Joan Campf (b. 1942)

Joan Campf was born in Northeast Portland in November 1942 to George and Sylvia Davis Campf; her brother is Melvin Campf. Her grandfather Sam Davis, was the head tailor at Meier & Frank Department Store. Before that time, he was also a boxer and drove car tours to the Columbia Gorge. He and his wife, Molly Scherman Campf, later owned the Opera House Laundry, where Joan’s father George worked most of his life. Joan’s maternal grandfather, JJ Davis, owned the Opera House Laundry with his brothers.

The family belonged to many of Portland’s synagogues. Grandparents Sam and Molly were members at Kesser Israel, the Orthodox shul, and Grandparents J.J. and Clara Davis attended Neveh Zedek, also Orthodox. Aunts and uncles belonged to Ahavai Sholom, the Conservative shul, and Joanie’s parents raised her and Melvin at Temple Beth Israel, the Reform synagogue. Joan, in her adulthood, attended Gesher, Havurah Shalom, and Congregation Beth Israel.

Joan attended Alameda Grade School and Grant High. She attended the University of Colorado briefly, then the University of Oregon and graduated in Education at the University of Washington. She was married to Peter Teel for five years and then made a household with her partner Jane Comerford in Southwest Portland. 

Joan’s career took her to many places. Her first venture, while still a college student, was to found the Portland Tennis Club, a part of the Portland Parks Department. She and her co-founder Bill Ward saw a need for an affordable place to play tennis as Portland’s tennis clubs began building indoor courts and raising their membership rates beyond the reach of most young people.

After college, she taught English at Lake Oswego High and at Del Compo High School in Sacramento. She then took on promotions for the Portland Opera, The Firehouse Theater, and headed the Promotions and Public Affairs department for KGW radio station before opening her own advertising agency.

Joan began a scholarship at the Oregon State University in the Veterinary School to provide funds for patient advocacy services. She and her partner Jane Comerford travel extensively and volunteer for aid organizations, including Habitat for Humanity.

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