Velma Campbell, former director on the Darke County Agricultural Society (senior fair board), will be the grand marshal of the Parade of Champions.
“I was shocked, humbled and somewhat undeserving,” Campbell said. “I was just doing my job. I’m happy about it.”
Campbell was elected in August 1998 for a one-year term. The fair board expanded to 11 members in 1999 and she was re-elected that August for a full three-year term, making 1999 her first full Fair as a board member.
During her tenure as a board member, Campbell held the following officer positions. 2000-01: Vice president (two years), 2003-06; president (four years), 2007-08; and treasurer (two years). She either chaired or assisted with the following departments and committees: Cheerleading contest/16 years (she was involved with the cheerleading contest from its beginning at the 1991 fair); Domestic Arts/16 years; Swine Department/13 years (assisted one year); gazebo entertainment/10 years (assisted one year); grandstand ticket takers and ushers/seven years; trash/four years; concert/Sunday show/one year (assisted six years); junior fair committee/11 years; hospitality committee/four years (assisted eight years); sanitation/restroom committee/two years (assisted six years); senior citizens/veterans department/two years (assisted one year); capital improvement committee/one year (assisted one year); Grant Committee/five years (assisted eight years); religious building department/one year; fair premium book committee/two years.
Campbell, retired from Ansonia Local Schools after being an educator for 26 years, also assisted with the audit and budget committee/eight years; parade committees/one year; band show/one year; vendor privileges/one year; building and grounds rental and equipment maintenance committee/one year;promotional advertising committee/ two years; concessions/vendor committee/three years; security and safety committee/one year; dairy cattle department/five years; sheep department/one year; dog department/one year; south camping department/one year; flower/fine arts departments/six years; speed department/nine years; vocational education committee/one year; sponsor committee/eight years; parade committee/two years; transportation committee/one year and parking committee/one year.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture presented Campbell the Outstanding Fair Supporter award for District 2 which includes 11 counties in Ohio on Jan. 4, 2006. This award is given for exceptional service provided to the fair.
She and husband Dave have been married for 60 years and are the parents of three children, Doug (deceased), Brenda Manning and Greg. They have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She is still active at the Great Darke County Fair and continues to assist with the cheerleading contest and helping usher at the grandstand.
“We’re there everyday and camp,” said Campbell, who indicated she is still catching up on tasks around the home that she didn’t get done when she was serving on the fair board.
Campbell, the former Velma Rhotehamel, was in 4-H as a child, and was an adviser as an adult for 41 years; most of that time with the Ansonia 4-H Club.
The daughter of the late L.G. and Bertha (Petering) Rhotehamel, she spent her first four years of school at Ansonia and the remainder of that time at Greenville, from where she graduated in 1954.
Because of her love for children, she decided to go to college and get a degree.
“I had my three kids and babysat for Louise Lucas’ kids, and she was going to college and told me what she was doing,” Campbell said in a former interview. “I thought to myself, ‘I think I’d like that.”
So she pursued that dream and studied at the Miami branch at Piqua, then graduated from Miami University and even got her master’s in education there.
Campbell started her teaching career at Ansonia in 1967, after being hired by Dr. Marlin Thompson. She remained true to the school for 26 years before retiring
“I taught second grade for five years, then was asked by Marlin to teach at the middle school,” she recalled. “I told him I would give it a try for one year and stayed there the rest of my career. I taught seventh and eighth-grade reading and spelling and anything with language arts.”
She was also the spelling bee coordinator for the school.
Campbell was the first woman to serve on the fair board and was its first woman president.
She joins the ranks of others who served as parade marshals over the years.
• 2014 Francis Byers
• 2013 Lester Ward
• 2012 Keith Smith
• 2011 Robert and Onda Matthews
• 2010 Mark and Patty Cotter
• 2009 Dennis Baker (Cathy)
• 2008 Lowell Dill (Barb)
• 2007 Junior and Rosalie Schultz
• 2006 10 surviving board members
• 2005 Ray and Barbara Lavy
• 2004 Bill and Wilma Rhoades
• 2003 Don and Helen Hanes
• 2002 Frank and Louise Sheffer
• 2001 Francis Byers
•2000 Paul and Nola Coning
• 1999 Paul and Martha Lee Davison
• 1998 Deo Miltenberger
• 1997 Jim Munchel
•1996 John Flory
• 1995 Phil Myers
• 1994 Harold Schlosser
• 1993 Herman Ross
• 1992 Bob and Eloise Curtis
• 1991 Grant Delaplane
• 1990 Dale Greenhoff
• 1989 Gene Riegle
• 1988 Dr. John Westfall and Paul Zimmers
• 1987 Gertrude Adams