Sara Fentress Warren
Sara Fentress Humphreys Warren was born in Waco, TX on September 2, 1936 to Clara Elizabeth Lacy and Harlon Morse Fentress. Mrs. Fentress' grandfather, Ephraim Silas Fentress, was a newspaper businessman who along with Charles E. Marsh purchased and combined the Waco-area newspapers to create the Waco Tribune-Herald in 1927. Mrs. Warren was a member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church and attended Waco public schools. She graduated from Waco High in 1954 and then in succession attended Southern Methodist University, University of Texas and Baylor University, obtaining her BA from Baylor in 1958. While at UT she met and married her first husband, Eddie Humphreys, and after a honeymoon in Jamaica and Cuba the two settled in Waco. Mr. Humphreys worked in the insurance field until taking a position with the Fentress' newspaper business in the marketing department. Mrs. Warren was a homemaker and cared for their three children, Laurie, Margaret and Lee.
After Mrs. Warren's father passed away in 1975, the family decided to sell the Waco tribune-Herald to Cox Enterprises, a deal that was completed in 1976. In 1989, Eddie Humphreys passed away after an extended battle with leukemia. A few years later in bit of kismet Sara was reconnected with a former college flame and member of her church Bill Warren when Bill was visiting Waco for a high school band reunion. Mr Warren at the time was CEO of Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas, and in 1992 they married. Subsequently Mr. Warren moved to Waco and recently began a new venture by creating the Treat n Go health clinic franchise. Mrs. Warren's mother, Clara, passed away in 2006 at the age of 104.
Mrs. Warren's parents, Clara and Harlon, were both very involved in the Waco community. Harlon, as the second-generation owner of the Waco Tribune Herald, helped advance Lake Waco and Texas State Technical College and established the Harlan Fentress Journalism Scholarship at Baylor University in 1953. Clara was a published poet who was named as an Honorary Rotarian, was awarded Philanthropist of the Year in 1994 and served on many boards of directors in Waco. On September 23, 1959 they created the Fentress Foundation, which is “dedicated to charitable betterment of Waco individuals and to their enterprises in arts, education, and medicine.” This foundation has supported the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, the Art Center, United Way, and Caritas. Sara Warren took over the family’s finances and investments with encouragement from her late husband, Eddy Humphreys, when he fell ill, and now serves as chairman of the board for the foundation. In addition to overseeing the foundation, Mrs. Warren also likes to donate her time to the children at Talitha Koum Institute in South Waco.
Warren Audio Clip 1
[04/15/2010] Mrs. Warren discusses the work of the Fentress Foundation and highlights the cancer center gift to Hillcrest Hospital. . .
Warren And it’s for the benefit of primarily the local community. However, it would cover education and then some medical causes, and that kind of thing. And it’s since left, to some degree, the community because my children, where they are and where they live, are able to take some of the funds and improve their own community.
Myers Okay. Do you recall any particular projects that you enjoyed having the name Fentress Foundation on it?
Warren Not—not one in particular, because all seemed to be important at the time, but I would say maybe my mother’s gift to Hillcrest for the cancer center [Fentress Cancer Center] would be the primary thing. That was her gift, but it was done through the foundation.
Myers Okay. Yes. As I understand, it was—part of the motivation was so people didn’t have to go out of town.
Warren That’s right. And there have been a lot of—I would say that would be the primary thing. But there have been a lot of good reports about how grateful people have been not to have to leave and go to Houston.
Warren Audio Clip 2
[04/15/2010] Mrs. Warren speaks of volunteering at the Talitha Koum Institute. . .
Myers Okay, okay. Well, I’ve heard that you rock babies.
Warren Oh yeah. I rock babies—
Myers Tell me about that.
Warren —down at Talitha Koum [Institute]. Yeah, that’s something I really do enjoy. I go once a week and just stay a couple of hours. It’s not a big time thing for me, but I do enjoy going, and I feel like they are—well, as—let me see, what’s her name? Susan Calley (??)would say it’s like shooting a water pistol into hell, because these children come from broken homes where the parents are hardly around, or they may be addicts, or they may be prostitutes, or they may be this or that. And the idea is that if you take a child from the time he’s about three months up till—I forget what the cut-off is, but the development of the child happens so much earlier than most people realize. And you put them in a different environment, and it makes a big difference. Dr. Berry Brazelton, the well-known pediatrician has visited, and has put his stamp of approval upon what’s being done down there.
Myers To give them that individual attention?
Warren Yeah, individual attention, instead of having to fight to make their way through the day. So, anyway, I enjoy doing that.