Jerry Jay McCampbell, 59, of Idyllwild, died peacefully in his sleep at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 13, 2009, after a three-year battle with cancer.

Jerry went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue his dream of becoming a physicist in 1967. After discovering the focus at that time was to make a nuclear bomb, he abruptly changed paths becoming, instead, a philosopher and a teacher.

He was a man of great depth and wonder. He gave himself to teaching his students and supporting his colleagues for more than 35 years.

He was a dedicated, energetic and enthusiastic teacher, mentor and leader who inspired creativity and curiosity in his students with his hands-on approach.

He received his master’s in education in 1996, and worked at Idyllwild Arts for 19 years, retiring in April 2009.

He was devoted to his family and leaves behind his wife of 28 years, Lucy, and two children, Paige, 27, and Liam, 18: “Jerry, we will miss you.”

A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at the Idyllwild Arts amphitheater. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jerry McCampbell Memorial Science Award, Idyllwild Arts, P.O. Box 38, Idyllwild, CA 92549.