Campbellsville—Retired Campbellsville University professor Bobby Himes, who taught at the school for 40 years, died June 28. He was 76.
A native of Hartford, Himes, who was a cancer survivor and known for his upbeat demeanor, began his tenure at Campbellsville in 1961 at the age of 29. He retired as a history and political science professor in 2001. Himes also taught at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., prior to arriving at CU.
During his four decades at Campbellsville, Himes served under five presidents, including current president Michael Carter, who affirmed Himes’ legacy at the university.
“There are literally thousands of men and women in Kentucky and beyond who studied history and political science in the classes taught by Dr. Himes,” Carter said. “Dr. Bobby Himes will be missed not only by his family, but he will be missed by all who knew him and counted him as a friend and professional colleague.”
In 1994, Campbellsville presented Himes with its Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the university in 1999.
Himes’ recognitions extended beyond the university and into the community. He twice was named the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year, received the Business and Professional Women’s Club Man of the Year award in 2001, as well as the 2004 Central Kentucky News-Journal Man of the Year honor. He also received the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher Award from the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies in 1982.
Robert Clark, who taught with Himes during each professor’s 40 years at the school, called his long-time colleague “a people person.”
“He loved relationships with his colleagues, family and friends,” Clark recalled. “He was always positive and enthusiastic in all endeavors.”
Himes’ “love of CU and his students has been demonstrated actions and contributions,” noted John Chowning, Campbellsville’s vice president for church and external relations. “Certainly his knowledge of history and love of the political process were contagious to all who knew him.”
Himes was a veteran of the Korean Conflict having served his country in the United States Air Force as a staff sergeant and an aircraft inspector.
Himes was a graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro and Appalachian State University.
Funeral services were held July 4 in Himes’ hometown of Hartford. He is survived by his wife, Erlene, a daughter, a grandson and three great-grandchildren.
The family requests that gifts be made in Himes’ memory to the Bill Himes Scholarship at Campbellsville University, or the Bob and Erlene Himes Scholarship Fund at Kentucky Wesleyan College.