Roy Campbell was a visionary land developer but was happiest when he was running a bulldozer, friends as well as competitors said Monday.
Mr. Campbell and his wife, Wanda Feltner Campbell, were shot to death in their Perry County home Friday night. State police released no new information about their investigation Monday. Capt. Scott Miller said detectives, sergeants and patrol officers are chasing leads, but they don't want to release any information that might be useful in getting a confession.
Miller said Perry County sheriff's officers went to the Campbells' home in Brownsfork a little before 9 p.m. Friday after family members asked that officers check on their welfare. The Campbells were alive Friday morning, Miller said.
Deputies broke a window to enter the home and found the couple dead of gunshot wounds, Miller said.
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Roy Campbell, 81, was a major landowner in Hazard who donated land to Appalachian Regional Healthcare for a hospital in the 1980s and later donated land for a Veterans Affairs center and various churches in the area. He sold land on Ky. 80 for development of the Wal-Mart and Lowe's shopping center on the west side of town.
He started out in life as a bread truck driver and salesman, said his lawyer and friend Charles Allen, also assistant commonwealth's attorney in Perry County.
"He visualized Hazard as growing out this way," toward the mountaintop that was mined for coal and then converted into a site for Hazard ARH hospital, Allen said.
"He never lost his public spirit," Allen said. He donated land for churches and civic projects. "He assisted county and local officials when he had no particular obligation to," Allen said.
Mr. Campbell's decades of development sometimes caused conflict. As a site was being chosen for the hospital, city officials including the late Mayor Bill Gorman wanted it built elsewhere, in a hollow that had easier access to water.
"There's no water over here," developer Bill Hall remembers city officials as saying about Campbell's choice. "They'll have to carry water to the hospital in tea cups."
Eventually, Mr. Campbell got his way, and the businesses that popped up around the hospital made him a wealthy man.
"He used to point to the city water tank (built near the hospital) and say 'There's my tea cup,'" said Hall, who developed land into a shopping and hotel center across from Mr. Campbell's Wal-Mart property on Ky. 80.
Mr. Campbell started by acquiring land from family members, said Hall, who was related to Mr. Campbell's first wife, who was from Hazard's Crawford family.
Mr. Campbell always had an eye for opportunity, Hall said. "He was kind of a visionary. He was a good negotiator, extremely tough in negotiation."
Mr. Campbell, who once formed a business alliance with coal operators, loved to run bulldozers and other big equipment, even after he was injured when one overturned.
"He used to tell me he liked to hear those trees crack and pop as he pushed those trees over," Hall said.
Mr. Campbell and Wanda Campbell, 79, who was from Leslie County, married three years ago. The two, along with their respective first spouses, Mildred Campbell and A.B. Feltner, were friends as couples, said Lois Begley of Hyden, a former hairdresser and a friend of Wanda Campbell.
Roy and Wanda Campbell married after Mildred Campbell and A.B. Feltner died.
Wanda Campbell was a nurse's aide at Mary Breckenridge Hospital in Hyden for more than 30 years.
Hazard was buzzing Monday with the news and feeling the loss of Mr. Campbell just two months after losing Mayor Gorman, who died after a long illness.
Insurance company owner Bill Gorman Jr., son of the late mayor, said the longtime leaders worked together and had similar goals for Hazard's growth, despite occasional disagreements.
Services for Mrs. Campbell will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Dwayne Walker Funeral Home Chapel in Hyden.
Services for Mr. Campbell will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Maggard's Mountain View Chapel in Hazard. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the chapel.