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Published: Wednesday, 9/1/2004

UAW leader active in Masons, Shriners

Walter Campton, a former leader of United Auto Workers Local 16 and an active Mason, died of cancer Sunday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township, after a three-year illness. He was 78.

Mr. Campton in the 1960s served as a committeeman, vice chairman, chairman, and president of the board of the union local, his daughter, Lynn Comes, said.

"He was a very dedicated Democrat," Ms. Comes said. "He always wanted people to be treated fairly, and he always wanted people to be happy."

Mr. Campton, a Scottsburg, Ind., native, graduated from Lexington High School there in 1944 and worked on a family farm for a few years until about 1950, when he received training as an electrician and moved here to become a lineman for Toledo Edison Co.

He worked for Edison in Toledo and Defiance until 1958, when he became an electrician for the Dura Division of Walter Kidde & Co.

He worked at Dura until 1972, when started his own firm, Campton Electric, which he operated out of his home in Toledo until about 1982.

In retirement, Mr. Campton enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, fixing electrical equipment for friends, and playing pool with them.

Other hobbies included being a Shriner clown, which he had done for 25 years, and performing as a balloon artist at birthday celebrations, retirement parties, and union and Masonic get-togethers, which he did for 36 years.

Mr. Campton was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Toledo, where he was a 32nd degree Mason; Harbor Light Lodge 746, Toledo; Damascus Lodge 643, where he was a past master for two terms, and the Toledo Order of Eastern Star 341, where he was the current worthy patron.

Other memberships included Fort Meigs Royal Arch Mason 29, Toledo Council of Royal and Select Masons 33, Toledo Commandery Knights Templar 7, Rainbow Girls of Sylvania Masonic Temple 82, where he was an advisory board member and Grand Cross of Color recipient.

Surviving are his daughters, Lynn Comes and Leisa Schwartz, and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 this morning in J. Jeffrey Fretti Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, American Cancer Society, or Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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