Memorial services for Harold Brown Cameron M.D., 95, of Tyler are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at Marvin United Methodist Church with Dr. John Robbins officiating. Following the ceremony, a reception for family and friends will be held in Pirtle Hall.
Prior to the memorial services, a private family graveside service under direction of Lloyd James Funeral Home will be in Bradford Cemetery in Troup.
Dr. Cameron died peacefully in his sleep at 1:30 a.m. at his home in Tyler, on his 95th birthday, Feb. 25, 2013, while surrounded by members of his family. He has left behind a wonderful legacy.
Harold Brown Cameron M.D. was born in Cumby on Feb. 25, 1918. He grew up in Yowell where his parents, Justice and Nancy Day Cameron, owned farms and a general store. The family moved to Commerce where Harold graduated from high school. After three years at East Texas State Teacher's College (now known as Texas A&M Commerce), he was admitted to Baylor Medical School in Dallas. During his last two years of medical school, Harold worked as an extern at Medical Arts Hospital. Before graduating in June 1942, he married Eleanor Melton of Troup on April 25, 1942. He served his internship at Roper Hospital in Charleston, S.C., where he delivered 70 babies in two weeks in December 1942 when the medical students were on Christmas vacation and he was left alone with the outside obstetrical service. At the end of his internship in 1943, he entered the Army
Air Corps, graduated from the School of Aviation Medicine and served for three years as a flight surgeon, attaining the rank of captain. He was then attached to a B-29 bomb group on a troop ship on the way to the Pacific Theater when the war ended. He was then sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to screen Army officers who were trying to re-enter the service when his first son, Robert, was born in 1945.
Harold completed a three-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Hermann Hospital in Houston. His second son, Hal, was born in 1948 and the family moved to Tyler in 1949. There was one hospital, Mother Frances with 50 doctors on staff. Harold was the first doctor in Tyler to limit his practice to obstetrics and gynecology and the first to be Board Certified in OB-Gyn. He shared offices with Drs. Elbert Caldwell and J.W. "Cotton" Birdwell. At that time the hospital did not have emergency room doctors and so all doctors served in the emergency room on a rotating basis in addition to their practice six days a week. Since Harold was the first and only Board Certified obstetrician-gynecologist physician in East Texas at that time, he spent many late hours driving to Athens, Mineola, Kilgore and Palestine to help doctors who called with difficult deliveries and surgical procedures. On completion of the cases the doctor would often call and tell him, "I am sorry, but these people do not have any money."
Dr. Cameron delivered the first baby at Medical Center Hospital in September 1951, and according to the East Texas Medical Center Hospital 50th Anniversary publication, he had delivered approximately 9,000 to 10,000 babies during his 47 years of practice in Tyler. Of note, Harold delivered Dr. Brent Harris, Dr. Jerry Schwarzbach, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Mollie Bankhead, Dr. Sunni Boren and Dr. Kyle Smith who are all practicing in Tyler.
Dr. Cameron has been honored by his peers on many occasions. He was a Life Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a Life Member of the Smith County Medical Society where he served as president in 1972. Former Tyler Mayor Smith Reynolds Jr. proclaimed April 25, 1996, Harold Cameron M.D. Day. He served on the Administrative Board of Marvin United Methodist Church and on the board of The Salvation Army. He served as president of medical staffs as well as chief of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments at both Mother Frances and East Texas Medical Center hospitals. In 2003 he was awarded the Gold-Headed Cane, which is an award that originated in England approximately 300 years ago where the walking cane was carried by the most outstanding physician of the time. In 2010 he was honored to become a member of the Doctor Luke Society from Bethesda Health Clinic.
During Harold's lifetime he especially enjoyed traveling throughout the world with friends and family as well as hunting and fishing in Texas, New Mexico and Utah, which he pursued and enjoyed until he was told by the rancher who owned the deer lease on which he hunted, that he was too old to be hunting at the ripe age of 93.
In retirement, Harold went to the office each morning that he shared with his son Hal, an attorney. He was a consultant for the Texas Medical Insurance Trust, reviewing cases of doctors who were being sued. He delivered Meals on Wheels as long as health permitted. He served on the board and was very committed to the Cameron-J. Jarvis Troup Municipal Library that he and his wife, Eleanor, and Julietta Jarvis established in memory of their son, Robert, and Julietta's father, Julian Jarvis. They received the Texas Library Association Benefactor Award at the association's Annual Conference in Houston in April 1992. Dr. Cameron was a Lifetime Member of the Collector's Circle of the Tyler Museum of Art. He was a member of Marvin United Methodist Church for 64 years, an associate member of Angel Fire United Church in Angel Fire, N.M., and a member of the Tuesday Noon Bible Class.
It was a rare day that he did not meet a patient he had delivered and it always pleased him when they identified themselves. Some would say, "You delivered my mother, grandmother and me." Others said, "I am a model 56 or model 60." Harold truly loved the practice of obstetrics.
Dr. Cameron is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Eleanor Melton Cameron; his son, Hal B. Cameron Jr. and his wife Brenda, and their children, his grandchildren, Robert Hart and Paige Elizabeth Cameron of Tyler; sister-in-law, Eudora Cameron; nephew, Jerald Cameron and his wife Cathy of Hideaway; and niece, Nancy Fincher of Fort Worth. He was preceded in death by his son, Robert Brown Cameron; his brother, Day Cameron; and sister, Isabel Tenery.
The family would especially like to thank Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, Dr. Richard Anderson and caregivers, Carol Knight, Bobby Walker and Dianne Miller.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cameron-J. Jarvis Troup Municipal Library, 102 S. Georgia St., Troup, 75789; Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 S. Mahon Ave., Tyler, 75701; Marvin United Methodist Church, 300 W. Erwin St., Tyler, 75702; or to a