Helen wrote her own obituary, and was quite insistent that it and her instructions not be altered. Here it is:

Helen Bownds died on July 2, 2002, at age 83. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Marlin Bownds and son Deric Bownds, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and grandchildren Jon of Austin and Sarah of Wisconsin.

After meeting as Plan II freshmen at UT in 1935, Helen & Marlin were married upon graduation in 1939. They lived for a few years in Marlin’s home town of Marfa, Texas, were in San Antonio during the war, then returned to Austin after World War II. They lived in the same house for over 50 years, until their move into Westminster Manor in 2000. Helen’s career was in teaching, secondary social studies. After working as a teacher and supervisor with the Austin Public Schools, she spent her last 12 working years at UT as coordinator of the secondary social studies student teaching program. Through the years she was interested in various social and civic causes and was politically active as a “yellow dog” Democrat. Her most recent interest was campaign finance reform.

There will be no funeral or memorial service. Friends are invited to visit with Marlin and reminisce with him over the next few months.


Here are some photographs taken during the last month of Helen's life.


June 2-3, 2002, Helen requests a recital

Mid-June, Helen shows off her wedding dress, 63 years later

Friday evening before Helen's passing on Tuesday, July 2, 2002