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Hazard Knox Campbell Sr., philanthropist, president of Ducks Unlimited

Hazard Knox Campbell Sr.

Hazard Knox Campbell Sr., of Buffalo and Vero Beach, Fla., a retired stock trader, philanthropist and nationally renowned conservationist who served as president of Ducks Unlimited, died Wednesday in HighPointe on Michigan due to complications from lymphoma. He was 87.

Mr. Campbell, who grew up in Buffalo and whose family had a summer house in East Aurora, attended Franklin School and Nichols School. He graduated in 1947 from the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut.

From November 1947 to May 1949, he was a crew member on the fourth world cruise of the brigantine Yankee, a voyage that drew considerable press attention in its day.

Mr. Campbell, along with a friend from Buffalo, Peter Sutton, and 21 other crew members sailed through the Panama Canal, met descendents of the HMS Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn Island, visited a cannibal tribe on Malekula Island, saw remarkably talented dancers on Bali and the “exquisite, fascinating” city of Bangkok, he told The Buffalo Evening News upon his return.

Mr. Campbell attended Colorado College before joining the Navy in 1951. He performed clerical duties and served stateside during and after the Korean War, primarily in Corpus Christi, Texas, before he was discharged at the end of 1954.

He worked for the Marine Trust Co. in Buffalo Niagara. In the early 1960s, he joined Dominick & Dominick, which merged in 1973 into Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he worked as a stock trader and account executive.

Mr. Campbell's love of duck hunting and waterfowling traced back to childhood excursions to Turkey Point Company, a private hunting club in Long Point, Ont.

“I went hunting with my dad, carrying a little .410 side-by-side shotgun – which I still own, by the way,” Campbell told The News in a 1986 interview.

He was 10 when his father died in a small plane crash in East Aurora, on the site of what is now Crag Burn Golf Club, but Mr. Campbell's children said that early shared experience made an impression.

“Some of the few memories he had of his father were in the marsh and up in the duck hunting area,” said Benjamin K. Campbell, one of Mr. Campbell's two sons. “He was very infectious in his passion for it, and he was always trying to recruit anyone he talked to into the sport.”

Mr. Campbell joined Ducks Unlimited in 1956, when he said it was almost unknown in the Buffalo area. He told a News interviewer he put on its first banquet in 1960 at the Saturn Club and raised all of $75. By 1986, the year he became president of the national organization, the Buffalo-area chapter raised $65,000.

Mr. Campbell was involved in almost every aspect of the group over the years. He founded Ducks Unlimited's first chapter in Canada, in Long Point, in 1974, and he was the longest-serving member of the Ducks Unlimited Canada Board, from 1978 to this year.

“He worked really, really hard and traveled the world raising money for Ducks Unlimited,” said his daughter, Melissa C. England. After Mr. Campbell stepped down as president, she said, “Ben said they kept creating jobs for him.”

He also served on the boards of the Waterfowl Research Foundation and the Finger Lakes & Western New York Waterfowl Association and was a research associate of Long Point Waterfowl. Mr. Hazard also served as a director of the Erie County Fish & Wildlife Advisory Board.

“He was a hero for conservation,” Mike Woodward, chairman of Ducks Unlimited's national development committee and a longtime friend and hunting companion, said in a statement.

An active volunteer in the community, Mr. Campbell was involved with the former Butler Mitchell Boys Club, Fresh Air Mission, Buffalo Museum of Science, Elmwood Franklin School, Erie County SPCA and served as a longtime trustee of Forest Lawn. Mr. Campbell served on the advisory board of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and was a director of the Nichols School Alumni Board, Bond Club of Buffalo, Studio Arena Theater and the Seymour H. Knox Foundation.

“He was very generous with his time, and he supported a lot of causes,” his daughter said.

Mr. Campbell was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Saturn Club, Pack Club, Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club and was a founding member of Crag Burn.

His wife of 64 years, the former Virginia “Gina” Klopp, died May 12.

Survivors include another son, Hazard K. Jr.; a sister, Marjorie C. Campbell; four grandchildren; and two stepgrandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Ave.

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