Mary Katherine Campbell
August 13, 1943 – January 11, 2022
Mary Katherine Campbell, 78, of Abilene, passed away on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Funeral service will be on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 10:00 AM in the Chapel of Piersall Funeral Directors, 733 Butternut Street. Burial will follow at the Abilene Municipal Cemetery.
Mary was born on August 13, 1943, in Mineral Wells to Clyde Raymond and Mary Lucille Beaty Campbell. She graduated from Hobbs High School in Hobbs, New Mexico, in 1961 and came to Abilene to attend Hardin-Simmons University, graduating magna cum laude in 1965 with a degree in Elementary/Special Education. Following her graduation, Mary got her first teaching job in Austin at Allison Elementary, teaching special education and 4th grade. In 1970, she returned to school at the University of Texas to pursue her Master’s degree in Library Science and upon completing her studies, she returned to Abilene to become the education librarian for HSU, where she worked until 1988. In 1989, Mary heeded the call to Missionary work and began attending classes at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Her first mission was to Liberia but had to be evacuated due to civil war in Liberia. In 1991, she started her mission work in Lomé, Togo, as the librarian for the West Africa Advanced School of Theology, and she ending up staying there until her retirement in 2009.
Mary was a member at First Baptist Church in Abilene since 1971 and they helped support her mission work. She sang in the Sanctuary Choir, taught many classes, served on numerous committees, and was elected a deacon in 2011. She held memberships in the Clan Campbell Society, the Hardin-Simmons Retired Faculty/Staff Fellowship, and the Friends of the Abilene Public Library, where she served as a board member from 2012 to 2017. Mary also devoted her time to volunteer work in Abilene, serving on the International Rescue Committee, helping with the annual Friends of the Library book sale, and working with the City Light Mission at First Baptist Church.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, four half brothers and two half sisters. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.