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William Epperson
In Memory of

William Russell Epperson

1940 - 2019

Obituary of William Russell Epperson

William Russell Epperson was born June 26, 1940, in West Plains, MO, to William and Jeanne Epperson and died in Tulsa on May 2, 2019, surrounded by family and friends.

Bill graduated from high school in Ulysses, KS, in 1957.  After attending York College (NE), Bill transferred to Harding University (AR) and married Linda Hartman in the summer of 1960.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eastern New Mexico University in 1961.  Awarded a Danforth Fellowship to attend graduate school, he received his PhD from the University of Kansas in 1965.  Planning a lifelong commitment to Christian education, Bill returned to York College as a teacher from 1965 – 1967, then furthered his studies in theology at Trinity College, University of Toronto, while also teaching at York University, Toronto.

In 1968, Bill moved with his family to Tulsa, where he had accepted an offer from Oral Roberts University.  For the next fifty years, even after stepping back as department head, he worked passionately towards his goal of guiding students in the classical ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty.  While at ORU, he spoke at international conferences, received three NEH grants for summer study at Brown University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia.  In 1990, Bill received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at Pusan University, South Korea.  Three times during his tenure at ORU, he received the Teacher of the Year award. 

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and brother, John D. Epperson.  He is survived by his wife, Linda; his daughters, Mere Marie-Kristen Epperson, Rachel, her husband Mike Denzin, and Shannon Epperson; and his grandchildren, Chelsey, her husband Lane Fleming, Megan, Daisy, and Sophia.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11th.  In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Iron Gate, Trinity Episcopal Church, or the American Diabetes Association.


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