Olen Kenneth “OK” Campbell, of Commerce, died Feb. 26, 2007, after a lengthy illness. He was 100.
Campbell was born May 16, 1906, in Custer City, Indian Territory, to Oklahoma pioneers Robert E. and Elizabeth (Boyd) Campbell. He formerly had lived in Langley and Ashland, Va.
He was a veteran of the Army Air Corps, serving in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, setting up Army Education Programs, Battalion and University training. When the Army Air Corps became the Air Force, he was appointed to Overseas Operations for the Office of the Chief of Staff for Reserve Forces, to educate, and train Air Force Reserve Forces stationed overseas.
When he returned to the United States, he was assigned to the Deputy of Manpower and Organization, Tactical Command at Langley AFB in Virginia before retiring as lieutenant colonel.
He served as principal of Madill High School and superintendent at Madill and Bennington, Okla. Campbell also was an instructor and later a dean at Oklahoma State University, Duke University and the University of Virginia.
Campbell assisted in establishing Clinch Valley College at Wise, Va., and served as the college's first dean. He was adjunct professor at Randolph-Macon College, University of Richmond at Summers, and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1959, he took the position of Supervisor of Institutional Services with the State Department of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia, serving until his retirement in 1975. He was inducted into the Centenarian Club of Oklahoma in May of 2006.
He served as Bryan County representative to the 15th Oklahoma Legislature.
His memberships include the Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts Advisory Committee, and the Association of School Administrators all in Ashland, Va. He became a 32-degree Master Mason in 1935 at Durant Masonic Lodge No. 45 A.F.&A.M. Over the next 65 years, his Masonic involvement would include Ashland Lodge No. 168 64 year member, York Rite, Royal Arch Chapter No. 3 50-year member, Commandery of Knights Templar, Richmond Chapter No. 2, ACCA Temple AAONMS of Richmond, member emeritus Air Force Association The Royal Order of Scotland, and he chaired the Scottish Rite Council Education Committee. He was elevated to the station of K.C.C.H. in 1973 and33-degree Mason in 1979, Richmond Scottish Rite.
He married Jessie Lee Morris May 22, 1932, in Durant. She preceded him in death on Oct. 19, 1996.
Campbell was also preceded in death by his parents, eight brothers, and one sister.
Survivors include one brother, Ervin Campbell and wife Dorothy of Ozark, Mo.
Members of McAlester Masonic Lodge No. 96 will conduct masonic graveside rites at 2 p.m. Thursday in Memory Gardens Cemetery, north of McAlester, under the direction of Fitzgerald Funeral Service, The Ivy Chapel in Tulsa.
Memorials are suggested to the Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland, VA 23005.