S.V. Camp dies at 79

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, March 2, 2011


S.V. Camp of Sebrell with his wife, Gail, in an earlier photo. Camp died unexpectedly on Tuesday at age 79 at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina.

SEBRELL—Courtland developer, historian and entrepreneur Stafford Vermont “S.V.” Camp III died unexpectedly Tuesday morning at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.

“He lived every minute of his 79 years,” said his daughter-in-law, Laura Camp.

Mr. Camp was recuperating from surgery a week ago, but took a turn for the worse, Laura Camp said.

Born and raised in Sebrell, S.V. Camp started out farming with his father and decided to go to Virginia Tech. He majored in civil engineering, returned to the area and surveyed for many years with his brother-in-law Pat Carpenito for Shands Development Corp., Courtland. This led to the real estate development aspect of his life.

Asked for some favorite memories of her father-in-law, Laura Camp became emotional.

“It’s just hard to pick one,” she said. “If you took 79 years and how many minutes were in that time, he lived every minute. He just wanted to learn everything. He was curious about everything. Technology didn’t scare him. He kept up with everything that’s new.”

Art Rawlings, whose bond with Camp goes back to their time at Virginia Tech, called Tuesday a tough day.

“It’s a very tough situation for me,” Rawlings said.

He and S.V. Camp worked together in real estate development for close to 26 years. But their connection was more than work.

“He was a very special man, and a father figure to many in the area and beyond,” Rawlings said. “He was very giving to the community. He treated me like family. He was a second family to mine.”

Rawlings added that his fellow Hokie was “a very loyal and avid supporter of Virginia Tech.”

“The Tech family is certainly going to miss him,” Rawlings said.

He described Camp as “big-hearted and giving of his time and money to various projects.”

Further, his interest in Southampton’s past made him a “godfather of history to the county.”

Warren Beale, executive vice president with Manry Rawls Insurance, proudly referred to Camp as “a very good friend.”

“I knew him all my life,” Beale said. “We lived just a few miles apart. We were both big Virginia Tech fans.”

“I was always interested in his projects,” Beale continued. “He was an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word. If he didn’t know a lot about a subject, he’d talk to experts and research until he became an expert himself.”

Beale also emphasized Camp’s interest in Southampton’s history as well as the early years of Southampton Academy.

“He loved his community and did a lot for it,” said Beale.

Survivors include his wife, Gail; children and spouses, Cass and Laura Camp, Scott and Gina Camp, Amanda Camp and Mason and Scott Herman; grandchildren, Michalann, Stafford, Cody, Logan and Vincent; sisters and spouses, Texie and Leroy Bryant and Patti and Dan Forbes.

Mr. Camp was a lifelong member of Sebrell Methodist Church and had served in Japan.

Wright Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.