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Judge Monterey Campbell, 1930-2020

Judge Monterey "Buddy" Campbell III, age 89, passed away Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 at his home in Bartow.

Monterey, known as either "Monte" or "Buddy," was born in Bartow on Nov. 30, 1930. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of Florida in 1952 and 1954, respectively. He then served as an officer on active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1956. From 1956 to 1980, Monte practiced law in a small multi-member law firm that engaged in general practice.

In addition to Monte's private practice as a partner in his law firm, from 1959 to 1977 he was a special part-time prosecuting attorney for Polk County. The last six of those years he served as chief assistant state attorney and was charged with the responsibility of advising the grand jury and trying major cases. From 1969 to 1980, he was general counsel to the Florida Citrus Commission. He also served several successive terms as chairman of The Florida Bar's 10th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee.

Gov. Graham appointed Monte to the 2nd District Court of Appeal and he took office on February 8, 1980. He was retained in 1982, 1988 and 1994. He served as chief judge of the court from 1988 to 1990. In 1985, 1987 and 1991, he was elected by the Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges to represent that conference on the Florida Judicial Council, and in 1995, he was appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the successor Judicial Management Council. Monte served as president of the Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges from 1995 to 1996. He also served as Chief Justice appointee to the State/Federal Judicial Council.

During his tenure on the Court, he served on The Florida Bar's Judicial Administration Selection and Tenure Committee as chair, the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, the Appellate Rules Committee and the Florida Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Local Rules as chair. After serving as an active judge on the Court for over 20 years, he returned to practice law at Gray Robinson Law Firm in Lakeland. He was involved in trial and appellate matters before all levels of state and federal courts.

He was a member of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation and a prior member of the Board of Directors of Alico Inc. He served on the Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. Board of Directors. He was a lifelong member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bartow, where he taught Sunday School for over 50 years and served as an Elder and then Elder Emeritis. He also was the past Moderator of the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Buddy was preceded in death by his wife Lee B. Campbell. He is survived by two sons, Edward Campbell of Daufuskie Island, SC, Hank Campbell & wife Susan of Valrico, daughter Beth Campbell & Todd Elliott of Bradenton, four grandchildren, Emily Craig & husband Patrick, Sarah Campbell, Alex Campbell, Chad Courson, two great grandchildren, Lilah Craig and Felix Craig, and brother Robert C. Campbell & wife Cathy.

Family will receive friends from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. funeral service time on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bartow. Interment will be held at Wildwood Cemetery in Bartow.

Contributions may be made to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bartow or Moffitt Cancer Center. Condolences to family at


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