St. Agnes Hospital volunteer

Fumiko Campbell, left, a longtime volunteer at St. Agnes Hospital, greets her old friend, Lucille Bonacci, co-chairwoman of the gift shop at Harbor Hospital, during a March 12 Maryland Association of Hospital Auxilaries meeting that Campbell organized at St. Agnes. (Photo by Phil Grout / March 12, 2012)

Wearing high heels did not seem to slow Fumiko Campbell as the Catonsville resident moved along the polished floors of St. Agnes Hospital at a pace somewhere between a jog and a walk last week.

It's probably not what the doctors had in mind when they operated on the native of Japan for a broken hip and femur only eight months ago.

Campbell, who declined to be more specific about her age than "80-question mark," has a lot to do.

Campbell said she shows up at the hospital on Caton Avenue to volunteer as member of the hospital's auxiliary every day, often getting to her office as early as 4 a.m. and staying until midnight.


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"When I commit to do something, I want to do it, no matter what," Campbell said, the pride palpable in her voice.

After work, Campbell cleans her 19-room house, grabs a few hours of shut-eye, then resumes the her hectic pace the next day.

Campbell has hardly stopped moving since she committed her life to helping others while living in Japan during World War II.

That commitment led her to become a nurse in her native country and eventually work at St. Agnes Hospital, where she celebrated her 30th anniversary on March 1 with a celebration attended by 120 people.

For more than a decade, Campbell worked as an emergency room technician at St. Agnes, arriving for her evening shift an hour early to ensure all the devices were set up and working properly, she said.

The day after Campbell retired from that position about 13 years ago, she began volunteering in the hospital's auxiliary, where she now serves as president.

Since retiring, Campbell had amassed 25,300 volunteer hours at the hospital through 2011.

That number doesn't include her time at 18 other places where she volunteers, including the Arbutus Senior Center, Arbutus United Methodist Church and Kennedy-Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

A person working 40 hours a week for 10 years, without taking a single vacation or sick day, would amass fewer than 21,000 hours.

Arbutus Senior Center director Susan Patry recalled Campbell volunteering every Tuesday to put on a lunch program called Eating Together.

Once the center had enough volunteers, Campbell backed off and allotted her time to other causes, Patry said.

"She's a very talented lady and it's so great she shares herself the way she does," Patry said. "I would love to have her come back and help us with other things."

Patry knows Campbell is busy, but said the residents would appreciate the origami classes she has taught while volunteering other places.

Giving what she has

Since her husband, Arthur, passed away 13 years ago and her only son, Thomas, 58, has his own family, Campbell has plenty of time to give.

"After my husband died, I don't have anything to do at home," Campbell said. "I do not want to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. I want to use my free time for somebody who need it."