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Virginia Grayson Campbell

June 3, 1930 — March 4, 2021

Virginia Grayson Campbell

Virginia Grayson Hopper Campbell was born June 3, 1930 in Oklahoma City, OK, and passed away March 4, 2021at home with her family surrounding her. Virginia wore many "hats" in her lifetime, she was a pianist, composer, teacher, church organist, artist, poet, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Virginia began playing the piano at the age of three, and nothing delighted her more than to play the piano for someone. Virginia graduated from Classen High School in 1948, and then started her piano studies at Oklahoma City University, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Music and Master's Degree in Music and Performance, under the tutelage of Dr. Clarence Berg. She played the piano at All Souls Episcopal Church, where she met her first husband, Walter Campbell. They had their first date on his birthday, and the following year were married on her 20th birthday. Shortly into their marriage, Walter felt the calling to become an Episcopal priest, and they moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended seminary. Their marriage was one of commitment to their family and church, as well as entertaining friends at gatherings, with Walter on the piano and Virginia on the organ. Virginia was energetic and loved her community and family, and always wanted to be surrounded by people. She thoroughly enjoyed entertaining in her home as well as going to parties. She was a member of the Oklahoma City Ladies' Music Club, Pianists Division and Composer's Division and a member of the "Daughter's of the King" in the Episcopal Church as well as a beloved music teacher and mentored many musicians. Virginia never stopped studying music, and even when macular degeneration took most of her sight, she would continue learning new pieces, one measure at a time with the sheet music on a magnifier. She sketched and painted, wrote poetry and composed music all her life. She was always ready for an adventure and loved traveling. In 1982, she traveled to Austria to study with concert pianist, Jorg Demus, at his beautiful home near Salzburg, Austria. She was so inspired from this course, that she continued traveling to Europe every summer to study music with Mr. Demus for the next 25 years. This was her inspiration for creating the Piano Artists Series, which brought some of the world's most talented musicians to sophisticated Oklahoma audiences for almost 40 years. Virginia also gave piano concerts all over the world; Austria, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia and many states within the United States. She represented Oklahoma in the 2009 Ms. Senior America competition in Atlantic City and wowed the audience with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. She performed for many years at the renowned Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Virginia was a consummate performer, who was as comfortable playing Chopin or Beethoven to a concert audience as singing "I Can't Stop Loving You" with a country and western band at the Goodrich Tire opening in Conroe, Texas. Virginia never met someone who wasn't a friend, and delighted in sharing stories and experiences of life. Her favorite quote was "Life is uncertain, so eat your dessert first!" Virginia is preceded in death by her first husband, Walter Campbell, Jr., her second husband, William Guilford, and her parents, Jim and Emily Hopper. She survived by her children: Walter Campbell, (Paula), Drew Campbell, (Jennifer) Mary Foster, (Lance), and Ann Campbell; sister, Eleanor Heinz, (Jim) of Longview, Texas; 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to all of Virginia's caregivers for their loving care. A visitation is planned for Thursday and Friday, March 11-12, 2021, from 9 AM to 8 PM at Smith and Kernke N. May Ave. A celebration of Virginia's life is being planned for later this spring or early summer.
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