I'm stunned by this morning's news that René Campbell has died. She was found dead, apparently of natural causes, in her mother's home in Lexington, where she had gone for the weekend to help her mother settle into a retirement home. An autopsy is planned. She was 51.
René was not long into a job as director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. She had great ideas for Chapel Hill. She hoped that she could help it to become the first American "slow city."
She was serving with me on the "celebrations committee" planning for the renaming of Airport Road as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on May 8; she had volunteered to head up the food subcommittee.
René was full of energy, good ideas, good spirit, and life.
UPDATE from the Visitors Bureau: "A memorial service for René Campbell will take place in Chapel Hill at The Carolina Inn, 211 Pittsboro Street at 5:30 pm on Monday, April 11th. The service will be followed by a reception at The Inn also.
"Reverend Tammie Lee from the Chapel of the Cross Church will officiate at the service. René had served as Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau since May 2004. She had attended the Chapel of the Cross since that time."