Bixby civic volunteer Bill Campbell was appealing, to town's benefit
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Saturday, January 19, 2013
1/19/13 at 5:49 AM
BIXBY - It was really quite simple: Bill Campbell was supposed to just make a few phone calls.
But that didn't seem like the best method.
For the Bixby Chamber of Commerce to drum up new members, Campbell declared, "There's only one way to do it, and that's face-to-face," said Terry Clark, Campbell's son-in-law.
So that's exactly what the chamber volunteer and former salesman did: He made his appeals in person. The result was a surge in membership, and it continued through his tenure later as chamber president.
Campbell's familiar face-to-face philosophy benefited his adopted hometown in many other capacities, as well.
For example, when a group of Bixby residents got together to build an actual building for the Daily Family YMCA, which at the time occupied a small storefront space, Campbell led the charge, selling commemorative bricks to raise the money.
And a few years later, when that new building needed to be expanded because of demand, Campbell stepped up again with his personal appeals.
"When you saw Bill coming, you knew he was fundraising - that he was going to hit you up for a donation," Bixby funeral director Jack Selby said.
"But he was the kind of person - you didn't mind it because you knew it was from his heart."
Bill D. Campbell died Monday. He was 85.
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church under the direction of Bixby Funeral Service.
Every Christmas, Campbell had a ritual. It started with identifying one of Bixby's neediest families.
"It was usually a single mom with three or four kids - a family that, due to their circumstances, wasn't going to have a Christmas at all," Clark said.
Once a family was found, Campbell made a personal delivery, taking them not only gifts but also the Christmas tree to stack them around, as well as the food for Christmas dinner, added Clark, who often accompanied his father-in-law.
Children always brought out that spirit in Campbell, he said.
They were a big motivation in his efforts for the Daily Family YMCA.
A former associate director for the facility he helped establish, Campbell raised money for its Deserving Kids Campaign and spent time mentoring children. Because there was no skating rink nearby at the time, he organized roller skating at the Y.
Some kids wouldn't have money for the skates, but Campbell made sure they got a pair, anyway.
A native of Tulsa who grew up in Enid, Campbell moved to Bixby nearly 30 years ago.
Family members say he fell in love with the community almost instantly.
Over the years, he was involved in almost every aspect of it.
He served on various boards, including many years on the Bixby Planning Commission, for which he was recognized with an award in 2006.
He was also active in 2005 in the start of the nonprofit Bixby Outreach Center, which provides temporary assistance to families needing food, clothes and financial help.
"His main purpose was Bixby and its children. That's what he was all about," Clark said.
Survivors include his four daughters, Carolyn Clark, Janice Garcia, Nancy Hutchins and Tammy Robinson; a son, Stephen Campbell; a sister, Donna Kutner; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Original Print Headline: Man was appealing, to town's benefit
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
Bill Campbell: Every Christmas, Campbell had a ritual that would start by identifying one of Bixby's neediest families. Once a family was found, he made a personal delivery, taking them not only gifts but also the Christmas tree to stack them around, as well as the food for Christmas dinner. "His main purpose was Bixby and its children," his son-in-law said