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Memorial Set for Influential Educator

A memorial service for Dr. William R. (Bill) Carmichael, whose service to Texas public education was matched by his impact on teacher education at Sam Houston State University, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville.

Carmichael, 92, died Saturday. He retired as professor of education and chairman of the Department of Special Programs and Services at SHSU in 1974 after 46 years in public and higher education.

"He was a real key to building our education program in the 60s," said Jim Merchant, professor of education. "He was extremely well-liked by school administrators throughout the state and especially Southeast Texas."

As an example of that high regard, the Aldine school district named an elementary school in his honor, although he never taught in that district.

"He was down to earth, practical, highly experienced, and had a good sense of humor," said Jack Staggs, professor emeritus of education at SHSU who worked with him in the SHSU teacher preparation program. "He was always pleasant, and I never heard a negative word about him. And that's rare."

After graduating from Texas A & M University, majoring in history and English and minoring in mathematics, Carmichael began teaching in the Timpson school district, where he also coached the basketball team.

He came back to the Bryan area, living there 28 years, teaching, coaching, earning a master's degree from A&M and his doctorate from Baylor University.

During the 1940s he was executive secretary of the Texas High School Coaches Association and director of athletics at Texas A&M.

In 1961, he accepted a professorship at Sam Houston State. He served as president of the Texas State Teachers Association in 1965-66, a rarity for someone working in higher education. He was also president and member of the Texas Advisory Committee on Conservation Education.

After his retirement, he maintained a close association with the university as a consultant and adviser. His hobbies included fishing and domino playing, and he was a deacon and Sunday school teacher in the First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville.

He was also a Mason, a Shriner, a Rotarian, and enjoyed the roles of husband, father and grandfather.

His family requested that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church or the W. R. Carmichael Scholarship Fund at Sam Houston State University, in care of the Office of Advancement.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marzee Moore Carmichael; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Cathy Carmichael of Midlothian, Va.; daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Warren Bellows of Houston; three granddaughters, Catherine Carmichael Lyon of Windsor, Va.; Kristin Carmichael Mitchell of Charlottesville, Va.; and Elizabeth C. Bellows of Houston; and grandson Warren Bellows IV of Houston.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 5, 1999
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