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William Bruner Campbell ,94, of Austin, died Saturday, September 23rd in Houston, surrounded by family.
He was born July 10, 1923 in Palestine, Texas, son of the late Thomas Mitchell Campbell, Jr. and Erma Langston Campbell. He was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas Mitchell Campbell, III. Bill was the grandson of Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, and great-great-nephew of Pinckney Henderson, the first Governor of the State of Texas in 1845.
Bill graduated from Schreiner Institute High School in Kerrville in 1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII and served in the Pacific Theater, where he was gravely injured during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. During the Korean War, he was a member of the U.S, Air Force Reserve, attached to British Intelligence.
After the war, Bill received his Bachelors degree from Davidson College in 1947 and his Masters and PhD in 48 and 54 respectively from The University of Texas at Austin. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and several honor societies. His post-graduate research was at St John's College, Oxford, the Institute of Historical Research, London, and in India on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Bill taught at Mississippi State College for Women, 1959-60, and was a professor and Provost of The University of the South from 1960-1975, where he helped integrate the school. He helped found, and served on the board of, Kirby Hall School in Austin. He was a visiting professor at University College, Oxford, and at Schreiner University. At age 66, Bill joined the Peace Corps and taught at the University of Tunisia.
An avid painter and writer, Bill published books on William Gordon and John Robinson, a novel, short stories, kept a daily journal since 1942, and faithfully wrote a letter a day to his children for over 10 years.
Bill was a past President of the American Students Association in England. A long-time member of the English Speaking Union, he served on its board in England, the national board in the States, and was a past President of the Austin branch. He served on the board of the Zachary Scott Theatre, the Anglo-Texan Society with Graham Greene, and was a founding member of the board of the Austin Lyric Opera. He was a past member of the Knights of the Symphony, and the Headliners Club.
He is survived by his son Thomas Mitchell Campbell, IV and wife Dee Ann of League City, TX, Virginia Fenner Campbell and partner Roger Reynolds of New Orleans, and grandchildren Sara Lily and William Logan Campbell. He is also survived by many adored cousins and friends.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Saturday, October 7th, at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 301 Hays Country Acres, Dripping Springs, at 3:00 PM, followed by a celebration at his home. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, Bill requested memorials be sent to Holy Spirit Episcopal Church.
Published on September 28, 2017
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