The Norman Transcript


September 1, 2013

Dr. John M. Campbell Sr.

NORMAN — Dr. John M. Campbell, Sr. died in his sleep Saturday morning Aug. 24 in his home after a brief illness. He was born in Virden, Ill., to John M. Campbell and Ione Marie (Whittler) Campbell on the Whittler kitchen table on March 24, 1922.

He graduated from Burlington High School in Iowa in 1940 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering at Iowa State University in 1943. Shortly after graduation he was assigned to the Manhattan Project by his employer, DuPont, and was part of a group that developed the atomic bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which ended the war with Japan. While on the project he met and married Gwen Thompson. That began a wonderful 61-year marriage that ended with her death in 2006.

In 1946 he came to the University of Oklahoma as a graduate student and instructor in chemical engineering. In 1951 he received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, the first offered in the College of Engineering. After three years in the industry, he was rehired by OU in petroleum engineering and served as the chair of the department for 12 years. He also served as the director of the Petroleum Research Center and was the Halliburton professor before resigning in 1968 to found the first of several companies to serve the international petroleum industry.

By virtue of his high-profile international energy consultancy and his successful books and technical papers, he received many national and international honors, culminating in his election to the U. S. National Academy of Engineering.

His is survived by his three sons, John Jr. and wife Linda, Bob and wife Leslie and Chuck; 10 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

His celebration of life at the First Presbyterian Church will be Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Postscript from his sons: The above obit was written by our father prior to his death. Being respectful of his wish, we have published it as he wrote it. Dad’s modestly written announcement grossly understates his personal and professional achievements and his contributions to the Norman community and the University of Oklahoma.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dr. Tibor József Herczeg

    “The ancient order opens to readmit me. I lean out on the windy stars.” — János Pilinszky. Apocrypha Dr. Tibor József Herczeg, 87, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Oklahoma, died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 22, 2014

  • Elbert Don Idlett

    Elbert Don Idlett died Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Noble at the age of 60 years, 4 months and 14 days....

    July 22, 2014

  • Steven Matthew Sparks

    Steven Matthew ‘Matt’ Sparks, 34, beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. Matt was born Feb. 7, 1980, in Elk City. After living abroad in several countries during his childhood due to his ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Johnny Allen Cossey

    Johnny Allen Cossey, 55, of Noble, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service to honor Johnny’s life will be 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Noble Assembly of God Church, 100 W. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Donald Leon Conn

    Donald Leon Conn was born March 12, 1937, in Lexington to Harvey and Wilma (May) Conn. He passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at his home in Noble....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thomas Joseph ‘T.J.’ Cotrone

    Thomas Joseph “T.J.” Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 18, 2014

  • Pamela ‘Pam’ Ruth Deen

    Funeral services for Pamela “Pam” Ruth Deen will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Midway Hill Baptist Church, with Pastor Willard McCartney Jr. officiating....

    July 17, 2014

  • T.J. Cotrone

    T.J. Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 17, 2014

  • Karen Kealy Peak

    Karen Kealy Peak, 63, of Fort Clark Springs, Texas, formerly of Norman and Tampa, Fla., was born Nov. 23, 1950, in Dallas and died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 17, 2014

  • Harry Lee Sinnett

    Harry Lee Sinnett, 72, of Harrah and Newalla, passed away Saturday, July 12, 2014. He was born July 16, 1941, in Rago, Kan., to Harry D. Sinnett and Opal L. Robinson. Harry was employed by the city of Norman for 32 years....

    July 17, 2014