Faculty, Staff and Friends

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler died December 8 at 93. 

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, pillar of charitable and civic efforts in Dallas, died December 8 at UT Southwestern Medical Center after suffering complications from a hip fracture. She was 93. Her father, Carr P. Collins, founded Fidelity Union Life Insurance and reshaped the 1950s Dallas skyline with the construction of the company's headquarters. Her brother Jim Collins was a powerful U.S. Congressman who represented Dallas from 1968 to 1983. Her sister-in-law Calvert Collins was the first woman elected to the Dallas City Council. But it was Ruth Altshuler, the twice-widowed mother of three, who left an indelible imprint on the soul of her beloved city.

Born March 10, 1924, Ruth was raised in a stately home on Swiss Avenue. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School she attended Southern Methodist University. Her junior year, Ruth married Lt. Bleecker P. Seaman Jr., a Naval Academy graduate. Eighteen months after they wed, Bleecker died when his plane was shot down over Tokyo. In 1947, she married Charles Sharp, a naval officer who later became an executive with Fidelity Union. They had three children, Sally, Stanton, and Susan. In 1956, Charles was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Ruth stoically cared for him until his death 28 years later. In 1987, she married Dr. Kenneth Altshuler, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. They enjoyed a long marriage filled with happiness and humor, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary just two days before she died.

Ruth was one of the most tireless and effective volunteers and civic leaders Dallas has ever seen. Through her decades of philanthropic work, she raised millions for area charities. Dallas is known as the "Can-do City." But Ruth helped make sure that those who could did. Her civic mandate, issued with an extended index finger, was, "Do it!" And they always did. Upon her death, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, "What she did for this city can never be fully comprehended," and called her, "one of the strongest people in Dallas' history." Ruth contributed to the Dallas community in countless ways. At 88, she agreed to accept the daunting task of organizing the city's ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She pulled it off in stunning fashion. She hosted annual food drives in her driveway to benefit organizations including the North Texas Food Bank, bought air-conditioners for local shut-ins, and helped raise more than $600,000 for the children of J.D. Tippit, the Dallas police officer shot by Lee Harvey Oswald just hours after JFK's assassination.

Ruth's commitment to helping others can be traced to her philanthropic parents and her membership in the Dallas Junior League. In the 1950s, as a new member of the league, she toured facilities like Parkland Hospital, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. "It was as if I walked through a door into a whole new world," she said. "Once I saw what needed to be done out there, I've never been comfortable since." On September 6, 2017, more than 1,200 people gave Ruth a standing ovation at a United Way luncheon in her honor. Ruth told the crowd about her defining upbringing. In 1918, her father stood in front of the congregation of First Baptist Dallas and pledged $5,000 to the church. "Mother was just gasping," Ruth said. "She was crying all the way home on the streetcar. 'Where are you going to get that kind of money? We don't have a dime!' My father said, 'I'm going to go to the bank tomorrow and borrow it.' I was brought up in a home where your father would go to the bank to borrow money to give to the church."

In addition to raising millions of dollars, Ruth donated millions of her own. She served as chairs of both the Carr P. Collins Foundation and the Sharp Foundation. She helped SMU's students by creating the innovative Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and helped recognize the university's outstanding faculty by establishing the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. The Ruth Collins Sharp Drama Building in the Meadows School of the Arts was named in her honor. For nearly 50 years she served as an SMU trustee and was the university's first female board chair. Ruth's lifetime of service was filled with many firsts. She was the first woman to serve on a grand jury in Dallas, the one that indicted Jack Ruby for killing Lee Harvey Oswald. She was the first woman on the board of First Republic Bank of Dallas. She was the first woman elected Chairman of the Executive Board of Highland Park United Methodist Church, and first female Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She was the first lifetime member elected to the National Salvation Army Advisory Board, and was a founding board member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She was also the first woman to serve as a board member of the Salvation Army of Dallas, Goodwill Industries, and the Dallas Citizens Council. Ruth founded the Dallas chapter of the United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Society. She co-founded the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, was president of the Junior League of Dallas, president of the Visiting Nurses Association, vice-chair of the Southwestern Medical Foundation, and a life trustee of the Hockaday School. She was a board member and lifelong champion of the Dallas Summer Musicals. She served as chair of the Communities Foundation of Texas, KERA, and the Salvation Army of Dallas. She served on the Board of Visitors of UT Southwestern Medical Center. President George W. Bush appointed Ruth to the Library of Congress Trust and she served on the board of the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. Upon her death, the President and former First Lady remarked, "Ruth taught us the lessons of philanthropy, service, and friendship. She was charming, humble, talented, generous, and funny. We loved being with her, and we will miss her." In 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell named her to the United States Commission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 2011, she became the first person in the U.S. to receive all three national service honors the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives, the national Alexis de Tocqueville Award of the United Way of America, and the Distinguished Service Award given by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. She was one of three life members of the Salvation Army's National Advisory Board.

