Roger John Campshure “Doc”
10-17-40 to 8-19-17
Born to the late Elmer and late Clara (Marchant) Campshure on the west side of Green Bay, Wisconsin where he played at Tower Park, attended St. Agnes Catholic Church and Elementary school (Roger loved the yearly booyah kettle community picnic festival, Clara would bring large pots from her kitchen to be filled for future meals, Roger continued this tradition 30+ years later). This catholic educational background/foundation was instrumental throughout his Christian life…attended Franklin Junior and Green Bay West High Schools. Awarded a full football & swimming/diving scholarship to St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, a top ranked catholic campus. Roger was a speed demon on the field and made the top grades, so was awarded scholarships to attend & graduate from Logan University (formally known as Logan College of Chiropractic) located in Chesterfield, St. Louis County, Missouri. Doc’s practice bloomed as an associate partner at West Side Chiropractic Clinic when they started on Fisk Street in Green Bay, with Dr. Rocky Rockstroh (sadly there is no mention in their clinic’s history of Doc. He was a great doctor who helped local greats (hint green and gold), had a wonderful patient load and character that was a real team player. Doc gave great company holiday parties for employees and their families at his home in Ashwaubenon.) He took great treatment notes, all done on little cards which he reviewed with each patient and remembered much to truly become friends with his patients over many years. They either loved Doc or Rocky, kind of a yin yang office that had a doctor for every type patient.
Do you know why he became a chiropractor? He had the brains for a surgeon and knew he wanted to help mankind… He couldn’t stand the sight of spiders or snakes! No, answer is blood!!! Not a red drop!!! The sight of this body fluid could totally incapacitate him. He almost couldn’t get through the “cadaver shack” class at Logan! Each team was given a corpse to determine cause of death. Luckily his “patient’s” blood had coagulated and was no longer red. This turned out to be the hardest “A” to earn, but the lesson that sold him on chiropractic care. A final report simply read: John Doe’s nerve to kidney was severed at spinal column between lumbar 4/5. Drum roll…… The state coroner’s report read: Cause of death, kidney failure. Doc knew chiropractic works and he went to great toil saving kidney’s, liver, childhood bed wetting, & headaches, without seeing a drop of blood! He treated the cause for the rest of his life.
Large or miniature dogs found their back adjusted as he privately treated close friends and family pets who had jumped off the sofa wrong or had advanced arthritis. Doc was so great with animals, they might have faked the aliment so they could go visit him!
He married Ruth and had “the one and only” son… Roger John (RJ), junior and a black standard poodle named Chiro. They divorced and Doc, RJ and Chiro moved in with his parents, back at the ole family homestead on Elmer Street, filling grandma Clara’s house once again! Re-met Marian (Leigh) Miller – Ullman who also hung out at Tower Park, attended Franklin and West High! They married and blended family members like the Brady bunch… Doc and Leigh started organizing & attending West High-class reunions, that they graduated together, same year so they knew everyone between them. Doc joined St. Paul United Methodist Church, many organizations and clubs like the Thunderbirds, Eagles, Rotary, Catholic Foresters, Logan College yearly graduation events, bought equipment for RJ’s hockey team, donated complete uniforms to Ashwaubenon High School Drill Team, held seats in Lambeau Field (kind of a Packer club thing!), always taking grandma to monthly liver fry at local VFW’s and others that support veterans and kids’ sports.
He was the captain of “The Lady Leigh”, a 42-foot Grand Banks motor yacht boat. For years they entertained friends and family and more family and friends! Step-daughter Rogene was in charge of cooking eggs for everyone on board and those at the same dock. The home anchor was in Sturgeon Bay, but you could find breakfast in Bailey’s Harbor or Ludington, MI. Breakfast was served where ever they were temporarily docked or in the middle of the Bay of Green Bay the Lady Leigh had a full galley. When chow was ready for those who didn’t smell it, you might hear Doc announce with a suuuuuweeee call out, that was the start of that harbor’s day… Blasting Slim Whitman from his boat Bose speakers, dancing on the teak wood deck and singing along with Slim, Doc made sure people knew he was in wharf… once the boat was moored, Doc didn’t just jump in the water, he showed his diving skills or just an award winning cannonball splash. Once in the water, you might think you were in the Arctic ocean upon hearing a walrus, nope… it was Doc doing his infamous tusk-less call along with a splash. Boy was he amusing.
