K92 Radio remembers "Sophie"

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A celebration of life service was held Thursday for a woman known over the local air-waves as Sophie.

Stephanie Campbell who worked as a receptionist at K92 radio died after battling a rare form of lymphoma at 49 years of age.

She was the first smiling face you saw when you walked through the front doors of K92 radio. As many listeners may remember, she was the voice on the other line answering the phones.

General Manager Leonard Wheeler of Wheeler Broadcasting that owns K92, Q-99 and the Vibe 100 remembers the day she was hired 19-years ago as a temporary employee at the front desk.

"Day one that I met her, I don't know what sent her to us, but I knew I wouldn't let her go," Wheeler said.

Although she signed on as a receptionist, through radio antics and her charming personality, she became much more.

K92 Mornin Thang radio host Zack Jackson says she never wanted to be on the air, but always played along with the teams humorous on-air skits.  

"We used to call her on the radio all the time and put her on the radio whether she liked it or not, which is cool because she had contact with the community and a lot of people knew her from picking up their prizes over the years and always saw that smiling face."

More than just a co-worker Sophie's kind, loving spirit made her family. Kianna Price Wade, Program Director and DJ at the Vibe 100 says she bonded with Sophie through friendship, sisterhood and through Christ.

"I told her one time, ‘Ya know God didn't send you here to be a receptionist.' She was so much a vessel," Wade said. "Her purpose of being there was yes, keeping us straight, keeping us organized and keeping our listeners organized, and being such a beautiful reflection as whom we are as a company. I feel, and I know what she did more so on this earth is being that motivation, being that inspiration to her work family but to complete strangers."

The bible she kept in her desk is still here as a reminder. Jackson along with other co-workers all recalls the strength of her faith.

"She is by far one of the kindness, and gentle people I have ever met in my life. One of the most positive people who loved God and always saw the positive and was just thankful for everything in her life, even when she was going through this illness," Jackson said.

As her "work family" recalled, she also had a very strong family bond at home with her husband and children. She was a proud wife to Michael Campbell who worked alongside her in various ministry works throughout Roanoke. Wheeler also recalled that she was a proud mother to her son Rudi who was wheelchair bound with cerebral palsy. Rudi died earlier this year.

"She lived in gratitude every day," Wheeler said. "Every parent would know that raising a child is difficult. To imagine you know that {having a child with cerebral palsy} is even more difficult. She never referred to her son Rudi as a burden. She once specifically said to me, 'How could go bless me with someone so perfect.'"

Although she's gone, she still has place in the building.

"Many businesses, maybe all businesses have a front desk. We don't have a front desk. We have a "Sophie's desk and that's what it's called today," Wheeler said.

"When you page someone in the building, when you need someone to come to the front, you say, "Please come to Sophie's desk," Wade said.

"I hope everyone has a "Sophie" in their life. We were so privileged to have one," Wheeler said.

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