William G. Campbell (“Bill”), a co-founder of the national law firm, Kutak Rock, died Saturday, April 13, 2019, at an Ely, Minnesota care center. He was 84.
In 1965, Bill, Robert J. Kutak and Harold L. Rock founded Kutak Rock and Campbell in Omaha, Nebraska. The law firm grew dramatically from the three founding members to become the first national law firm in the United States, with offices in several states and the District of Columbia.
Bill was a hard-charging litigator who did not shy away from complicated cases where he achieved excellent results for his clients, including the then largest jury verdict in Nebraska. Bill was an excellent mentor for many young attorneys. He taught them well and gave them chances to excel.
Bill was born on October 16, 1934 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and spent his childhood in Gering. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1956. He graduated from the George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C. in 1959.
After graduation from law school, Bill served his country as a Captain in the Air Force Judge Advocate Corps working with such officers as General Curtis LeMay in the Pentagon. After his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Bill joined Bob Kutak working as an Administrative Assistant to United States Senator Roman Hruska.
Bill moved to Omaha and together with Bob Kutak and Harold Rock created the vision that became Kutak Rock and Campbell. Bill retired from Kutak Rock in 1992. He joined Rogers & Wells in Washington, D.C. as a senior partner where he worked with former Secretary of State William Rogers and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Several years later, he retired from Rogers & Wells and moved to Ely, Minnesota where he opened his own law office serving clients in Ely and surrounding areas.
From 1991 through 2011, Bill was a member of the Board of Directors of the Companion Life Insurance Company and from 1996 through 2006 served as a member of the Board of Directors of Innowave, both of which are affiliates of Mutual of Omaha. Until his full retirement, Bill worked with various Ely charitable organizations to promote job growth on the Iron Range.
Throughout his life, Bill loved to hunt, fly fish and invite others to his home for meals that he enjoyed cooking. He particularly loved to spend time with his family members and his grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, William G. Campbell, III, his mother Virginia Campbell (ne’ Hill) and his son-in-law Michael Brady. He is survived by his daughter Anne Campbell-Taylor and son-in-law Frank Taylor of Minneapolis, Minnesota; daughter Elizabeth Campbell of Fort Worth, Texas; daughter Amy Campbell-Brady of Washington D.C.; grandchildren Grace and Joshua Taylor and Matthew and Kate Brady; and his sister Marcelle Wiggins of Sacramento, California. Bill is remembered fondly by Jancy Campbell of Boulder, Colorado and Angela Campbell of Ely and her two children, Greg and Stephanie.
Bill is also survived by his wife, Deb.
On May 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the family will hold a Celebration of Bill’s life in Minneapolis. Please call 682-990-3826 for details. In memory of Bill and his love for the outdoors, the family welcomes donations to Ducks Unlimited. The family wishes to thank the hospice team, the staff at the Boundary Waters Care Center and friend Bob Baier and his family.