Paul Luis Vincent Campo

Dorothy Maxine Campo

Paul and Dorothy Campo moved to Vista in 1954 and bought their home at 1210 Oak Drive where they would live until Paul died and Dorothy moved into assisted living. Paul had been hired to work at Camp Pendleton, where his engineering and geology degrees and experience in water management and hydrology helped him to rise to become its Director of Natural Resources before retiring in 1988. For a number of years, he worked alongside another well-known Vistan, William “Bill” Taylor.

Paul served as a trustee of the Vista Unified School District (“VUSD”) for many years. While on the board, he championed the construction of the “new” Vista High School on Bobier Drive and led the effort to develop several more elementary schools to meet the VUSD’s growing stu-dent population.

Paul always loved to talk about water. He would quote Mark Twain: “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.” Paul served on the board of the San Diego County Water District for many years, representing the Marine Corps’ water interests at Camp Pendleton. He was an early promoter of building more water storage facilities for this area. Among Paul’s colleagues on this agency was his friend and another well-known Vistan, Hans Doe. They, and several other of the older water experts, were collectively known as the “water buffaloes”, a term that always made him laugh.

One of Paul’s happiest days occurred when he was appointed, and then elected, to the Board of Directors of the Vista Irrigation District, representing District 1. In addition to covering Northeast Vista and the surrounding county land, he was responsible for Lake Henshaw, the District’s water reservoir. Because of his interest in water storage and conservation, he made sure that the District never tried to sell off this valuable water resource. This has proven to be a wise decision, given the current water shortage throughout California. He served on the board for many years; only his death caused him to vacate his position. It should come as no surprise that one of his fellow directors was his close friend, fellow water buffalo, and another well-known Vis-tan, Linden “Lyn” Burzell.

Paul was married for over 57 years to his wife and best friend, Dorothy. Both of them loved what used to be the pastures and grove of old Vista, but understood and accepted the many changes that have occurred over the years.

Dorothy was not a traditional “stay-at-home” wife and mother. She first had a taste of the working world during World War II, when she served as secretary to a defense plant manager. By the time she came to Vista, she possessed the skill and experience to be hired by the VUSD to become the first secretary for the newly-built Crestview Elementary School. She spent many happy years at Crestview. She later transferred to Olive Elementary School, from which she re-tired in 1987.

Dorothy was also active in the Vista community. In the early 1960s, many of the non-certificated staff at the VUSD asked her to help them form a bargaining unit to negotiate the terms of their employment contract. She then founded the Vista chapter of the California School Employ-ees Association, and served as its first president. For many years, Dorothy acted as a firm negotiator with the VUSD’s management. As a result of her efforts, many of her fellow Vistans received better wages and terms of employment.

During her years with the VUSD, many parents and teachers came to know and love her. Most important to Dorothy, however, were the children who attended “her” elementary schools. She always kept her own money in her desk to loan to students who had forgotten their lunch money. For many years prior to government subsidies, she gave away lunch money to students whose families couldn’t afford to make or buy them lunch. Years later, when one of those students whom she had helped previously bought lunch for her, she cried.