Age 70, Luray, Va.
Linda Sours Campbell, 70, of Luray, Virginia, passed away peacefully in her home at Khimaira Farm on August 14, 2021 after a three-year struggle with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She was born August 3, 1951 and was the daughter of the late Oscar Thomas Sours and Gernie Meadows Sours of Luray. Always known for her vibrant and energetic spirit, Linda shared her enthusiasm for life and her love of goats, conservation, and a rural lifestyle with everyone she met throughout her 70 years of a life well-lived.
On June 5, 1971, she married her high school sweetheart, R. Leith Campbell, and embarked on a union of more than 50 years that would produce four daughters, four grandchildren who knew her as “Bobba”, and countless successful family businesses. She served as a role model for-and will be greatly missed by- the rest of her surviving family: Julena Campbell and partner Brian Sikes; Dr. Kendra Campbell and husband Eddy Rivera and their children Maya Rivera Campbell and Rio Rivera Campbell; Briana Campbell and partner Johnny Santiago; Corina Nicol and husband Josh Nicol and their children Carmindy Rain Nicol and Oscar Alexander Nicol.
She is also survived by her siblings: Shirley Sours Lewis of Savannah, Georgia; Gail Sours Wyatt and husband Billy Wyatt of Luray; sister Carolyn Sours Swiger of White Bluff, Tennessee; Dwayne Anthony Sours and wife Connie Seal Sours of Luray; John Vernon Sours and wife Nellie Cahoon Sours of Luray; Ernest Jackson Sours and wife Robin Miller Sours of Luray; Brenda Sours Rogers and husband Chris Rogers of Rileyville, Virginia. She was also loved by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends. Linda was preceded in death by two brothers: Oscar T. Sours Jr., and James Lynwood Sours, and brother-in-law Jack Lewis.
For many years, Linda was the business manager for her family’s business, Oscar T. Sours Excavating, a well-known and beloved contractor in Page County and beyond.
Linda and Leith established Khimaira Farm in 1978 and it became one of the first commercial goat dairies in the state of Virginia. Linda loved sharing her knowledge of, and passion for, goats and farm life with countless visitors to the farm over the years. Her homemade goat milk ice cream was always a hit among farm tour patrons, be it elementary school kids, veterinary college students, or tour buses full of travelers from across the world. Her pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit helped spearhead the agritourism industry in Page County.
In more recent years, the farm has become a popular wedding venue, attracting clients from around the world who appreciate her passion for conservation and sustainability. Many couples have noted that the strong bonds of love and dedication they witnessed between Linda and Leith, and the strong work ethic and integrity that they exhibited and instilled in their daughter Corina, who helped run the thriving family business, was what drew them to the venue. Linda loved working with the wedding couples and frequently said she felt she gained “new children” with every wedding as she welcomed them to the farm on their first visit with a hug and worked tirelessly to deliver the wedding of their dreams.
Linda’s drive and ambition helped fuel the expansion of the dairy goat industry well beyond the fields of Khimaira Farm. In the 1980s, she began exporting breeding stock internationally. Linda planned and executed the complex logistics needed to purchase, test, quarantine, and safely ship thousands of goats to more than 30-plus countries. She was even known to travel with the animals on cargo planes to ensure her high standards of animal health and safety were met. Linda often stayed at the receiving farms for multiple weeks to provide guidance and to transfer her in-depth knowledge of best practices to the recipients as they set up their own dairy goat operations. In 1992, Linda was awarded the Virginia International Trade award. For more than four decades, she provided international consulting services for farm management and marketing. For much of the time, she also was a volunteer for VOCA (Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Agriculture), through the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program. Linda truly made a lasting global impact.
Linda always enjoyed assisting volunteer organizations and served in many leadership roles for numerous entities and was commonly elected as President/Chair. She served nearly 40 years on the board of the American Dairy Goat Association including multiple terms as President, in other positions on the Executive Committee, and eventually as Director Emerita. She was co-founder and Past President of the American Goat Federation. She was appointed by three Secretaries of Agriculture to the USDA’s National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, serving multiple terms, including as Chair, managing a multimillion-dollar budget. Additionally, she served on the national Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases Subcommittee for the National Animal Identification System, and US Sheep and Goat Board.
In the conservation field, Linda served 35 years on the board for the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District. She also served on the boards for the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Virginia Soil and Water Board (the first woman to serve on the board and reappointed by three governors including terms as Chair), the Virginia Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (President), Shenandoah Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Page County Water Quality Committee.
As a lifelong resident and engaged citizen of Page County, Linda also served on the boards of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce, Shawnee Girl Scout Council, and local PTAs. Not one to remain indoors, Linda jumped at every opportunity to be a field trip chaperone, day camp leader, or overnight counselor and solver-of-all-problems on many girl scout camping trips.
In her “spare time”, Linda was a contributing writer for numerous national/international magazines, and the author of a book The Whole Goat Catalog. Linda was a popular invited speaker on a range of topics for national and international organizations, including agriculture, finance and business management, leadership, marketing, web design, volunteerism, herbology, and parliamentary procedures.
Linda was a trailblazer her entire life. She was often at the forefront of industries that would later become increasingly popular. She was early to recognize the information sharing and marketing capabilities of the internet. In the late 1990s, Linda and Leith established Khimaira-GreenEarthHost Webhosting which has served thousands of clients, both locally and internationally. Even in the last days of her life, she continued to work side by side with her unwaveringly supportive husband to manage the business and provide tech support.
Linda’s energy and capacity for taking on new projects was seemingly boundless as she successfully balanced the management of multiple businesses, a life of community service, and raising four independent and dynamic women who all take after their mother in a variety of ways. While there is no denying the positive impact her successful businesses, volunteer work, and selfless dedication to others had on the world, all of these achievements are secondary to who she was as a mother. No matter what initiative she was running, the miles she traveled, or how long her day was, she managed to prepare home cooked meals with love for her family and had a way of making her daughters feel unconditionally loved. Just like her mother Gernie passed these traits onto her, Linda instilled this strength, passion, work ethic, kindness and drive into her daughters. Her impact will live on through them and her grandchildren every day.
A reporter once asked Linda during an interview what she enjoyed doing most. She was quick to answer, “Being with my family and friends, volunteering, goat farming, singing, dancing, gardening, anything involved with creating things from cooking to carpentry, and living life to its fullest”! Linda did all of the above, and more. She will be sorely missed by many.
No in-person services are planned at this time. Online remembrances and messages of sympathy may be shared with her family and friends at: MyKeeper.com/profile/LindaCampbell
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to any of the following organizations are appreciated:
- ALS Association at Donate.als.org/LindaCampbell
- Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Educational Foundation at VASWCD.org
- American Dairy Goat Association Helen Staver Foundation at ADGAStaverFoundation.org/donate-now. A new scholarship fund will be set up in Linda’s name. Please note her name in the “Special Instructions to the Seller” section if donating online.
Cards may be sent to the family at Khimaira Farm, 2974 Stonyman Rd, Luray VA 22835
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