For Bob Campbell, reaching the age of 91 is no reason to slow down especially when it comes to his two loves: cooking and gardening.
Campbell’s Nursery in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a family business. Bob’s father founded it, Bob expanded it and, now, Bob’s children and grandchildren are in charge.
For the Campbell clan, giving back to others is also a family business. For more than 12 years, the Campbell family and the nursery have been providing Thanksgiving dinner for at least eight families living at Friendship Home, a local shelter for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence.
“It’s a wonderful feeling because there are so many that need help,” says Bob.
He and his family have gotten their Thanksgiving routine down to a science. The family buys the turkeys and side dishes, the nursery staff donates the necessary canned goods, and Bob makes his delicious pies.
“It really is a group effort,” Bob says. “Not only does the family get involved, the entire nursery staff does, too! The staff gets really excited about it.”
When making his pies, Bob uses the Foolproof Pie Shells recipe given to him by his 94-year-old sister. “If they eat all the crust, I know it was good,” Bob says with a laugh.
During the rest of the year, the Campbells don’t forget about the women at Friendship Home. The center provides transitional housing for some women and children, and the Campbells offer their landscaping services to keep these houses looking beautiful.
Bob, who loves to cook, keeps four notebooks stuffed full of his favorite recipes. “My mom always made everything from scratch,” he says. “It tastes better that way.”
No doubt the families at Friendship Home would agree.
Editor’s Note: Taste of Home has learned that Bob Campbell had passed away recently. At his family’s request we are continuing to publish his story in hopes it will inspire others and so that his wonderful pie shell recipe will continue to be shared.