Ruth had a remarkable way of being poignant and funny at the same time and loved to tell tales about herself. Quick-witted and spontaneous, she once began a speaking engagement by saying, "I have been sitting on this dais between Jenny Craig and Miss America, and I've been buttering my bread under the table." Her accounts of her job at a tuna cannery during WW II sounded like an episode of "I Love Lucy". She told the Dallas Morning News about working night shifts for Delta Air Lines after the death of her first husband. She flagged in planes, told baggage handlers how many pieces of luggage to load, and went over weather reports with pilots. "One day, I was sitting at the Teletype machine when it came across: 'Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima today.' I tossed it aside and said, 'Get that out of here. I need the weather report for Shreveport!' Ruth dedicated her long life to serving others and inspired others to do the same. Toward the end of her life she ended every speech with her favorite quote by Albert Schweitzer, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."

Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, Ruth and Carr P. Collins, and brothers, Jim Collins and Carr P. Collins Jr. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Kenneth Altshuler of Dallas; her daughter Sally Sharp Harris and Sally's husband, Fred Harris, of Great Barrington, Mass.; her son, Charles Stanton Sharp Jr. of Dallas; her daughter Susan Sharp and Susan's husband, Jason Weisman, of Dallas; six grandchildren, Elena Jacobson, Lucas Jacobson, Peter Jacobson, Michelle McAdam, Carr McAdam, and Chance McAdam; and two great-grandchildren, Nico de Leonardis, and Quinn Jacobson. Ruth's memorial service was held on December 14 at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Donations can be made to the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. salvationarmydfw.org.

(Published in Dallas Morning News)

Darlene Bedford Benson of Waco died Nov. 15 at the age of 67.

Darlene Bedford Benson, of Waco, a Baylor 1845 Lifetime member, died Nov. 15. She was 67. She grew up valuing education, family, and God above all else. She and her husband, Dr. L.W. Benson, instilled these values into their home full of children. She transitioned to glory on November 15, 2017 at the age of 67. She is survived by so many who have loved her and have truly appreciated her love for them including her husband, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Public viewing and flowers can be delivered to Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, 6101 Bosque Boulevard, Waco, TX, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 1. The Celebration of Life Service will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 2 at Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church, 925 N. 18th Street, Waco, TX. Interment will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery, Caldwell, TX. Go to www.alcbf.com for greater information. Darlene's family has selected Dr. Barry J.W. "The Shepherd" Franklin, CFSP at A Life Celebration by Franklin in Taylor, TX, to fulfill her final earthly celebration with great excellence.

Yvonne Franklin of Amarillo, TX died Dec. 12 at age 97.

Yvonne Franklin, NONA, of Amarillo, TX died Dec. 12 at age 97. Yvonne J. Franklin, 97, died Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 16, 2017, at First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson officiating. Private burial will be in Llano Cemetery by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.

Born on December 23, 1919, in Melrose, Alabama, Yvonne was one of seven children born to Benjamin and Zeddie Jones. She graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1938, and attended Amarillo College and then New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. While attending NMSU, she met Lt. Willis Bennett (Bill) Hunt, who was a pilot stationed with the 120th Observation Squadron at Biggs Field in El Paso, Texas. Yvonne and Bill were married on August 28, 1941. Six weeks later, Bill was killed in a plane crash during a training mission near White Sands, New Mexico. Yvonne stayed at Biggs Field working as a stenographer, an aircraft dispatcher and as assistant manager of El Paso Municipal Airport during WWII. She also logged over 50 hours as a pilot but couldn't qualify for her license because she didn't weigh enough! After WWII ended, Yvonne moved to Washington D.C. where she worked in the United States Department of the Navy until 1950.