On the actual day of most major holidays you could find Doc and his crew at Peyton’s restaurant in the Midway Motel Lodge, just a block from the cheese-head stadium. There was a little private room in the back corner where he entertained family and friends. After brunch, he could be found pool side where everyone could go swimming or play cards with Grandma Clara (who loved Peyton’s “Gold Cadillac” an ice cream dessert alcoholic beverage which he so proudly ordered for his mum.) Doc often gave free adjustments on the hotel bed in the large suite room he was comp’d by a friend. Did you hear a walrus in the pool… nope it was Doc making the kids roar with laughter, by the sound and splashing that always followed.
Doc had a home office with a Thompson drop table and was always prepared to adjust an emergency call for patients, their babies and pets, always no charge and always with a smile on his face. He kept treatment cards there as well. Before the visitor left they would be offered a tapper. Yes, he had a kegerator at home… This special time was completed with a firm hand shake that usually ended up with him pulling you in for a hug and his fingers (strong but surgeon-like) would double check the adjustment by checking the victim – I mean recent patient’s spinal column for proper alignment. Doc was such a caring loving person. He had lost Chiro and purchased another black standard poodle and old English sheep dog, puppies became sisters and huge. Chiro II and Odey roamed the near 2 acres of yard with great joy. They curled up in the largest bed available right between the humans.
Doc was such a happy person and wanted to celebrate everything… (great lesson for us all to learn right there!) Green Bay Packers wins… Green Bay Packer losses… holidays… engagement announcements, weddings (he walked all three of Leigh’s daughters down the aisle, as a father would do, when asked who gives this bride away, Leigh would stand up and they would say in unison, “We Do”… such a wonderful man to take on all of his widowed wife’s girls), graduations, birthdays, themed parties between the regular parties (boy did he love to get dressed up in costumes and roll play his festivity character), and ALL game days… Doc seemed to always be there to help you out of a low. He could pick you up with an adjustment, a hand gesture, or a smile usually a goofy one.
He was a racquetball buddy to a couple other chiropractors and step daughter, Marie. On Easter, instead of going to sunrise service at church, after an early match or two, you could find him and a buddy or two, at the racquetball club bar, sometimes before a match or replacing an actual game. Bartender was always the same one. She would see Doc come through the door and say “Happy Easter Doc, how many eggs would you like?” The barmaid would crack the egg into the pint glass, slowly add beer from the tapper (Michelob Ultra), take a straw with her finger covering one end, headed other end of straw to yoke, let go of end of straw, sucking yoke to end of straw, then swiftly, she would push straw down into yoke creating a hole in the yoke. Lastly, slowly she would pull the straw out. You were left with an egg in your beer (Doc would say better than on your face!) Egg looked whole if she did it correctly and she always did it accurately. The yoke could block your wind pipe if it wasn’t popped. Quite a sensation as the yoke bursts in your mouth or throat. Egg sunny side up blasted by a wave of barley champagne. Doc loved to get first timers to try this unusual once-a-year holiday beverage.
Doc (with wife Leigh) joined area chiropractor cronies and their wives for regular weekly and monthly lunches, with Top allies in alphabetical order (because he loved them all so), Dr. Dennis and Linda Lokmer, Dr. Dan and Lucia Strong, Dr. Spence and Gayle Woodward – other chiropractors were always at get togethers like the Leuthners. (Dan, I used last name)
Doc had two strokes at the age of 55, which lead to an early retirement. During the week, you could find him at the N.E.W Curative Rehab Workshop (when they were on the East side of town.) At first, he was a client recovering from strokes, but soon became a volunteer who mentored other head injury clients. He would (again) take notes of his day’s itinerary at Curative, which was in itself a treatment and something he loved to do. Many times, coming home and sharing heart filled discussions he had during that day with some clients who were so pleased to have Doc to talk with and how they remembered him and thanked him for being there for them. Volunteering there, gave back great meaning in his life since a forced retirement he felt was premature. He could no longer practice chiropractic techniques via adjustments or cracking backs. Doc was able to redirect his skills to help in recovery from a different kind of pain with the same theology of treating the root cause to the surface problem, just not adjusting the spinal column any more. He was such a good listener and empathic to other head injury clients. Doc could still give a funny smile or a goofy joke or tell you (if you are wearing a deep purple top) “to have a plum good day”. He was full of those one-liners. Oh, the joy he got by getting a smile out of you after acting foolish or telling a silly joke. His handshakes were still firm and he frequently pulled people in for his bear like hug and quick thorax/lumbar check.
