William W. "Bill" Hambleton

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  • "Professor Hambleton was my main instructor in 1954 and..."
    - Tom Hall
  • "Dear Hambleton Family, I am sorry to hear of Bill's..."
    - Le-Thu Erazmus
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    - Tammy and Don Steeples
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William "Bill" W. Hambleton

Memorial services for William W. "Bill" Hambleton, 91, of Lawrence, KS will be held at 11 AM Friday, October 19, 2012 (12 days) at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence. He died on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Home following a prolonged illness.

Bill was born September. 10, 1921 in Lancaster, PA, the son of Harry Coxen and Ella Moore Hambleton. He graduated from McCaskey High School in 1939. He then attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he majored in Chemistry.

Upon graduation, Bill enlisted in the Army. He served in the Army Specialized training Program at Lafayette College and in G Co., 335th Battalion, 84th Infantry Division in the European Theatre, participating in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor.

After leaving the military, Bill married Nancy Jane Schnelli of Lancaster, PA. They recently celebrated 66 years of marriage. He always said that the key to his professional success was the outstanding advice and support that he received at home.

He earned an M.S. degree in Geology from Northwestern University in 1947 and a Ph.D. degree in Geology with a minor in Physics from the University of Kansas in 1951, where he held a Shell Fellowship.

His career at the University of Kansas started as an instructor in 1948 and ended with him retiring as Emeritus Professor of Geology and Geophysics in 1987. He was also Emeritus Director of Kansas Geological Survey and served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Dean of Faculties.

Bill was also employed by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Mines Surface Chemistry Lab in Oklahoma, and Chevron Geophysical Company in Louisiana. He served as consultant to Battelle Memorial Institute Office of Waste Isolation and was a visiting scientist at Lamonte Geological Observatory of Columbia University.

Bill was a passionate enthusiast of the arts and was a founding member of the School of Fine Arts Advisory Board. Other Lawrence positions he held include serving as a member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the K.U. Alumni Association, the Kansas School of Religion Board, the Advisory Board and Chair of the Friends of the Spencer Art Museum, the Friends of the Theatre Advisory Board, the Cottonwood Foundation Board, the Kansas Land Trust, the River City Weekly Advisory Board, the Kansas Geological Survey Advisory Board, Plymouth Congregational Church (as Moderator and Board of Deacons), and the Lawrence Rotary Club.

At KU, Bill served as Chair of the Council of University Divisions, a member of the Overview Committee of the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project, the President of the Kansas Chapter of Sigma Xi, a member of the Hearing Examination Board of Office of Affirmative Action, Center for Research Board of Directors, and as Secretary of University Senate.

Bill was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Member of the Association of the American State Geologists. Other membership involvements include the Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Geophysical Union, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Kansas Academy of Science, 84th Infantry Railsplitter Society, KU Alumni Association, and KU Endacott Society Retirees Club. He has been awarded the Haworth Distinguished Graduate and Alumni Award and the first Phoenix Award for Volunteer in the Arts. KU's Hambleton Hall was dedicated in his honor in 1987.

At the state and federal level, Bill served as Governor's representative and Vice-Chair for the Interstate Oil Compact Commission; member of the Executive Advisory Committee to the Federal Power Commission, the Executive Office of President Carter on Energy, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the National Academy of Sciences on disposal in salt. He was the Energy Advisor to Governors Docking and Bennett. Other directorships he held included Kansas Energy Office, Kansas Nuclear Energy Council, Pesticide Control Board, Kansas Water Authority, Kansas Association of Commerce and Industry Executive Committee, and the Central States Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission Advisory Committee.

Bill is survived by his wife, Nancy, of Lawrence. Other survivors include a daughter Ann and her husband Kevin Klee, of Chewelah, WA, son Jeff and wife Nancy and two grandsons W. John and Sam of Lawrence, KS, and a sister, Joan Pollock of Lancaster, PA.

The family suggests memorials in his name to either the LMH Endowment Association or the William W. Hambleton Student Award for Excellence in Research. Donations may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Online condolences may be sent to www.warrenmcelwain.com.

Please sign this guestbook at Obituaries.LJWorld.com.

Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Oct. 7, 2012
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