Law for 63 years.
John Wishart maintained a strong sense of service throughout his lifetime. He was a member of the Lumberton Chapter of the Sea Scouts as well as being a member of the Boy Scouts, in which he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. During WWII, he completed the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet program and was awarded his pilot’s wings, trained to fly both the B-24 and B-25 aircraft.
After the war he returned to North Carolina to complete his education but later re-entered service with the USAF Reserves subsequently retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Office of the Judge Advocate General.
An avid golfer and long-time member of Pinecrest Country Club, John Wishart relished his regular rounds at the club, especially in warm weather, where, at 68 years of age, he had a round equal to his age. He was fortunate to have played some of the country’s most famous courses but was most successful at Pinecrest, where he recorded three holes-in-one during his playing days.
A memorial service will be held on Oct. 27, 2017, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton with Rev. David Ruth and Rev. Eva Ruth officiating. Interment at Meadowbrook Cemetery will follow the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Boy Scouts of America or the First Presbyterian Church.
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