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CAMPBELL, Ernest Q. Died peacefully at home in the early morning of Sunday, July 28th, with family at his side. Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University, Ernest led a life of the mind, joined seamlessly with deep love of family and commitment to social justice. Having grown up in rural Georgia, Ernest earned his B.A. from Furman University, his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt. After doing post-doctoral work at Harvard and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he came to Vanderbilt as Chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology in 1963. During his academic career, he co-authored the Coleman Report, borne of a mandate within the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that served as the scholarly underpinning for public school busing. On a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, he spent a year with his family in Nairobi, Kenya, establishing the Department of Sociology at the University of East Africa. From 1974 to 1983, he served as Dean of Vanderbilt's Graduate School. He returned to teaching for the next ten years, retiring from Vanderbilt in 1993. Beyond his career, Ernest brought his wisdom, warmth and conviction to his many other pursuits. He was an urban pioneer who helped lead the revival of Nashville's historic Germantown neighborhood. He was an avid tennis player who turned professional at the age of 71 and won doubles championships into his 80s. He was a Master Gardener who, with his wife, Berdelle, turned the entire urban lot next to their Germantown home into a veritable Eden, featuring hundreds of species of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Ernest is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Berdelle; their children, John (m. Kiki), Paul (m. Ginny), Leigh (m. Clark) and Scott (m. Jane); and grandchildren, Philip, Stephen, Malcolm, Ethan, Nina, Esme' and Madeleine. To all who knew him, Ernest was a Southern gentleman of a too-rare sort, a discerning observer, an intent listener and a wise counselor. As exceptional as he was as an academic, husband and father, he surpassed himself as a grandfather. His deliberate commitment to and love for his grandchildren will live on in their memories and in his countless, thoughtful, handwritten letters to them. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cumberland River Compact or the Nashville Jazz Workshop. www.crawfordservices.com. CRAWFORD MORTUARY & CREMATORY, (615) 254-8200.
Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 1, 2013
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