Upon returning to Amarillo in 1950, Yvonne worked as a secretary for Rip Underwood in the First National Bank Building. It didn't take long for her to get noticed by the eligible bachelors working at the bank. In short order, Robert McCartt asked his friend, James Franklin, to find out who she was and whether she'd be interested in going on a date. As good friends do, Mr. Franklin did what he was asked but he failed to ever report back to Mr. McCartt. Instead, James Franklin, who was working as an auditor at the bank, decided to start walking Yvonne home each day and before long, the two were married on August 23, 1951. James and Yvonne had two daughters, Ann Franklin Austin and Jane Franklin Austin and were married for 58 years until Mr. Franklin's death on April 29, 2009.

Yvonne loved the Texas Panhandle and its people and served in many civic capacities. She served on the Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees for twelve years and was a loyal supporter of Wayland's concert series and music programs. Mrs. Franklin also served as the President of the Amarillo Symphony Guild and as President of the Amarillo Symphony Board. She also was a member of the Southwestern Hospitality Board of the Metropolitan Opera of New York City in the 1970's. She was a Baylor 1845 Lifetime member.

As a couple, James and Yvonne were active members at First Baptist Church in Amarillo where she helped teach in the Second Grade department for nearly 45 years. In addition to her love for classical music, Yvonne was very interested in history and, as a result, spent much of her time putting various books together about the history of First Baptist Church, the history of the family ranch in Gray County, the history of both sides of her family, as well as several cookbooks which she liked to give away to family and friends.

Whether it was serving her famous fried chicken, having her grandchildren spend the night on the front porch of the ranch Pool House, or going parasailing in the Bahamas when she was almost 80, Yvonne was fun and loved her family - something she showed every chance she had.

The family wishes to thank all the kind people at BSA Hospice and the Ware Living Center for the love and care shown to Yvonne over the last several years.

Yvonne is preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin Robert Jones and Zeddie Turner Jones; six siblings, Troy Franklin Jones, Paul Newton Jones, Benjamin Robert Jones, Jr. ("B.R."), Freda Grace Caballero, Wanda Louise Burke and Gary Roger Jones; her first husband, Willis Bennett (Bill) Hunt, and her second husband of 58 years, James B. Franklin.

Survivors include her two daughters, Ann and husband Jim Austin; Jane and husband, Dr. Steve Austin, all of Amarillo; five grandchildren, Olivia Mijares and husband Ruben, of Houston; James Austin and wife Lauren, Luke Austin and wife Meredith, all of Amarillo; Tripp Austin and wife, Molly, of Dallas and Liesl Everett, of Amarillo; thirteen great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Friday, December 15th from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home located at 2800 Paramount Blvd. and suggests memorials be made to the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church of Amarillo, 1208 Tyler, Amarillo, Texas 79101 or to the James B. and Yvonne Franklin Scholarship, in care of the Amarillo College Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Amarillo, Texas 79178. Sign the online guestbook at www.boxwellbrothers.com. (Amarillo Globe News)

Charles Benjamin Graves Jr., age 91, of Austin, Texas passed away on January 27, 2018.

Born in Houston, Texas on October 22, 1926 to Charles Benjamin Graves, Sr. and Lucille Phipps Graves, he is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ruth Graves Dill, his wife Nancy Grace Nichols Graves in 1968, his wife Darlene Graves in 2009, and his wife Francis Graves in 2015. His love for God, family, friends and country was exemplified in all he did as he spent his life serving God, serving others, and serving his country. Charles was a man of character, conviction and great integrity. His positive approach to life, contagious smile, bright blue eyes, and sense of humor were just some of the ways he exhibited his joy in Jesus Christ. He never met a stranger and was known to the end for boldly sharing his deep faith and love in Christ. An incredible encourager, protector and believer that God has a plan for our lives, he had a heart of gold, consistently displaying unconditional love and forgiveness for those blessed enough to know him. Widowed when his children were quite young, he clung steadfastly to the prayer he and their mother prayed. It was their hope that one of them would be present to see all five of their children follow Christ. He provided all five the love, support and courage to build and grow their own families and careers.

