William James Chamberlain, 61, of Cape Girardeau died Saturday, May 22, 1999, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.
Born Oct. 7, 1937, in Nashville, Tenn., he was the son of the late Louise Ridings Johnson and James Dee Chamberlain.
He married Janet Louise Richeson on Aug. 19, 1963, in Nashville and had two children, Catherine Louise Chamberlain and William Creighton Chamberlain, and a grandchild, Samuel Chamberlain Graber. Chamberlain retired as chairman of the Department of Art, Southeast Missouri State University, in 1996 after serving on the faculty for 29 years.
He was a graduate of Battle Ground Academy, Franklin, Tenn., George Peabody College, Nashville, and the University of Georgia at Athens, and studied at the Atlanta Art Institute at Atlanta, the University of Missouri at Columbia and Indiana University at Bloomington.
Primarily a printmaker at the Southeast, he taught University Studies, drawing, photography, printmaking and other studio art classes with skill and creativity, nurturing young artists and art education students.
He was also an accomplished photographer and papermaker, and worked extensively with digital art. His award-winning work was widely exhibited throughout the United States and was included in many private collections.
As chairman of the art department, Chamberlain recruited and mentored a number of talented instructors. He developed an array of new courses and programs such as Practical Drawing, Drawing in Society and Commercial Art.
He facilitated and oversaw the renovation of the art building and the creation of a computer laboratory for graphic design.
In 1992, he received a research award to support his work and traveled to Great Britain to explore papermaking at the Whatman Mill in Maidstone, Kent. He was a member of the University's Copper Dome Society.
An active member of the Cape Girardeau arts community, Chamberlain and his wife, Jan, received the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts Otto F. Dingeldein Award for outstanding achievement in the arts in 1993. He served as president of the council's board, as a member of the Southeast Missouri State University Museum board, and was vice president of the River Heritage Mural Association.
Working with the mural association, he oversaw the design and creation of more than a half dozen murals in Cape Girardeau.
He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and First Families of Tennessee.
Chamberlain is survived by his wife, Janet Louise Chamberlain; a son, William Creighton Chamberlain of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; a daughter and son-in-law, Catherine Chamberlain Graber and Samuel Gordon Graber of Louisville, Ky.; a grandson, Samuel Chamberlain Graber of Louisville; his stepfather, Bennett Hall Johnson of Cape Girardeau; and his father, James Dee Chamberlain of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Friends called to show their respect at Ford and Sons Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau.
The funeral was on Tuesday, May 25, 1999, at 10 a.m. in the Ford and Sons chapel, with Rev. Patrick Wissman officiating.
The pallbearers were Tim Blattner, John Bower, Ron Clayton, Dr. Martin Jones, Dave Kapfer, Dr. Ray Myers, Narvol Randol and Tom Ross.
Burial was held 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, 1999, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation directed to the Cancer Center.