Thrifty’s co-founder Alex Campbell dies after lengthy illness

Victoria-born philanthropist and business leader was 70

Alex Campbell built a grocery business in Thrifty Foods then built a reputation as a generous philanthropist.

Alex Campbell built a grocery business in Thrifty Foods then built a reputation as a generous philanthropist.

He was a man who in his retirement gave more of himself and his accumulated wealth than anyone could have expected.

But Alex Campbell Sr.’s body gave out on him too soon. The Thrifty Foods co-founder, community booster and philanthropist passed away early Tuesday morning at age 70, after a lengthy illness.

His wife, Jo, remembered her husband as an “amazing man who loved life.”

“He constantly gave of himself to improve the lives of others,” she stated in a release. “He believed strongly in the importance of paying it forward – giving back in gratitude of what you have received. His dedication to outstanding community service stands as an example to us all, and he will be dearly missed.”

The Victoria-born Campbell worked to help various charities on the Island after retiring from the grocery business, both in a leadership role and as a face for fundraising efforts.

He received numerous awards in the later stages of his professional career as well as in retirement, including the Order of British Columbia in 1999 and a 2011 Leadership Victoria award.

He also was named distinguished entrepreneur of the year by the University of Victoria’s faculty of business, and was given an honourary doctorate of laws by UVic in 2009.

He co-founded Thrifty’s in 1977 with Ernie Skinner and helped guide the grocer to consistent growth on the Island and the Mainland, with 20 stores under the Thrifty Foods banner. With Campbell as CEO, the company was named one of Canada’s top 50 best-managed companies four years running.

Details of a service are due to be announced in a few days.

editor@vicnews.com

 

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