Rash's Surname Index
Notes for John Madison Jr. CAMP
J.M. Camp Jr., 92, WWII vet, civic leader, dies
By: RANDY HALLMAN | Richmond Times-Dispatch
World War II veteran, civic leader, philanthropist, industry executive, husband and father – John Madison "Jack" Camp Jr. was all those things. And at the heart of them all, he was a VMI man.
Mr. Camp, of Franklin and of Wilmington, N.C., died Aug. 11 at a Wilmington hospital after a period of declining health. He was 92.
He was a scion of the Camp family that established the Camp Manufacturing Co. sawmill in 1887 and merged with Union Bag and Paper Co. in 1956 to become Union Camp Corp., an American pulp and paper producer. Mr. Camp was the company's building products manager when he retired in 1983.
Long the major employer in Franklin, the company had 2,600 employees when it was bought by International Paper for nearly $5 billion in 1999.
Ten years later, International Paper closed the Franklin plant, a blow to a community that had endured six damaging floods from 1998 through 2006.
Mr. Camp, working as an officer of the Camp Family Foundations, had helped Franklin weather the hard times.
"Philanthropy was so important to him," said Mr. Camp's daughter, Sharon C. Carter of Richmond. "So much was centered around the town of Franklin.
"Dad wanted to help blacks and whites work together to meet the needs of the community. A lot of the work was through faith-based initiatives."
The Camp Family Foundations supports a wide range of efforts, from a youth sports complex to health initiatives to educational programs developed by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and Richmond-based Theatre IV. The Camp organization also supports Paul D. Camp Community College.
Mr. Camp's service ethic was honed at Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated in 1940.
"He was in the last class that had a cavalry unit," his daughter said. "And he could see that the future of warfare wouldn't include horses."
While he was earning an MBA at Babson College, Mr. Camp took aviation lessons and developed a lifelong love of flying. He joined the Army Air Forces in 1941 and began his service teaching others how to fly. During most of World War II he flew supply missions out of India. He ended the war as a captain.
Back home and raising a family, his VMI training was front and center.
"Our home was very, very organized," his daughter said. "Dad worked hard, came home and was a dedicated father. He took the boys hunting and fishing. He taught us girls how to ride horses.
"He rode with us and taught us how important discipline is when you are risking your life – which you are every time you put your foot in a stirrup."
Carter became an interior designer. She said she inherited the artistic elements of her profession from her mother, "and from my father I learned that the best design functions efficiently."
Mr. Camp had been president of VMI's Board of Trustees and on the Marshall Foundation. VMI awarded him its Distinguished Service Award.
He also served on several civic and business boards and commissions.
Carter said her father remained dedicated to his country, to the South, to his state, to Franklin and to Franklin Baptist Church, where he had served as deacon and chairman of the Deacon Board.
Mr. Camp was the widower of Jean Stafford Camp, who died in 1983. In addition to his daughter, his survivors include his wife of 22 years, Rachel Cameron Camp of Wilmington and Franklin; a sister, Olive Johnson of Aberdeen, N.C.; another daughter, Jean C. Harrell of Crozier; two sons, John Madison Camp III of Alexandria and Robert Hill Camp of Crozier; a stepdaughter, Rachel MacRae of Wilmington; two stepsons, Nelson MacRae and Hugh MacRae III, both of Wilmington; four grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Saturday at Franklin Baptist Church and interment followed in Poplar Spring Cemetery.
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