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Thomas M. Campbell, 80, former state trooper and computer programmer

Oct. 20, 1937 – June 23, 2018

Thomas M. Campbell, a former state trooper and retired computer programmer, died Saturday under hospice care in his Town of Tonawanda home after a short illness. He was 80.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and served in the Air Force as a military policeman in Germany. Returning from service in 1962, he joined the State Police and was stationed in the Rochester area and Lewiston.

In 1967, he took part in a search of an underground tunnel beneath Niagara Falls Country Club for a 7-year-old girl who was swept into it while playing along Fish Creek. His partner, Trooper Kenneth J. Troidl, was swept up by the current. Trooper Campbell found Troidl when he emerged from the conduit above the Niagara Gorge, wrapped him in a blanket and took him to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. The girl was never found.

Mr. Campbell was part of the State Police contingent assigned to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and was guarding the Olympic ice rink during the legendary game when the U.S. hockey team scored an upset victory over the Soviet Union.

Before he retired as a trooper in 1982, he took night courses in computer programming at Erie Community College and the University at Buffalo, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1982.

He then worked as a programmer for Computer Task Group, where his brother David was chief executive officer. He retired in 2001.

A Town of Tonawanda resident for 49 years, he was devoted to his family and was active in the senior group at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church.

He's pictured with his wife of 55 years, the former Nancy Lynn Ruch, a medical assistant, who died March 24, a day after their son, Thomas F., died.

In addition to his brother, survivors include a daughter, Sherri Seaman; and four grandchildren.

Services will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 28, in Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

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