Phyllis Campbell Barrett

March 14, 2010 

Phyllis Campbell Barrett, a life long resident of Chapel Hill and an early female graduate of the University's law school there, died on Friday, March 12, 2010. She was 90.

Phyllis was well known as a strong, independent woman with a vigorous and inquisitive mind who lived a full, active life, traveling the world extensively in search of the interesting and unique. She remained vibrant and engaged with her family and many friends until the brief illness that led to her death. She was born in Evanston, Illinois on November 19, 1919, the eldest child of George Herbert Glover Campbell and Marjorie Adams Campbell. After her father's untimely death, her mother moved her and her two younger brothers from Connecticut to Chapel Hill in 1930, which Phyllis would call home for the next 80 years. She attended the Chapel Hill public schools and was graduated from both the University of North Carolina and its law school. During World War II, while working as a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, DC, she met her future husband, Gerald Alan Barrett, also a lawyer with the department. They married in Honolulu during the war and returned to Chapel Hill in 1946 with their young daughter. Despite her continual travels during the rest of her life to the far points of the globe, she always loved coming back home to Chapel Hill. She was a devoted supporter of the University and all of its academic and athletic programs during her entire life.

Her husband predeceased her in 1990, but she is survived by her daughter, Nancy Barrett Simpson, and her son-in-law, George Lee Simpson III of Raleigh; her son, Gerald Alan Barrett, Jr., of Atlantic; and her son, Jonathan Adams Barrett, and her daughter-in-law, Lisa, of Charlotte. She is also survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Barrett Simpson Brewer and her children, Cate, Smith and Sally of Raleigh, George Lee Simpson IV of Raleigh; Sara Barrett Spreen of Atlanta, Gerald Alan Barrett III, and his son, Braden of Atlanta, and Rebecca Rose Barrett and Elizabeth Adams Barrett, each of Charlotte.

A funeral service for Phyllis will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, March 15, 2010, at the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill and the family will receive friends at Mrs. Barrett's home following the service.

For nearly 60 years Phyllis spent many joyous hours exploring the NC Botanical Garden and its woods that bordered her home. She was an early and avid proponent of the Garden and memorials to her loving memory may be made to the NC Botanical Garden, UNC Chapel Hill, Campus Box 3375, Totter Center, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-3375, or online at

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