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Gresham womans death in fire was an accident

Janet Campbell, who died in an apartment fire in Gresham last weekend, was a lifelong artist. And her drive to create art was coupled with a passion to give it away.

Police and fire investigators believe that Campbell was in bed when a fire started in her living room on Friday evening, Dec. 28. Firefighters discovered Campbell's body the next morning, along with evidence of a fire that apparently burnt itself out. An autopsy revealed that Campbell died of smoke inhalation.

Campbell is survived by a 17-year-old son, who learned of his mother's death when he arrived home to find firefighters and police officers there. Campbell's brother, David Eisele, said Campbell's son is now living with his father in Portland.

David Eisele said that Campbell recently made a piece of jewelry for his secretary. The last time he spoke with his sister was a phone call in which he told her that the secretary loved the gift.

'My house is filled with her paintings,' David Eisele said. 'Everyone has paintings from Janet.'

David Eisele said that he and his brother, Hugh Eisele, his only other sibling, are lifelong businessmen and never understood how Campbell could make her living from art.

'No matter how much we wanted her to have a real paying job, she always had enough to get by,' David Eisele said. 'That's all that mattered.'

Whenever her brothers razzed her for not earning a typical living, Campbell would simply tell them that she was meant to do art.

'She danced to her own drummer,' David Eisele said.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at Gresham Funeral Home, 257 S.E. Roberts Ave., Gresham.

For more information, see obituary, this page.