His dream was to see all of his children and fourteen grandchildren graduate from college, going so far as to set aside funds so that college was a possibility for all. US Army Colonel Charles Graves enlisted at seventeen years of age and proudly served in Korea, Germany, and Japan. As a member of the Army Corp of Engineers, he helped design and rebuild bridges in Japan after World War II. A highlight of his life was touring Washington D.C. on the Honor Flight with other WWII and Korean War veterans during the spring of 2016. Following graduation from Oregon State University, Charles Graves continued his career as a civil engineer for the City of Texarkana, Portland Cement Association, City of Austin, Cunningham Graves Engineers and Austin Spectrum. He built many friendships in the professional engineering community and served as a consultant for many after retirement. Charles was an active church member all of his life and was extremely devoted as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, and Chairman of Deacons at Hyde Park Baptist Church and as a founding member of Austin Baptist Church. He was a Baylor Alumnus By Choice. The experiences and friendships he established have always been meaningful to him as he found purpose and hope through his church family. Charles authored and published his first book after his wife, Nancy, died, When Tragedy Strikes. Many people were comforted as he shared his experiences in writing. A second book, Resolve It, was written to encourage others in various stages of life. He had such a heart for helping others. His words, both written and spoken, will forever leave a legacy to those who knew and loved him.

Charles Graves is survived by his five children, Marcia Graves Brown (Steve), Chip Graves (Cindy), Maurine Graves Richter (Rick), Nancy Graves Linder (fiance, Allen McCurdy) and Carolyn Graves Martinez (Eddie); beloved brother, Dick Graves (Jan); fourteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous friends and relatives. Along with all of our extended family and friends, we will miss him, but we will see him on the other side. Isaiah 41:10 The family will receive visitors from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at Austin Baptist Church, 7016 Ribelin Ranch Drive, Austin, Texas 78750. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Charles's name may be directed to Austin Baptist Church, the Charles B., Jr. and Darlene L. Graves/George W. truett Theological Seminary Endowed Scholarship Fund, or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be left at www.cookwaldenforestoaks.com.

(Published in Austin American-Statesman)

Christeen Elizabeth “Pooh” Hixson, 93, passed away November 10, 2017 in Lake Charles, LA.

She was born in Elizabeth City, NC and lived in Lake Charles since 1945. She was a member of the 1st Baptist Church of Lake Charles, where she taught Sunday school for 35 years. She was also a member of the Enterprise Club for 30 years, served for the Memorial Auxiliary for 30 years, having completed over 500 hours, served with the Red Cross in 1942 during WW ll. She was an avid bridge player. She was affectionately known as “Pooh” by her family and friends, a name her son gave her. Pooh was also known for her tasty dishes she would cook for family and friends. She was named a Baylor Legacy Legend in 2010.

She is survived by her sons, John Hixson and wife Sheila, of Lake Charles; Paul Hixson and wife, Sandy of Sulphur; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Hixson of Falmouth, MA; grandchildren, Lodden Harp and husband, Dakota; Lauren Phillips and husband, Grant; Meggie Hixson; Emma Hixson; Christie Gorrell and husband, Todd; Josh Pinhack and wife, Raina. She is preceded in death by her husband, John Carroll Hixson, Sr. and son, Robert Hixson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home or Louisiana College. Funeral Services will be Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 2pm. Visitation will begin at 12 noon until time of service at Hixson Funeral Home of Lake Charles. Burial will follow at Consolata Cemetery. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.hixsonfuneralhomes.com.

(Dignity Memorial)

Anna Mae Collier Marshall, just shy of 100 yrs, passed away December 25, 2017.

Anna Mae Collier Marshall, just shy of 100 yrs, went to be with the Lord on Monday, December 25, 2017 at The Plaza at Edgemere, a caring and loving assisted living community in Dallas, Texas. On March 12, 1918 Anna was born in Barsola, Texas to Walter Lee and Ollie Smith. She was one of five children. Anna was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Ollie (Hollis) Smith; her husband of 45 years, Hershel Frazier "Red" Collie; brothers Herman, Coy and Travis "Cooter" Smith; her daughter, Sue Collier Daniel; her husband, Fax Coleman Marshall and his son, Richard Coleman Marshall. Her memory will be cherished and kept alive by her sister, Pauline Smith Hayes (Gene); her daughters, Anita Collier Jones and Lynda Smith Collier, both of Dallas; her four grandchildren, Craig Collier Daniel (Rob Delameter), Susanna Daniel, Lee Anna Jones Lackey (Brandon) and Leisa Jones Winters (Jimmy); and seven great-grandchildren, Nathan, Jacob and Luke Lackey, MacKenzie and Maci Winters, August and Lewis Daniel Stewart; and Fax Marshall's daughters, Amanda Marshall Bean and Jan Marshall Dove.

