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FORT WORTH -- Blake Campbell somehow summoned the strength to sing at his father's funeral Monday morning at Wedgwood Baptist Church. A soaring, tenor voice.

About 300 mourners were reminded that Tim Campbell loved to sing, too; even as life took him from family and career to homelessness, before he started turning his life around.

A hit-and-run driver killed Campbell on his scooter on I-35W in Fort Worth last Thursday morning before dawn.

'If there is anyone who exemplified a joyful faith, it was Tim,' Bob Kline said.

Kline teaches the Sunday school class at Wedgwood that went looking for Campbell a few years after he drifted away.

They contacted LaVoyd Williams II, who runs Celebrate Recovery. Williams found him among the desperate on East Lancaster Avenue.

'When I met him, he was shaken and frail. All of a sudden, he showed up at a Celebrate Recovery meeting at Union Gospel Mission,' Williams said.

Campbell had retired from American Airlines. He had a master's degree in Christian counseling. He lost his marriage and everything else in a struggle with alcohol.

At the mission, he rediscovered faith and purpose.

'Because of his relationship with Christ and his sobriety, other men also began that journey as well,' Williams said.

Men like Terry Gibson, who sat wiping away tears long after the service ended.

'I'm on my way back. Tim was such a great inspiration,' Gibson said. 'Since I met Tim, I'm way up the ladder. I'm coming back.'

He was among several from the mission who attended Tim Campbell's funeral.

The service also drew workers from Colonial Country Club, where Campbell got a job washing dishes three months ago. He was proud to hold full-time work again.

On Sundays at Wedgwood, Campbell would bring friends from Lancaster Avenue and from Colonial -- testament to the power of his story. Terry Gibson recalled Campbell telling him, 'We all have stories and they're all important. Don't ever judge anyone until you hear their story.'

Close friend Mike Barber, a police officer, summed up the reason so many came to honor Tim Campbell.

'There is not a testimony without a test,' he said. 'Tim had that test. And he lived that test. But he also shared that testimony.'

Investigators are still searching for the SUV driver who hit Campbell's scooter, then stopped long enough to dislodge it from the vehicle before he or she drove away.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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