Age 80, passed away Monday morning, March 22nd, at her home in Sherborn, MA, surrounded by her family.
Thurza grew up in Silver Spring, MD. As a young woman, she enjoyed synchronized swimming and gained her love of gardening, especially azaleas, from her father. As a freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University, she fell in love with Jim Campbell, a sophomore, and married him three years later, while obtaining her degree. Three kids came quickly - one in Ohio, then two in Buffalo, NY.
In 1969, the family moved to Sherborn, where Thurza was soon involved in the community cofounding a garden club and a women’s book group along with singing with Sherborn Music Makers. Besides being a full-time mother, she enjoyed skiing, tennis, and home gardening. Thurza always had lots of ideas for solving life’s problems. She was constantly offering suggestions to her kids that she would announce as “50 cent ideas” and never seemed to get demoralized by their sometimes less than enthusiastic reception.
Thurza was a committed member of Pilgrim Church for her entire 52 years in Sherborn. She participated in the church choir and was instrumental in designing the grounds around the church building. She was a cofounder of “Carpe Diem”, a support group for those members with long term illnesses and their families. After her kids were all off to college, Thurza enrolled in Radcliffe College and obtained a graduate certificate in Landscape Design. She then founded Timeless Designs, a successful landscape design and installation company.
Twenty years ago, Thurza was diagnosed with PLS, an upper motor neuron form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Undaunted by the gradual degeneration of her ability to move and speak, she continued to design and oversee the installation of many landscape projects in Boston and the suburbs. In 2007 she published a book of poetry entitled Carpe Diem: my five-year journey with PLS.
Thurza leaves behind Jim, her husband of 60 years, three grown children – John Campbell and his wife Jennifer of Ketchum ID, Heather Horan and her husband Steve of Needham, MA and Bill Campbell and his wife Eltiena of Utrecht, Netherlands and a total of 8 grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister - Ruth Martin of Brown’s Summit, NC. She leaves a world made infinitely more beautiful by her gardens and landscape projects and a one-of-a-kind spirit.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday July 24th at Pilgrim Church in Sherborn, MA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pilgrim Church (P.O. Box 322, Sherborn, MA, 01770) or the PLS Fund at MGH (125 Nashua St., Suite 540, Boston, MA, 02114).