Ella Jean Albertsen – Loveland, Colorado … If you look closely at the Campion Adventist Church organ, you will find a plaque reading, “In Memory of Mrs. Beverly A. Wheeler Donated by Student Association and Church Members. 1970-71.”
What is the tragic story behind this donation? Mr. Wheeler was the Campion Academy music teacher, and his wife Beverly was the registrar. In April of the 1968-69 school year, he was following the school bus with a load of students on the way to Lincoln for college days at Union College. The van was involved in a fiery crash somewhere just east of Greeley, Colorado. Mrs. Wheeler and a girl (not from Campion) were killed. Other students were seriously injured. The Wheelers had two young children, Debbie and Greg.
Funds were collected and the organ was donated a couple of years after her death. This organ has served Campion Church well for over 50 years, but it has reached the end of its useful life without major repair and expense. The church again thanks the Wheeler family for this gift in honor of the wife and mother of this beloved family.
Campion has been gifted an organ from a member in the Denver area. This organ has MIDI capability which the organ professionals say is highly desired. The installation of this newer organ will happen this spring.
This story was gathered from interviews with Bill Hay, a student at Campion 1968-69, from Mary Hedger whose sister-in-law was a student in the crash and experienced a broken back, and from Jeane Robinson, faculty member and friend of Beverly in 1969.
—Ella Jean Albertsen is a layout editor for Campion Connection newsletter. Photos by Ella Jean Alberstsen.