On the weekends he could be found playing “31” with his mom and her dancing friends. Usually the ante was a nickel, sometimes a quarter… Grandma always seemed to win the high stakes… I think Doc let her win, it was yet another way of really making her day special.
In 2004 he relocated to Mesa, AZ. Doc never made it up to Wisconsin again. Once a year his brother and wife (Ken & Kathy Campshure) would come down and take out to lunch. He treasured those moments. The strokes had wiped out his short-term memory, but he always remembered friends and family that were known before the strokes. All others were always new friends. While wearing his favorite green and gold GB Packer apparel to the swap meet or garage sales, he would ask strangers if they had ever met a Packer, putting his hand out to shake he would say “you have now” and proceeded to tell these new friends how he played for the pop warner catholic football team, calling themselves the Junior Packers… and went to Florida to play in nationals, colors green and gold, just like St. Norbert college and Ashwaubenon High school! Makes you wonder why he liked green and gold so much!
Like a Canadian AZ snowbird who comes to Mesa to live 5-6 months out of the year, Doc and Leigh spent many months out of the year to live with stepdaughter, Carina in California helping with her 2 dogs and granddaughter Madison. They always brought his service dog Déjà Vu where ever they went. Deja passed away 10 months after him. She sure missed him, resting near his chair during the day and sleeping on his side of the bed until the last night, she was almost 16 years old. Sadness rushes in on this year anniversary of Doc’s death. Vu-ski’s ashes are right next to his. We know they are together again side by side as a great service dawg to her so loved master.
Back in Mesa AZ he was given restrictions to attend the Senior Center… limited to be accompanied by his wife Leigh. Seems there were two grumpy pants seniors who he tried to cheer up by walking up, smiling, putting his hand out to shake, then the (dreaded by some) hug… (This is a good place to put in a foot note…) some seniors don’t want to be cheered up OR hugged! They wanted nothing to do with his affection, silliness or smiles! Just let them alone to be grumpy. Nearly impossible for him to do and he couldn’t remember they didn’t want to be cheered up! This is about the time his wedding ring went missing. Later found and replaced with a plain band, that one was lost as well, about 4 rings later we let him go ringless. He thought he was single when Leigh wasn’t around, but knew that was his wife when in the same room. Dementia is sure nothing to laugh about. He was asked why one moment he could remember and the next he couldn’t… He said its like a cloud that you can’t see through, but as it moves in the sky, so it does over the memories and sometimes they are crystal clear or behind a dark cloud. He knew it was there… this cloud he was so frustrated with it and tried so hard to get around it. It was in these times we tried to cheer him back with his silly jokes, goofy smile or a memory of a party. Then he could reset and continue his day without hindrance of that cloud. In the last years his tv programs had to be the black and white without commercials or news. He didn’t need to know his age or what year it was. He didn’t need to see a bloody accident on the news. He didn’t need to watch a single commercial. He did love spaghetti westerns, Laurel & Hardy and old films.
He loved his new churches in Mesa, Red Mountain United Methodist Church and the Salvation Army Chapel, lunches at the Mesa Senior Center and or Salvation Army Senior lunch program where he was able to volunteer when he had a reoccurring memory from Curative workshop days pop up. He needed to leave to catch the bus. So the chef would let him wash tables and he stopped having the thought of having to leave. In the last years of his life, Doc’s memories were resetting and looping all over the board. He had a safe friend from our 1st church, Ed… Doc could go visit anytime and Ed would take for a ride to watch the planes land at Falcon Field or just spend some male time watching a game on TV. Most times his reset was 5-15 minutes, but could take much longer as the dementia advanced.
If you’ve read this through and can relate, you must’ve been one of those lucky people who received one of those teddy bear like hugs… you have been blessed by knowing one of God’s servants. Doc treated with Christian caring hands. We bless him back by passing on that hug and caring to the next person. And please add your “Peachy Keen” antidote of his you can remember…
He treated the cause for the greatest part of his life. Not always through an adjustment of the spinal column, but by his contagious Christian love of life smile, hand shake, hug or one of his many silly jokes. He is missed.