Francis Campion

Staff Sgt. Francis T. "Frank" Campion III, 31, Hollidaysburg, passed away Sunday, July 10, 2011, in Helena, Montana.


He was born in Altoona, son of Francis and Elizabeth Campion.

Surviving are his parents of Hollidaysburg; two sisters: Vivian (Al) Desiderio of Philadelphia and Jennifer Way and Richard Boyle of Hollidaysburg; three nieces: Maggie Ann, Victoria and Nikki; five nephews: Victor, Vincent, Valen, Albert and Tommy; grandparents: Theodore and Catherine DiBlasi of Galloway, N.J.; his fiancee, Helena Kotala of Altoona; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Frank was a 1998 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School and also graduated from Penn State Altoona with a degree in environmental studies.

Staff Sergeant Campion served overseas in 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. His military assignments included 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne, 104th Infantry Detachment, Long Range Surveillance and 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne. His military education consisted of U.S. Army Basic Training, Airborne, Parachute Rigger, Professional Leadership Development Course, Special Forces Combat Convoy Course and Combat Lifesaver, Tier 1 Off-Road Driving Course. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Army Parachutist Badge, Parachute Rigger Badge and Expert Rifleman Badge.

Frank attained Eagle Scout as a member of St. John the Evangelist Church in Lakemont. He was also a member of the Blair County Game Fish & Forestry Association Inc., Eco-Action of Penn State University, National Rifle Association and Juniata Valley Audubon Society.

Frank spent his life enjoying family and the outdoors. He loved hiking, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, traveling, volunteering in Haiti, spending time on the shooting range improving his marksmanship and most of all, seeing the world from the sky, parachuting as a special forces paratrooper.

Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, where a vigil service for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21, 2011, at the cathedral with full military honors.

Committal will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C.

In memory of Frank, contributions may be made to Carmelite Community of the Word, Haiti Outreach Project, 394 Bem Road, Gallitzin, PA 16641 (, Blair County Game Fish & Forestry Association, 301 Riggles Gap Sportsmen Road, Altoona, PA 16601, Juniata Valley Audubon Society, c/o Dr. Alice Kotala, P.O. Box 148, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648, Sierra Club, PA Chapter, P.O. Box 606, Harrisburg, PA 17108 or Ecoaction: Penn State Altoona, c/o Carolyn Mahan, 209 Hawthorn, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona 16601.

Arrangements are by Santella Funeral Home (