Anna has been an active member of Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas, Green Acres Baptist Church Tyler, and First Baptist Church, Henderson. She served the First Baptist Church of Henderson as Financial Secretary after retiring as Assistant Cashier of Republic Bank, Henderson. Henderson is where she raised her family and was active in the community. She enjoyed teaching children in Sunday School and loved her professional and volunteer work. Due to Anna's youthful appearance, "here come the Collier girls", was a comment often heard when referring to Anna and her daughters. Anyone who knew Anna would know she was an amazing seamstress. Her three daughters and granddaughters took pride in the beautiful couture collection of clothing that she made for all of them. The family would like to than the nurses and staff at The Plaza at Edgemere in Dallas for their tender care of "our Nana" over the last 13 years. A home of warmth and affection was provided on a daily basis.

A memorial service will be held January 9,10:30 A.M. at the First Baptist Church, Alto, Texas. This is the church that Anna Mae's father, Papa Smith, helped build in 1924 and where her parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Memorial donations may be given: First Baptist Church, Henderson, Texas; First Baptist Church, Alto, Texas and the American Cancer Society.

(Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Thomas Z. Parrish of Waco died Jan. 15 at age 98.

 Thomas Z. "Tom" Parrish died in Waco on January 15, 2018 at the age of 98. A service commemorating his long life will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 20, at First Baptist Church, Waco, The Rev. Matt Snowden officiating. A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, January 19, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco.

Parrish was born September 6, 1919, in Moscow, Texas. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and served as a teacher and superintendent of schools in his hometown before joining the U.S. Navy on his 22nd birthday. Expecting to be a part of the U.S. efforts to ship supplies across the Atlantic to sustain England, he was instead sent to the Pacific, where on December 7, 1941, he served as a 3rd-class storekeeper aboard the USS Vestal, a repair ship berthed alongside the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After Pearl Harbor, Parrish was assigned to Naval Intelligence, analyzing reports from across the Pacific Theater. Wanting to do more than read about the war, he requested reassignment and was attached to the U.S. Marines as a forward observer, coordinating carrier-based airstrikes on islands across the Central, South and Southwest Pacific. Altogether he made five amphibious beach landings, including Iwo Jima. When the war concluded, Parrish was assigned to the occupational forces in Hiroshima, Japan, where he spent six months as a medical corpsman and became known as "Hershey Joe" for giving the children chocolate. Through 51 months of combat duty, he was promoted to ensign, Lieutenant junior grade and Lieutenant. After his discharge, Parrish enrolled in the University of Texas School of Law. He practiced law in Plainview, Texas, for two years before entering Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While there he noticed a student from North Carolina, Frances "Emmy" Thomas, working at the campus snack bar. After she made him a milkshake, he immediately declared she would be the woman he married. The couple spent 62 years together, Emmy dying two years and one day before her husband. Parrish pastored Baptist churches in Oklahoma for two years before becoming legal counsel and then vice president for development at Wayland Baptist College in Plainview.

After eight years at Wayland, he moved to Baylor University where he spent 22 years, retiring in 1985 as vice president for development emeritus. During his Baylor career, Parrish headed fundraising efforts that renovated and erected many of the campus' buildings. He was instrumental in the creation of Student Foundation, the Heritage Club, the Development Council, and Baylor Parents League. After his retirement, Parrish worked as a development consultant for numerous higher education and benevolent institutions, including Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, which honored him with its Distinguished Service Award. Parrish spent many years teaching a Sunday school class at First Baptist, Waco, and regularly preached in nursing homes and jails.

A popular speaker, Parrish regularly addressed Waco-area service clubs on an array of topics, especially U.S. history and American literature. A passionate learner and book lover, his personal library contained thousands of volumes, all of which he'd read and enjoyed discussing. He authored several professional publications on education and fundraising, as well as a book on the Civil War, The Saga of the Confederate Ram Arkansas: The Mississippi Valley Campaign, 1862. He was a member of the Texas Bar Association and the Rotary Club, and was also a Master Mason AF, AM, honored for 75 years of membership. He served on the boards of the United Way, the Heart O' Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Keep Waco Beautiful and the Waco-McLennan County Library.

Parrish is survived by his sons, Mike Parrish and wife, Julibeth, and Maxey Parrish and wife, Susanne, all of Waco; his grandchildren, Annabeth Parrish and fiancé, Mickey Kosarek, Mary Parrish-Iles and husband, Herman Iles, and Ted Parrish. The family expresses its heartfelt gratitude to caregivers, Stacy Williams and D'Ann Martin, and the compassionate staffs of Providence Hospice and The Brazos of Waco.

Memorials may be made to the Tom Z. and Frances E. Parrish Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor University, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, TX 76798, or a charity of your choice. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.

(Waco Tribune-Herald

Dr. Tom Proctor, 74,  passed away on November 13, 2017, in Waco.

Dr. Tom Proctor, 74, professor emeritus of educational psychology in the School of Education passed away on November 13, 2017, at his home in Waco. The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 18, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. The Rev. David Story will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, November 17, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.

Tom was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Dowling Catholic High School. He trained in the Catholic seminary at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he earned his bachelor's degree, but ultimately decided not to pursue a career as a priest. He served as a student chaplain at a hospital in Kansas and then at the Kansas Neurological Institute. He then taught math to adolescents at Topeka State Hospital while earning his master's in special education and doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Kansas.

His first and only job after earning his doctorate was at Baylor University, where he worked for 30 years training teachers to work with children with special needs. He trained his students at the Baylor Learning Lab, and later at Hillcrest Professional Development school, where his wife, Marlene, also worked. Tom most aspired to be non-judgmental in his approach to others and taught his students to be mindful that "everyone's doing the best they can to feel good about themselves." Tom enjoyed fishing, spending time on their houseboat, grilling, reading, watching football (especially Baylor), and spending time with his children, grandchildren, and friends. Most of all he loved spending time with the love of his life, Marlene, from whom he was rarely apart during their 47 years of marriage.

Tom's father, James V.; and mother, Mary, preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother, James C.; wife, Marlene; son, Tim and wife, Lara; son, Tony and wife, Ashley; and five grandchildren, Ethan, Adam, River, Dylan, and Sawyer. Special thanks to Dr. Gary Barbin, Hospice caretakers Jake Flores and Jessica Jones, and Visiting Angels' Shana Scott and Ursula Brooks for the care they provided Tom. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Caritas of Waco. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.

(Waco Tribune-Herald)

Angela Lee “Angie” Taylor died in Santa Fe, NM, on Nov. 8 at the age of 52.

Angela Lee “Angie” Taylor, formerly of Dixon, Dixon, IL, died in Santa Fe, NM, on Nov. 8. Taylor, a part-time lecturer at Baylor, was 52. A beloved daughter and sister, a cherished friend, an animal lover, a devoted Christian, and a lifelong advocate for the Deaf community, Angie passed away from an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. She grew up in Dixon, where she attended several local public schools. At the time, sign language was not permitted at school. Angie’s family worked tirelessly with her at home to ensure she could speak, a rarity for Deaf children, read lips, and knew the basics of American Sign Language. At the age of 12, Angie transferred to Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville. She thrived in the Deaf community and strongly felt that attending ISD forever altered the course of her life. She was a cheerleader, played field hockey, and made lifelong friends. Angie went on to attend Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation – recreational therapy, and later attained a master’s degree in sign language education, also from Gallaudet. She co-authored the book “Signing for Dummies,” which was published in 2003, and remains in print today. 

Angie lived in Washington, D.C. for a number of years, and worked at Family Service Foundation Inc. She also spent several years living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she worked at Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. There she worked as both a sign language consultant and as an interpreting services coordinator, while serving as an adjunct professor at Pikes Peak Community College. Angie later taught Deaf Culture and Advanced American Sign Language at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois. Before her death, she was serving as both an assistant professor at McLennan Community College, and as an adjunct professor at Baylor University, both in Waco.

For the last 6 months, Angie has been spending time in Houston, receiving treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Angie absolutely loved Houston, and while her cancer was painful, she still enjoyed her stay in the city. She would check into hotels with her mother, Virginia, and sister, Laura, order room service, partake of the city’s restaurants, and take short walks. Angie was on vacation in Santa Fe when her cancer took over. She was admitted to hospice at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital, and 8 days later, after being blessed by the Archbishop of Santa Fe, she passed peacefully with Virginia, Laura, and her beloved dog, Isaiah, by her side. Angie was deeply loved and will be terribly missed.

She is survived by her mother, Virginia Taylor, and father, Robert “Bob” Taylor of Dixon; her brother, Rob (Heather) Taylor of Polo; and sister, Laura Taylor of Austin, Texas. She also is survived by nieces, Peyton and Parker Taylor of Polo, and Hailey Lillyman of Virginia Beach, Virginia. She leaves several aunts, uncles, cousins, and many close friends in both the hearing and Deaf communities. She was preceded in death by grandparents, most recently Lois B. Fryman, and aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of life to honor Angie will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethel Evangelical Congregational Church in Dixon.